Sustainable Consumption as a Status Symbol? Drivers and Barriers of Sustainable Consumption and the Use of Car Sharing

In today's society, especially among Millennials and GenZ, there is a growing trend towards sustainable consumption. Companies are reacting to this with a wide range of sustainable products and services, such as sharing offers like car sharing. This qualitative study examines the drivers and barriers of sustainable consumption behavior and the use of car sharing as well as personal status symbols among the tribe of sustainable students. A special focus is placed on the question of whether status-related motives represent incentives for sustainable consumption and the use of car sharing or whether these can serve as status symbols. The results show that motives for sustainable consumption are primarily ecological and functional in nature. Car sharing is primarily used for functional reasons. Neither sustainable consumption behavior nor car sharing are seen as status symbols among sustainable students; a potential status gain through sustainable consumption or sharing use cannot be identified as a motive. However, the study also provides indications that this could change in coming years.





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