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Sustainable product use. Socio-economic conditions and ecological advantages of alternative forms of consumption

The implementation of sustainable economic management presupposes a reduction in environmental consumption due to existing patterns of production and consumer behaviour. Prolonging the use of goods, for example by servicing, repair or retrofit, as well as intensifying use by renting or sharing represent approaches for sustainable product use. However, the great hopes placed in such service concepts have so far contrasted with a shortage of knowledge about their economic and ecological potential.  

This is the point where the study begins: taking the examples of household textile washing and winter sports, it demonstrates the socio-economic and protagonist-strategic requirements for the success and failure of alternative use concepts. It also proves that such approaches markedly increase resource productivity but do not achieve factor four relief, let alone factor ten. Finally, in the context of a representative consumer survey, it illustrates the fact that lasting forms of consumption meet with broader acceptance than non-owner forms of renting and lending and that the further development of such approaches should be tailored to specific target groups.