Title: The consumption behaviour of beginner voluntary simplifiers: an exploratory study

Authors: Raquel Rebouças; Ana Maria Soares

Addresses: Federal Institute of Paraíba, 58103772, Paraíba, Brazil; University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal ' School of Economics and Management, University of Minho and CICS.NOVA.UMinho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal

Abstract: Voluntary simplicity is a lifestyle characterised by consumption reduction, sustainability, and a focus on intrinsic values. There is a dearth of studies of this consumption profile, and in particular of consumers first taking steps towards voluntary life simplification. This study focuses on this segment and attempts to understand the values, motivations, and meanings of consumption, with the aim of better understanding the process of change and outcomes of this lifestyle. This paper presents narratives of consumers in the initial stage of voluntary simplicity exploring their consumption behaviour through in-depth interviews using the critical incident technique and focus group, shedding light on the consumption patterns and perceptions of lifestyle transformation of this group. The findings highlight multiple manifestations of voluntary simplicity as well as obstacles to adopting sustainable consumption, and indicate practices to overcome such barriers. Implications and suggestions for future research on beginner voluntary simplifiers' buying-decision process are discussed.

Keywords: voluntary simplicity; beginner voluntary simplifiers; consumption behaviour; exploratory study; consumption reduction; sustainability; consumer values.

DOI: 10.1504/JGBA.2021.118751

Journal for Global Business Advancement, 2021 Vol.14 No.4, pp.433 - 452

Received: 23 Apr 2021
Accepted: 27 Apr 2021

Published online: 04 Nov 2021 *

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