The marketing and consumption of green products has grown significantly in recent years. As mediators between producers and consumers, retailing sites play an important role for the distribution of green products. It is through stores and other retail sites that green products are marketed and made available to consumers. But how does retailing work to circulate green products? How are green products made part of specific consumption worlds and practices? And does green retailing facilitate the development of more environmentally sustainable patterns of production and consumption?
Green retailing: a socio–material analysis offers a critical account of green retailing. Using practice theory and drawing on an ethnographic study of an outdoors retail chain, this book argues that the understanding of green retailing benefit from the acknowledgement of the complexities involved in retail practices. The book analyses the work done by the Nordic Nature Shop to make their green outdoors products meaningful and functional to consumers. It shows how the retail chain uses its outlets to create a world in where their products are become necessary while simultaneously giving the products the qualities needed to function in this world. Green outdoors products are through the Nordic Nature Shops marketing work framed as tools and problem solvers that mediate between society and nature and protect fragile environments. Through their marketing of green products, the Nordic Nature Shop promises that it is possible to consume the outdoors in a greener way. However, in offering consumers products that resolve the contradiction between wanting to enjoy and wanting to protect the outdoors, the Shop also makes a number of resource intensive outdoors consumption practices possible. This means that while the Nordic Nature Shop contribute to the greening of contemporary consumption practices it simultaneously reproduces consumer culture and discourages the emergence of more reflexive and critical forms of consumption.
Christian Fuentes is a researcher at the Department of Service Management, Lund University. This is his doctoral dissertation.