Green Consumption The Global Rise of Eco-Chic

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-04-24
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Green lifestyles and ethical consumption have become increasingly popular strategies in moving towards environmentally-friendly societies and combating global poverty. Where previously environmentalists saw excess consumption as central to the problem, green consumerism now places consumption at the heart of the solution. However, ethical and sustainable consumption are also important forms of central to the creation and maintenance of class distinction.

Green Consumption scrutinizes the emergent phenomenon of what this book terms eco-chic: a combination of lifestyle politics, environmentalism, spirituality, beauty and health. Eco-chic as a set of practices works to connects ethical, sustainable and elite consumption. It is increasingly part of the identity kit of certain sections of society, who seek to combine taste and style with care for personal wellness and the environment. This book deals with eco-chic as a set of activities, an ideological framework and a popular marketing strategy, offering a critical examination of its manifestations in both the global North and South.

The diverse case studies presented in this book range from Basque sheep cheese production and Ghanaian Afro-chic hairstyles to Asian tropical spa culture and Dutch fair-trade jewellery initiatives. The authors assess the ways in which eco-chic, with its apparent paradox of consumption and idealism, can make a genuine contribution to solving some of the most pressing problems of our time.

Author Biography

Bart Barendregt is Director of Studies at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Rivke Jaffe is Assistant Professor at the Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Table of Contents

Richard Wilk, Indiana University, USA

Introduction: The Paradoxes of Eco-Chic
Bart Barendregt, Leiden University, The Netherlands, and Rivke Jaffe, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Part One : From Production to Consumption

Adversaries into Partners? Brand Coca-Cola® and the Politics of Consumer-Citizenship
Robert J. Foster, University of Rochester, USA

Spaces of Intention as Exclusionary Practice: Exploring Ethical Limits to "Alternative" Sustainable Consumption
Raymond L. Bryant, Michael K. Goodman and Michael R. Redclift, King’s College London, UK

Global Gold Connections: Ethical Consumption and the Beauty of Bonding Artisans
Sabine Luning, Leiden University, The Netherlands and Marjo De Theije, Vu University Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Part Two: Spatialities and Temporalities

Marketing the Mountain: Applications and Consequences of Eco-chic in the Basque Region
Meredith Welch-devine,University of Georgia, USA and Seth Murray, North Carolina State University, USA

Green is the New Green: Eco-aesthetics in Singapore
Chris Hudson, RMIT University, Australia

The Caring, Committed Eco-Mom: Marketing Ideals and Lived Realities
Kate Cairns, Kim Delaat, Josée Johnston and Shyon Baumann, University of Toronto, Canada

Part Three: Bodies and Beauty

Ethics of Afro-Chic: Beauty, Consumption and "Locks Without Dread" in Ghana
Anna-riikka Kauppinen, LSE, UK and Rachel Spronk, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Ital Chic: Rastafari, Resistance and the Politics of Consumption in Jamaica
Rivke Jaffe, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Tropical Spa Cultures, Eco-chic, and the Complexities of New Asianism
Bart Barendregt, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Sharon Zukin, CUNY, USA


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