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UAL Research Online

Gullible Consumers: The Contradictions of Sustainability

Abdulla, Danah (2024) Gullible Consumers: The Contradictions of Sustainability. In: Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Design. Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, pp. 117-132. ISBN 9781003365433

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Abdulla, Danah

Contradictions of sustainability are all around us. They are referred to as contradictions because the companies that preach about their sustainable practices drive the problems. The author dives deeper into the issue and explores why we, as consumers, find these initiatives attractive. In this chapter, the author focuses on brands they have documented as contradictions; for example, fast fashion brands, attempts to reduce the amount of clothing produced by offering (both online and in-store) a donation box for shoppers to bring in unwanted clothing. The problem with many sustainability initiatives is that they are no more than buyback initiatives; such short-term decision-making is that it only diverts the problem elsewhere: far away from our eyes, to second-hand markets and landfills in countries like Ghana and Chile, where we do not know what happens. The problem with the solutions we create stems from ignoring the complexity of our world. The author further argues that we must remove the shackles of the past that determine our future by relying on the same systematic patterns that produced the previous problem and leaving them to repeat those patterns; to let go of the familiar and lay with the discomfort, the discomfort that can help imagine the world anew.

Official Website: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781003365433-11/gullible-consumers-danah-abdulla
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: sustainability, greenwashing
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Routledge
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Camberwell College of Arts
Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Research Centres/Networks > Decolonising Arts Institute
Date: 15 April 2024
Digital Object Identifier: 10.4324/9781003365433
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2024 09:17
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2024 09:01
Item ID: 21520
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/21520

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