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. Green Consumption 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 Green Consumption 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.
Preface 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(r) 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, Josee 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
Afterword Sharon Zukin, CUNY, USA
Bart Barendregt is Director of Studies at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden University, the Netherlands. Rivke Jaffe is Assistant Associate Professor at the Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.