The assembling of circular consumption: A sociomaterial practice approach

Elina Närvänen, Christian Fuentes, Nina Mesiranta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


The role of consumers in a circular economy (CE) is crucial but not well understood in the literature. For consumers to become catalysts in a CE, people need to understand how and under what conditions circular consumption is made possible. This chapter conceptualises the sociomaterial assembling of circular consumption, which refers to the process in which heterogeneous elements – meanings, materialities, and competencies – constantly form relations with and shape one another. This chapter also illustrates how this assembling requires a considerable amount of work from consumers. It focuses on the context of fashion, in which more circular production and consumption patterns are urgently needed. Our approach is inspired by narrative knowing, and it builds on qualitative data from a research project in Finland. Each of the narratives follows the biography of the same garment but represents an alternative circular consumption scenario: reducing, reusing, or recycling. The chapter contributes to the literature on circular consumption and has practical implications for involving consumers as catalysts in a CE.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Catalysts for a Sustainable Circular Economy
EditorsHanna Lehtimäki, Leena Aarikka-Stenroos, Ari Jokinen, Pekka Jokinen
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-26749-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-032-21244-9
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3


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