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Toward system innovation for more sustainable chemistry: insights into consumers’ perceptions, knowledge, and behavior related to traceability and product design strategies along leather supply chains

  • The leather industry is a complex system with multiple actors that faces a fundamental transition toward more sustainable chemistry. To support this process, this article analyzes challenges of the industry and consumers’ roles as a nexus of transition-relevant developments. We present findings of an empirical study (N = 439) among consumers on their perception of leather, related knowledge, and purchasing behavior. We found that participants perceived leather as natural, robust, and of high quality. Knowledge about the manufacturing of leather products was overall limited but varied. Applying a psychological behavior theory, we found that being aware of environmental and health consequences from conventional manufacturing of leather products was positively associated with a personal norm to purchase leather products that are less harmful to environment and health. The perceived ease of buying such products was positively associated with their purchase. Our findings shed light on consumers’ roles in the current leather system and their support of niche innovations toward more sustainable chemistry. Against this backdrop, we discuss implications for product design, consumer information, and needs for traceability along supply chains.

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Author:Charis Eisen, Julian Schenten, Anna Theis, Jonas Rehn-Groenendijk, Marvin Helferich, Helena Müller, Daniel Hanss
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in Sustainability
Publisher:Frontiers Media S.A.
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2024
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Darmstadt
Release Date:2024/04/15
Tag:consumer behavior; leather; multi-level perspective; psychology; sustainable chemistry; traceability
GND Keyword:-
Page Number:18
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International