Ethical consumption is an integral component for the sustainable development in the world and is especially challenging in the Western consumer society. This research demonstrates that mindfulness, a Buddhism-based notion, is associated with two related and distinctive approaches of ethical consumption: refinement and reduction. It examines the psychological mechanisms underlying the effects of mindfulness on these two approaches of ethical consumption.
Self-report data were collected through an online survey with consumers from western societies (N = 523).
The findings show (1) that the significance of mindfulness on both approaches of ethical consumption and (2) that the contrast between the different mechanisms underlying them. Specifically, the mindfulness–consumption refinement link is fully mediated by connectedness-to-nature whereas the mindfulness–consumption reduction link is fully mediated by connectedness-to-nature and self-control. A series of supplementary studies further confirmed the proposed model.
It demonstrates the multifaceted and complex nature of ethical consumption, which is positively associated with mindfulness but through distinctive psychological mechanisms.
The multifaceted and complex nature of ethical consumption and its underlying drivers need special attention. Mindfulness can be an effective means to boost ethical consumption behavior. Meanwhile, nurturing the sense of connectedness to nature and self-control capability facilitates the path-through of the positive impacts of mindfulness
The findings can be adopted to enhance the effectiveness of mindfulness practice in promoting ethical consumption towards achieving the Sustainable Consumption goal, especially in the West.
The paper makes original contribution by conceptualizing two interrelated and distinctive approaches of ethical consumption and shows how mindfulness promotes both through different mediating pathways. Overall, this study paints a clearer picture how mindfulness relates to ethical consumption.
The first three authors contributed equally; the authors are listed alphabetically.Funding: This research is supported by a Strategic Research Grant of City University of Hong Kong (CityU 7004789) awarded to the corresponding author Stella Yiyan Li and a Strategic Research Grant of City University of Hong Kong (CityU 7004571) awarded to the second author Dr Liyuan Wei.
Li, Y., Wei, L., Zeng, X. and Zhu, J. (2021), "Mindfulness in ethical consumption: the mediating roles of connectedness to nature and self-control", International Marketing Review, Vol. 38 No. 4, pp. 756-779. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMR-01-2019-0023
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