Track 4.4. Perceptions/adoption of refurbished products


Track 4.4. Perceptions/adoption of refurbished products

Session owner:
Dr Linda Turunen, Aalto University

Product lifespans in industrialized societies are getting shorter, and for example, Wang et al. (2013) exposed that the lifespan of small consumer electronic products have shortened with 20% between years 2000 and 2005. Recovery of products and materials are important strategy while aiming to lower the environmental impacts of industrially manufactured products. Multiple use cycles create environmental value and decrease the waste while aiming to slower the material throughput in the system. Preferred recovery approaches are reuse, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing and parts harvesting (Balkenende & Bakker, 2018).

Studies on consumer’s considerations of refurbished products in the contexts such as technology products, electronics and fashion items do exists, and offer insights concerning perceived barriers and benefits in regards to recovered products. For example, Weelden et al. (2016) studied refurbished mobile phones and uncovered that “refurbished products are often rejected as a consequence of a negative trade-off between perceived risks and benefits”. In the context of refurbished, second cycle or recycled garments, consumers’ concerns in relation to hygiene issues were identified (Kim et al. 2021). Pretner et al. (2021) noticed that premium price for circular economy products do not exists yet the increasing information made it easier to consumers to accept recycled product or material.

While circular economy and variety of recovery approaches are gaining increasing attention in the research literature, not much is known about consumers’ acceptance and adoption of circular products, especially in different research contexts (Mugge et al. 2017). Circular products are gaining momentum, and the discussion on climate change and its connection to Western way of consuming have affected to many consumers, who want to influence on environment through their own consumption choices. How are refurbished or recycled products and materials perceived and adopted by consumers?

This session seeks contributions that shed light on consumers’ considerations in the context of refurbished products. Moreover, research on consumer perceptions, acceptance and worries with recycled products or products made from recycled materials are welcome.