Slow design: Creating long lasting consumer product relationships

Ilona E. de Hooge, Cristobal Milosavljevic Virrueta, Sem Reimink, Lèneke Pfeiffer

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


In their move towards a more sustainable society, many designers, manufacturers, and producers have thus far focused on reduced use of natural resources, or on the reuse of previously used materials. One other way to move towards a more sustainable future, however, is to motivate consumers to use their products for longer, and to motivate consumers to repair their products when necessary. In the current project, we delved into the question how consumers can be motivated to use their products for longer and to repair their products if necessary. Moreover, as extending the lifespan of products may have negative effects on the sales of designers, manufacturers, and producers, we also examined whether it would be possible to motivate consumers to extend the lifetime of their products in ways that can be considered economically viable for designers, manufacturers, or producers. To answer these research questions, we first conducted an extensive literature review. We searched for articles that had studied effects on consumer product lifetime extension, consumer product usage, or on consumer product repair. After screening through 477 scientific articles, we ended up with 36 relevant articles that examined factors influencing consumers’ product usage and product repair. To focus more on the question how designers, manufacturers and producers can motivate lifetime extension in economically viable ways, we also conducted two experiments. In both experiments, we studied the influence of lifetime extension-, repairability- and sustainability marketing strategies on consumer responses to a (fashion) product. In Experiment 1, the product concerned a trousers (jeans), and in Experiment 2 the product concerned a backpack. We measured consumers’ attitudes towards the product and the brand, consumers’ usage and repair intentions for the product, and consumers’ willingness to pay for the product. The findings reveal that….. Together, these findings provide multiple valuable suggestions on how to increase the lifespan of products, and whether this is possible in ways that can be considered promising for designers, manufacturers, and producers. Although future research is necessary, there certainly seems to be a future for the extension of product lifetimes.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen Science Shop
Number of pages46
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Publication series

NameReport / Wageningen Science Shop


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