Alternative consumption: a circular economy beyond the circular business model
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Studies for the circular economy have focused consumption from the perspective of acceptance of business models. However, consumers can engage in waste prevention, reuse and reparation in modes of consumption outside existing market-networks. This paper proposes a shift in perspective for studies on the circular economy, from production to consumption. Taking alternative modes of consumption as its starting point, it explores what the circular economy may entail when explored from a consumption perspective. More specifically, it presents the results of a literature review in which literature on alternative consumption has been reviewed and analyzed based on circularity principles and a framework of six moments of consumption. In this review, two main modes of alternative consumption were identified – one based on the meaning given to purchases made within the existing market structure, and one centered on engagement in taking care of community commons. These two modes are relevant to reduction and slowing down of material cycles. Based on these findings, recommendations are made regarding how the results can be used in further theoretical and empirical research on consumption in the circular economy, beyond business models.