Collaborative consumption practices in Southeast Asian cities: Prospects for growth and sustainability

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Cleaner Production, 2019, 222 pp. 143 - 152
Issue Date:
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© 2019 Collaborative consumption and its alter ego “the sharing economy” have attracted significant attention in recent years due to the emergence of new business models, industry disruption, regulatory issues and the potential social, economic and environmental impacts of these consumption practices. Academic literature on collaborative consumption (CC) to date has focused on high-income countries, and there has been little examination of CC practices in emerging or developing economies. With the potential for CC to offer more sustainable consumption options, understanding its applications and impact is relevant to the sustainable development goals. This study examines the prospects for broader uptake of CC practices in Southeast Asia, using a social practice theory framework, and then considers these prospects with regard to their potential to offer more sustainable consumption options. The analysis draws on qualitative field data and the results from four studies examining the current use of CC in three cities – Bangkok, Metro Manila and Hanoi. CC services were found to be established and normalised, with strong prospects for further uptake due to alignment with existing practice configurations. However, shared-access CC practices currently face significant resistance in all three cities. In the future, growth in the middle classes and the development of a supportive institutional environment may help to normalise shared-access CC and create a shift in consumer perceptions.
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