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Use to use – A user perspective on product circularity

Selvefors, Anneli, Rexfelt, Oskar, Renström, Sara, Strömberg, Helena
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.223 pp. 1014-1028
consumer behavior, consumers (people), contingent valuation, econometric models, product development
The discussion regarding product circularity is often framed from a production and business model perspective. In this paper, people's consumption processes are taken as a new point of departure and a re-framing of product circularity from a user perspective is proposed to complement the current narrative. This user-centred perspective emphasises the importance of product exchange, which underscores that products can be transferred in tight loops from one user to another, i.e. from Use to Use. It also highlights a number of challenges and practicalities that circular paths of consumption may entail for people in everyday life, and thus points to new opportunities for designing products and services that can create enabling preconditions that make it possible, more convenient, and more preferable for people to circulate products. These design opportunities can be categorised into four design strategies that can support the development of products and services fit for circular consumption processes. How the proposed reframing compares to the current narrative is discussed and recommendations for future research are proposed.