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Keywords:

  • green marketing;
  • material;
  • critical;
  • practice theory;
  • environmental management;
  • sustainability

ABSTRACT

Green products are becoming part of contemporary consumer cultures and part of everyday life. But how are green products constructed? What kind of green products are constructed? And what happens as these green products are constructed?

The aim of this paper is to contribute a socio-cultural and critical understanding of green marketing by exploring and illustrating how marketing practices work to construct green products as meaningful material-symbolic artefacts in practice.

Departing from an understanding of marketing as practice I analyse how a green outdoor product - a t-shirt - was constructed as green through the marketing practices of the Nordic Nature Shops. Focusing on this retail corporation and examining the practices of trail making, attending and selling, it is suggested that these t-shirts become green through a process of socio-material inscription. Through marketing practices green moral is generated and linked to the t-shirts potentially making them desirable consumption objects to be used in the construction of consumers green identities. However, this process of green making is a difficult accomplishment with ambiguous outcomes. While the tendency to inscribe commercial products with morality can be interpreted as an indication of the development of a more ethically reflective consumer culture, it can also be argued to lead to the commercialization of morality. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.