The Sustainable Design Potential of Leapfrogging: Observations from Laundry Behaviours in Brazil, India and the UK

8 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2015

Date Written: March 6, 2015

Abstract

The behaviours of individuals in developing countries or emerging markets are often significantly less resource intensive than those of mature markets. Despite this, consumers in emerging markets often aspire to the more energy intensive lifestyles of more mature markets.

In this article the sustainable deign potential for leapfrogging is discussed in relation to households in Curitiba, Brazil, Bangalore, India and Leicestershire, UK using laundry as a case study. Laundry is one of the most widespread household chores in the world and its resource implications are often overlooked due to being bound up by routine and habit.

The findings show that despite participants washing in cold water and drying their clothes naturally, there is an aspiration to wash in hot water due to the perceived cleaning benefits and increase use of tumble dryers due to changes in the built environment. Final conclusions are drawn about how to leapfrog these aspirations to more sustainable behaviours and the possibility for transferring the findings to other resource intensive household behaviours.

Keywords: Sustainable Design, Leapfrogging, Laundry Care, Culture

Suggested Citation

Spencer, Jak, The Sustainable Design Potential of Leapfrogging: Observations from Laundry Behaviours in Brazil, India and the UK (March 6, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2574832 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2574832

Jak Spencer (Contact Author)

Royal College of Art ( email )

Kensington Gore
London, SW7 2EU
United Kingdom

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