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What’s mine is mine: unpicking the psychological reasons people like to own things

Adapting to product-as-a-service or sharing models in a circular economy could prove difficult for individuals who derive a feeling of safety and identity from ownership. How can insight into these motivations help businesses adapt their relationships with users?

Photo by Parker Burchfield on Unsplash

A variety of ways to acquire

Ownership as a passport to identity

Photo by Maria Ziegler on Unsplash

Attachment to ‘things’ develops through a life

Not owned but still valued?

  • Controlling — mastering the object, having the ability to use it and modify it if necessary
  • Creating — making something in order to use it
  • Knowing — having an intimate knowledge of its workings
Photo by Jan Baborák on Unsplash

The sisterhood of the travelling dress

Photo by Burgess Milner on Unsplash

Psychological benefits of By Rotation



Features and thought-leadership on the circular economy

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Ellen MacArthur Foundation

We work to build a framework for a circular economy that is restorative and regenerative by design.