The anatomy of sustainable domestic laundering behaviour
Licentiate thesis, 2021

Today’s washing appliances are much more efficient than those of a decade ago, yet the environmental benefits of this efficiency are counteracted by changes in consumer behaviour. This thesis presents two alternative ways to limit emissions from domestic laundering, as well as to better understand consumer behaviour related to the practice of keeping clothes clean. More specifically, it examines the potential for shared systems (which are common in Sweden) and finds that this setup could reduce climate impacts by at least 26%. Concerning behaviour, the results presented acknowledge that any final laundering practice is influenced by an intricate interaction between technology, social conventions, and individual concerns. Three overarching principles can be identified using current research literature concerning domestic laundry:

1. Technology changes laundry conventions, while social context dictates market acceptance of new cleaning technology.
2. Technological solutions are often suggested to influence laundry behaviour, but individual concerns seem to override the effect of the interventions.
3. Consumer laundry practices are guided by social conventions that are also rooted in intrapersonal dynamics.

Hopefully these principles (as well as the detailed results from the LCA model) could be used to better understand the possibilities and limitations of domestic laundering, and guide any future interventions aiming for a more sustainable society.



consumer psychology


behavioural change


Opponent: Anne-Charlotte Hanning, RISE IVF


Erik Klint

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Klint, E., Johansson L-O., Peters, G. Triangulating Consumer Behaviour Related to Domestic Laundering – An Interdisciplinary Mapping Review

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Economic Geography

Environmental Management


HSB living lab


Chalmers University of Technology


Opponent: Anne-Charlotte Hanning, RISE IVF

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