The influence of environmental self-identity on the relationship between consumer identities and frugal behavior

Domingo Gil-Giménez*, Gladys Rolo-González, Ernesto Suárez, Gabriel Muinos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The need to reduce consumption is evident, and a way of achieving this is through austerity and frugal practices. The aim of this research was to advance the understanding of frugal behavior and its relation to consumer identities, and to analyze any possible mediating effects of environmental self-identity. In Study 1 (n = 492), the factor structure of the consumer identities scale was tested and three distinct identities were defined: moral, wasteful, and thrifty consumer identities. In Study 2 (n = 500), the influence of consumer identities on frugal behavior was studied and the possible mediating effect of environmental self-identity was analyzed. Environmental self-identity completely mediated the relationship between moral identity and frugal behavior and partially mediated the relationships of both wasteful and thrifty identities with frugal behavior. The model was able to predict 27.6% of the variance of environmental self-identity and 47.9% of the variance of frugal behavior, with a strong influence by the thrifty consumer identity. This emphasizes the economic dimension of frugal consumption patterns and the importance of considering how people view themselves, both as individuals and as consumers, in order to more effectively engage and maintain long-term sustainable frugal actions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9664
Number of pages15
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1-Sept-2021


  • Consumer identities
  • Environmental self-identity
  • Frugal behavior

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