Sustainable trend-setters - LOHAS on the way to a sustainable society

"Sustainable trendsetters" investigated the consumer group "cultural creatives" by applying the Q-methodology. It provides criteria for product development and promotion of LOHAS products and services in the sustainable textile sector and for sustainable tourism.

Short Description




LOHAS - Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability describes a post-modern lifestyle and a consumer type, who combines ideals, which so far seemed to be incompatible, such as lifestyle and environmental sustainability, individual well-being and care for the planet. It is assumed that consumers who favour this lifestyle have a high purchasing power and therefore influence companies.

Which characteristics do Austrian LOHAS have? Which communication strategies are successful to reach these consumers? These questions have been raised within the research project “Sustainable trendsetters - LOHAS on the way to a sustainable society”. The focus of the project was on the sustainable textile sector and on sustainable tourism. The research was done in cooperation with companies from these areas. An online survey was done, followed by qualitative research applying the “Q-methodology”.

“Classic” and “casual” describes the preferred fashion style of LOHAS. The consumers are ready to pay more for ecological and social fashion, if the costs are not excessive. To fulfil the LOHAS potential a wide range of products and easy availability regarding eco-fashion is required.

The vacation habits of LOHAS are down-to-earth and nature-oriented. Austrian tourism corresponds with these preferences, but could be better tailored for the audience and the communication could be improved. The LOHAS trend provides new opportunities for Austrian tourism. Important is that offers are in accord with nature and emphasise regional characteristics. Companies should raise sustainability as a topic in the communication strategy. The added value of sustainable offers has to be seen at first glance and be communicated in a credible way.

The trend can be utilised to promote and strengthen sustainable lifestyles and consumption patterns. LOHAS are open to buy sustainable products and to contribute to a sustainable development, but at the same time they act in a practical way. Sustainable behaviour is shown in areas where it is feasible and the consumers do not feel restricted.

The project provides target-oriented strategies for design and promotion of sustainable products and services in the two evaluated sectors for product designers, marketing professionals and managers. The results are partially transferable to other sectors. The results are available on CD-Rom.

Project Partners

Project management

Mag. Wilma Mert
IFZ - Interuniversitäres Forschungszentrum für Technik, Arbeit und Kultur

Project or cooperation partner

  • Dr. Florian Müller
    IFF - Fakultät für Interdisziplinäre Forschung und Fortbildung, Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt, Institut für Unterrichts- und Schulentwicklung
    Sterneckstraße 15, 9010 Klagenfurt
    Tel.: +43 (463) 2700-6169

Contact Address

Mag. Wilma Mert
IFZ - Interuniversitäres Forschungszentrum für Technik, Arbeit und Kultur
Schlögelgasse 2, 8010 Graz
Tel.: +43 (316) 813909-33