What is

the future of stuff?

What was done

In 2016, Alice Labs worked with 4 global brands to understand consumers’ changing relationship to physical goods.

As part of the Stuff in Flux project, Alice Labs also collaborated with SITRA, the Finnish Innovation Fund, to produce a sustainability specific publication on the study findings.

The work involved studying consumers in three continents by using multiple methods:

  • Qualitative exploration, consisting of in-depth interviews and hack fests
  • Quantitative exploration, consisting of a seven-market study
  • Collaborative work, consisting of two workshops with key individuals from the participating companies

Key insight

Amongst consumers, fast consumption is increasingly seen as old-school or “passé,” particularly among the leading-edge consumers. The desire to acquire items as trophies of economic success gives way to a desire to possess items that tell a story about one’s personal knowledge, experience and acquired skills.


The impact of the work has been wide ranging; from input to strategy processesto informing new sustainable sub-brand positioning, to providing inspiration for new circular service development. The open-source version of the project is used across the globe in sustainable innovation circles.


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