•This research examines anti-consumption practices, motivations and values within attempts to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Sixteen women were interviewed and from their narratives, anti-consumption for sustainability was found to be practiced via acts of rejection, reduction and reuse. In addition, practices of anti-consumption for sustainability are constructed through the collaboration between the needs of the individual and the needs for environmental preservation. This perspective moves sustainable consumption away from a rational information processing and environmentally motivated choice to incorporate various subjective and individualistic needs and values. Hence, the challenge for sustainable marketers is to position sustainable practices along side self interested notions such as independence, beauty, quality or value for money.