Many environmental strategies relying on a mere improvement of resource productivity and eco-efficiency of processes and products are not able to fully address the environmental impacts induced by increasing consumption. In addition to these strategies, the concept of sustainable consumption calls for changing the levels and patterns of consumption, which require complimentary approaches. However, so far, there has been a noticeable lack of strategies that conceive ways of shifting from a material-intensive consumer culture to a society with less materialistic aspirations. This paper aims to provide a critical overview of the current debate, research trends and main outcomes relating to the area of sustainable consumption. It is based on the study commissioned by the Swedish EPA and focuses on current research streams and activities of main stakeholders. It identifies and discusses the gaps in the existing range of initiatives and policy instruments towards sustainable consumption.