Majority of shoppers willing to drop environmentally damaging brands

7th February 2020

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Lyndon Marquis

Three out of five shoppers would be less willing to buy from a company with poor environmental credentials, a global survey has uncovered.

The polling of 15,000 consumers in 11 countries also found that 83% believe that their choices can have a positive impact in addressing environmental challenges.

However, respondents indicated that they would still engage in the system of take, make and waste unless they are offered a more seamless transition to a circular economy.

Financial services firm ING, which commissioned the survey, said there could be “vast gains“ for businesses that embrace principles of “reduce, reuse and recycle“ and that consumer attitudes have “reached a tipping point“.

First movers are already using their environmental credentials as a key selling point to consumer groups that are factoring this into their buying decisions, ING said in a report.

Work will need to continue to better communicate these credentials to consumers, which will require companies to capture more data from across their supply chains and provide greater transparency. The payoffs for doing so will be several-fold.

The survey provided a detailed analysis of consumer interactions with fashion, food and electronics brands, highlighting their appetite for new product and service models.

Price is still a decisive factor for many consumers when buying clothes, food or electronic devices, with 54% still choosing low-cost and fast-fashion items over more expensive and durable ones.

In the electronics industry, only 21% said that companies provide detailed information on the environmental impact of their products, while 71% are unaware of device-sharing options.

Concern about data security is the second-most cited concern around leasing electronic devices, while the top reason for not repairing clothes is consumers' belief that they need skills they don't have, cited by 48%

“For the full benefits of a circular economy to be realised, consumers will need a better understanding of the transition that they are supporting and how companies' new models can deliver the best outcomes for them, ING said.

We will need to see deeper brand-consumer relationships than ever before – the success of the circular economy depends on it.

Image credit: ©iStock


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