Extract from executive summary
The green and ethical consumerism market has changed significantly over the last decade, as have attitudes regarding the environment and ethical sourcing of products. As a result, a number of new products, ranging from items used in the home to transport, have been launched on the market to appeal to consumers who value the green and ethical qualities of the products that they purchase.
This report specifically examines the ethical food and drink, home, transport and holiday travel, fashion and beauty and finance markets. Overall, Key Note has estimated that total sales of ethically-sourced products in the UK reached £50.76bn in 2011. Furthermore, the market observed year-on-year increases between 2007 and 2011, with market value rising by 39.2% during the 5-year period. Despite this growth, however, factors such as the recession are believed to have dampened the market’s potential in recent years. This is principally because the price of ethical goods and services are often much higher than alternative products and, as a result, consumers were forced to put their ethical values on hold during the recession in order to save money.
Currently, new products, notably in the food and drink and beauty sectors, have helped to boost sales for the industry, as organic alternatives continue to become more mainstream. Retailers themselves have also implemented a number of changes, for example, by reducing their carbon emissions and waste output, in response to consumer’s opinion regarding the importance of the environment and sustainability. Furthermore, the purchase of second-hand clothing has become much more popular in recent years and has served to boost sales at clothing swapping events and charity shops. The fashion trend towards vintage clothing has gone some way in reducing the stigma previously attached to shopping at such outlets, and the purchase of second-hand garments and accessories is currently viewed as a much more ‘fashionable’ way to shop.
This report is available to current London Business School staff, students and faculty from Key Note Online which can be found on the A-Z list of library databases via Portal.