Blog>The Future of Sustainability amid the Cost of Living Increase
In our last week’s blog, we were looking at how the cost of living crisis is impacting consumer choices right now. In this week’s blog, we are going to focus on what the future holds for sustainability amid this crisis.
As the cost of living increases, many experts are concerned about the viability of a sustainable market. With less expendable funds, consumers are forced to make choices in their spending. Many are worried that consumers will hesitate to make choices to purchase products that they know are sustainable.
Do consumers value sustainable products amidst the cost of living increase, or are they more likely to put sustainability to the side in favour of more affordable products? Let’s take a look at what the data has to say.
A cost of living increase does not mean that consumers lose all concern about sustainability. When surveyed, consumers were clear that the environment remains a concern despite the economy.
According to Edie, 64% of consumers have reported that the environment is a long-term concern that they are still planning for. These consumers are still making sustainable choices even during economic constraints. 54% of consumers stated that the economy is only a short-term concern, which does not change the fact that there needs to be a focus on sustainability.
Even when consumers are not able to make purchases that support a sustainable market, they are still making sustainable choices like reusing items or shopping second-hand.
Many consumers are concerned that brands and retailers are not doing their part to support a sustainable market. 65% of consumers surveyed stated that they want retailers and brands to do more to support sustainable shopping practices. Many are hoping that their favourite retailers will cut down on waste by using more sustainable packaging for their products.
27% of consumers stated they want more locally sourced food to cut down on food waste and transportation emissions. While consumers are not able to make all the sustainable choices they want to, they do expect companies to make it easier to do so.
When shopping for sustainable products, consumers have been clear that they prefer items to be marked as such. Many consumers report that they do not make sustainable choices because they do not have enough information about products.
When shopping online, consumers prefer to see a sustainability logo posted clearly next to items that are sustainably sourced and packaged. When shopping in person, they prefer clearly marked tags on products that state the sustainability of the product.
Overall, consumers are not happy with the progress they have seen from brands and retailers when it comes to sustainability. When asked about the progress made in the past few years, one-third of consumers say that they now expect more out of brands and retailers than they did in 2020.
The data is clear. Consumers support the idea of a sustainable market and many do what they can. However, for sustainable business practices to survive the cost of living increases, consumers expect companies to do their part to both provide sustainable products and inform consumers on which products support sustainable practices.
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