Large numbers of consumers distrust brands on eco issues

Sustainability is increasingly important for consumers when choosing a brand to buy from, with 39% wanting to see brands using sustainably sourced materials, reducing company CO2 emissions and energy use (37%), and demonstrating transparency on how a product is created (32%). However, 22% of consumers say they do not trust brands to follow through with their environmental claims or pledges, while 64% only trust them a little, compared to only 11% who trust them a lot and just 3% who trust them completely.

When it comes to what would discourage consumers from buying from a brand, false sustainability and environmental claims (the much-talked-about greenwashing) is discouraging for 40% of consumers, while a poor environmental track record would discourage 39%. Sustainability can also be seen in consumers’ shopping habits. A third (33%) say they’re currently supporting small businesses when they shop, and some consumers say they’re now opting for greener products such as buying sustainable clothing (20%) or buying organic food (16%). Katie Gilsenan, Trends Manager, GWI, said: “We can see sustainability is a core priority for all consumers, but while Gen Z are often seen in the media as ‘sustainability warriors’ or the ‘green generation’, in reality their sustainability behaviours often paint a different picture. In many cases, older generations are ahead for certain eco-activities and leading by example. “The price of sustainable products has long been a massive barrier to consumers adopting more eco-friendly lifestyles, which is even more of a consideration now as we grapple with a cost-of-living crisis. Consumers will generally tend to opt for ways to save money, but that doesn’t have to always be at the expense of the planet. Brands should lean into ways that consumers can stay mindful of the environment, on a budget.” 

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