9 in 10 consumers more likely to buy ethical & sustainable products

Waste and increasing carbon emissions continue to be a concern across the globe, with the fashion industry expected to contribute more than a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050 and electronics entering landfills at an alarming rate―50 million tonnes of electronics are discarded each year.

However, new research reveals a staggering 87 per cent of shoppers are more likely to purchase products that are ethically and sustainably produced, suggesting a substantial shift towards conscious consumerism.

A survey by CouriersPlease (CP) reveals that 85 per cent of consumers want retailers and brands to be more transparent about the origins and sustainability of their products and whether they are engaging in ethical practices.  

NSW residents top the states when it comes to conscious consumerism, with 87 per cent of respondents calling for transparency from retailers, followed by 85 per cent of Queenslanders and compared with 68 per cent of ACT residents.

CP also found that two in five (41 per cent) Aussie consumers would be willing to pay more for ethical and sustainable products. Younger consumers appear to be more sustainably minded, with 46 per cent of shoppers under-30 stating they would be willing to purchase an ethical product at a higher price point, compared with 34 per cent of over-50s. A higher proportion of women are also willing to spend more on sustainably produced products at 46 per cent, compared with 36 per cent of male consumers.

Across the states, NSW residents again prove to be more conscious shoppers, with 42 per cent stating they would be more willing to pay more for ethical products, compared with just 32 per cent of ACT residents.

“Our research reveals that Australians are becoming more conscious shoppers and are starting to make more considered choices by seeking, and purchasing, products that are sustainably and ethically produced,” Paul Roper, chief commercial officer at CP, says.

“This is an important incentive for retailers to embark on sustainable initiatives within their own operations and supply chain.

“As a business, CP has taken giant strides towards achieving carbon neutrality. We recently gained LowCO2 Certification for all our operations from The Carbon Reduction Institute, and are working on several other ‘green’ initiatives which will help us on our path to becoming a carbon-neutral carrier by 2025.”

One such initiative is the partnership with sustainable sock company Manrags, which has provided all Australian households with access to a digital at-home textile collection service. This enables them to have their unwanted clothing and textiles collected from their front door and diverted from landfill by being either repurposed, reused or recycled.

“This ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking has not only revolutionised our self-serve returns portal, Boomerang, it has presented a blueprint for retailers and brands to pivot their business objectives and cater for the conscious consumer. This market often looks beyond the label and wants to know more about the company from which they are purchasing from,” he says.