Retailers should get ready for a sustainable Christmas

The same shift in attitude that has led to a backlash against fast fashion has flowed on to other retail areas as consumers increasingly look for high-quality and ecologically produced furniture, homewares and gifts.

Both consumers and retailers are embracing conscious consumerism, buying and offering locally made, sustainable and vegan-friendly products.

While 63 per cent of Aussies plan to spend about the same amount on gifts as last year, 17 per cent plan to be a bit more cautious with their money, says a Swinburne Business School survey. About 61 per cent will shop both instore and online.

The war on waste and the terrible drought affecting local farmers has made people more mindful of what they are spending their money on and wanting to support local products.

Adelaide retailer Dave Strutton believes the sustainable shopping trend will continue during the upcoming Christmas spending period. 

“There has certainly been a swing towards more conscious spending as people have come to the realisation that they can’t continue to just waste their money and buy things that ends up in landfill,” Strutton says.

“Consumers are increasingly looking for high-quality products, that are sustainably made and that can be used again and again. They want to buy once and buy well.

“They’re also asking more questions, such as what country a product was made in. Some people refuse to buy if it’s not Australian made.”

Strutton adds one of the most popular items sold at his Howards Storage World Mile End store in the past 12 months has been beeswax food wrapping and is used in the place of single use cling wrap.

“Two years ago, hardly anyone was buying this product and now we have hundreds of packs flying off the shelf.

“Items such as reusable straws, fabric fruit and vegetable bags and shopping bags made from recycled plastic bottles are all a result of consumers’ demand for sustainable products.”