A new report by the Dutch banking group ING has revealed that consumers are willing to stop using brands based on their environmental impact.
The report: ‘Learning from consumers: How shifting demands are shaping companies,’ highlights that there is a potential economic opportunity for businesses to embrace the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle,’ principles in order to align with the changing demands of customers.
For the report, ING conducted a global survey on individuals in London, New York and Singapore, the survey revealed that 81% of respondents believe that their consumer choices have an impact on the environment.
As a result of this, 61% of respondents said that they would be less likely to buy a product if the company was performing poorly on environmental practices.
The authors of the report have highlighted that in order to benefit from the increasing demand for a more circular economy, companies must understand the barriers to widespread consumer adoption.
The report outlines four barriers:
- Awareness and education: In the electronics industry, only 21% of companies provide detailed information on the environmental impact of products, and 41% of people do not know where to access repair services.
- Empowerment and reassurance: The top reason for not repairing clothes is that consumers do not have the skills do to so.
- Circular infrastructure and convenience: 41% of people believe that renting clothes would require a lot more effort than buying them.
- Cost: More than half of consumers still choose low-cost, fast-fashion items over more expensive durable ones.
The authors conclude that for companies to address these barriers, they need a deeper understanding of consumer motivation.
By understanding the difference in motivation from each consumer sector, brands can gain an insight into the best way to transition to a circular economy, while still engaging with those who do not base their purchases on environmental reasons.
In November 2019, Environment Journal interviewed Nicholas Robin, curator of Green Friday, the grass route movement that aims to encourage consumers to adopt more sustainable consumption patterns.
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