UK shoppers feel guilty about buying from unsustainable brands 

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According to eBay over half of UK shoppers are feeling guilty about buying products that aren’t from a sustainable or ethical brand. After the scorching heat, they’re probably feeling even worse.

Buying products with sustainability in mind has become more important to consumers. Two thirds of shoppers stop to think about sustainability before making a purchase while over half consider first if a business gives back to society. Four in 10 shoppers say that some or most of their purchases are now from brands that give back to society or the planet.

To help brands stand out as an integral force for sustainable living, they can show customers what they are doing to meet these demands. Having a clear eco-friendly mission, opting for environmentally friendly packaging and informing customers of the steps they are taking to meet these expectations are some of the ways a brand can enhance the relationship they have with customers. Just recently I made a purchase that resulted in a tree being planted in my name in Haiti which made me feel really good about the brand. You don’t need to plant trees to please guilty consumers, but every sustainable act counts towards the bigger picture.

The report also found that the recent cost of living crisis has changed shopping habits for 80% of UK consumers, with six in 10 saying that price is currently the factor they care most about when shopping. Although many shoppers are still putting ethical and sustainable purchases first the biggest barriers to shopping from ethical and sustainable brands are a perception of high product costs, difficulty spotting the brands that aren’t ‘greenwashing’ and a lack of knowledge about ethical and sustainable shopping.

It’s clear that there’s a real desire from shoppers to shop for both value and values. What’s important now is that businesses and marketplaces support shoppers to act on this desire and work to eliminate the barriers consumers might have to making these swaps every day.

Chris Gale, Head of Social Impact at eBay UK

3 Responses

  1. You mean from brands that like to give the illusion they’re sustainable. With ESG scoring, many companies have no choice but to jump through hoops, but then try to sell it as a plus, not because they want to. To say they’re green or eco-friendly is far from the reality.

  2. Yep like the hotels that dress up not cleaning rooms or changing towels as eco friendly
    Saving the plant
    When its really saving them money

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