Buying sustainable products could be a bit on the expensive side, but there are many perks to going down that road.
The first one is that such products last longer. They are usually made from recycled plastic or other materials that don’t pollute the soil and water. When you see an expensive eco-friendly jacket, you might turn away and buy the seemingly less expensive one. However, the latter jacket will last you 2 months tops before it dissolves from being in the washing machine too many times. The first one would save its form and quality for years to come. You will find yourself buying more and more non-sustainable jackets over the months, and when you check the final balance, you’ll have spent way too much money. And all on low-quality products.
Let’s see how we as consumers are the reason why industries don’t sell sustainably.
Consumers are the ones who drive the change
This is a true statement, and it’s no exaggeration in any way. As a consumer society, we push businesses to the wall with millions of demands, and all of them must happen RIGHT NOW.
But to paint the picture better, who are those consumers? According to a study conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) with the National Retail Federation, they fall into 4 main categories: value-driven, purpose-driven, brand-driven, and product-driven.
- The first category is 41% of all consumers, and they want convenience, great value, and products that simplify their lives.
- The second category is 40% out of all consumers. They want brands that have wellness benefits and that align perfectly with their lifestyles.
- The third category is 13% out of everyone, and for them, the brand is the biggest reason when they’re purchasing something.
- The last category is only 6% out of all consumers, focusing on the product’s functionality.
Those that are willing to change their habits to make the planet better are the purpose and the value-driven consumers.
Other research results point out that out of all 18,980 consumers in 28 countries asked, 71% said that it’s essential for them to when traceability of the products is provided. They would even spend more on such products. This is the good news. With such high percentages of mindfulness, companies follow up. Since 2014, the global sustainable investment is up 68% and now goes to 30 trillion dollars.
Let’s talk about that some more.
When it comes to target audiences for these types of companies, the previous survey results show the 4 main groups of consumers again. This time, they’re sorted by income and region. With this data in mind, companies can update their targets:
These consumers can be found in North America, Northern Europe, Japan, Korea, and
China. 50% of this group has a middle- or below middle-income status.
This group is spread in Europe and parts of Southeast Asia and Latin America.
Over 51% of this group reports middle or above middle income.
This group is mainly from regions like India, parts of the Middle East, and Latin America. 37% are saying they have above middle income.
More than 51% say that they earn below the middle income. No location is defined here.
Related Topic: What Is a Sustainable Product?
Brands have no other option but to obey the consumer
Consumers are the real bosses when it comes to retail and shops. They dictate how the companies should sell and behave. Ever since the pandemic struck, people have been more than supportive to their local businesses, and now more than ever, they want to know the people and the materials behind their favorite products.
As a response to that, companies are divided into 3 types:
- Some of them started implementing strategies to make employee welfare better
- Others started adapting sustainable practices like introducing Blockchain for better transparency, choosing biodegradable packaging, and supporting local suppliers.
- The last ones are shifting and cutting their delivery routes so less gas can be used and start thinking about making their products more sustainable in terms of materials.
For example, P&G has announced that their Old Spice deodorant series will start coming in plastic-free packaging. This is one step towards reaching the goal of having 100% recyclable packaging by 2030. Mondelez and Nestle also started thinking in the same direction of using biodegradable packaging. Mondelez even started implementing strategies to have more sustainable cocoa sourcing for their chocolate. And this is just a tiny example.
It’s a beautiful thing when the world comes together to create truly remarkable things with one goal: to make the planet cleaner and better.
If you want to find more about how you can contribute to one more sustainable future, read our tips on how to save water.