Sustainability alone doesn’t determine consumer purchasing behavior, but it is of growing importance and creating opportunities for brands that can deliver on the expectations of these new conscious consumers. A new study by Compose[d] and MaCher takes a deep dive into how consumers view sustainability and their expectations of brands. The “Sustainability & Consumerism: US Consumer Behaviors and Preferences” study surveyed 1,000 consumers (age 18-75) in the US in March 2021.
“Sustainability has proven to be more than a buzzword or passing fancy for consumers. The brands that practice sustainability have an opportunity to capture consumer loyalty and align with them on a commitment to safeguard the environment for the future,” said Jason Parkin, President and Chief Creative Officer, Compose[d].
- 43% of consumers wish there was more information about living sustainably.
- Boomers and Gen X are 2x more likely to donate clothes for reuse and to actively reduce their use of single-use plastics.
- Millennials and Gen Z are 2-3x more likely than older consumers to be vegetarian/vegan and to ride a bike instead of driving.
- 61% find products produced with minimal environmental impact to be the top marker of sustainability.
- 60% of consumers say reusable products are more sustainable.
- 43% would pay more for reusable products, with women being 23% more likely than men to pay more.
- 64% of consumers would rather use products made from recycled materials than new/virgin material.
- 75% of adults wish there was a way to offset the impact their travel has on the environment.
- Baby Boomers and Gen Z are 20% more likely than any other age group to say they’d pay more for environmentally friendly or reusable products.
- “Recycled” is the word most likely to influence consumers—Boomers (65%), Gen X and Gen Z (52%)—while the word “Green” is of great impact for millennials (51%) and Gen Z (43%).
- 1 in 3 adult consumers say they’ve stopped buying one or more brands recently after learning that the company’s practices and values didn’t match their own.
- Nearly 90% believe companies should look for ways to make their products or services more sustainable.
- 80% believe companies have an obligation to disclose the environmental impact of their operations.
“Consumers are increasingly paying attention and selecting brands that put sustainability first. They want brands to share their values, and think a brand should be dedicated to sustainability and environmental transparency. Brands that ignore this call from consumers will be left behind as this trend continues to grow,” said Rochelle Turner, Head of Research & Insight, MaCher.