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Despite global recession, shoppers care about a product's environmental credentials

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Image: Sustainable shopping via Pexels

At the annual climate change conference, COP27 began with a dire message from the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres: “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.”

While the fashion industry scrambles to reconcile its greenwashing of unattainable pledges to achieve net zero emissions by 2025 or even 2030 benchmarks, consumers are taking action on their own accord.

New data released by American Express says consumers want to buy sustainably despite the rising cost of living crisis. In a survey of 2,000 UK adults, 32 percent of those surveyed would spend more on an item that had better environmental credentials. American Express said this is a trend driven by younger people with almost half (45 percent) of 18-34 year-olds saying they would spend more on greener goods.

The data would echo an earlier report by McKinsey published last April, which said millennials and Gen Zers are expected to transfer their eco-conscious values and beliefs to their wardrobes as their spending power increases.

McKinsey looked at consumer sentiment about sustainability in clothing, footwear, and accessories, where despite increased awareness about the importance of sustainability, the fashion industry’s environmental footprint remains significant.

American Express data also suggests the majority of people consider the environmental impact of the goods they purchase, with 65 percent stating they think of a product’s impact.

This research precedes the launch of American Express’ report ’How We Buy: The Trends Shaping Shopping, a report providing insights for retailers on shopper buying behaviour and preferences through four key types of consumer; Practical Purchasers, Savvy Spenders, Sustainable Shoppers and Experience Seekers.

All data in the report is based on fieldwork conducted by Opinium on behalf of American Express in July, amongst 2,000 adult consumers in the UK. For more information visit www.americanexpress.com.

American Express
Sustainable Fashion