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Value of UK Ethical Market outstrips that of tobacco by almost double

In the past tobacco has been big business, but the Ethical Consumer Markets Report 2016 shows that it’s dwarfed by spending on ethical products and services by almost double. It’s a promising change which suggests shoppers are increasingly aware of how their spending habits have impact, and that they want to use this impact for good.

In recent years, interest and support of ethical products – everything from electric cars to sustainably sourced fish – has continued to grow. The breadth of impact is astonishing and, as the Ethical Consumer Market Report reveals, it has implications for local businesses as well as larger corporations who are exploring ethical products and adapting their businesses to be greener.

Rob Harrison, editor of Ethical Consumer Magazine, says “more companies, from small entrepreneurs to large multinationals, are bringing more ethical choices than ever before to modern consumer markets.

“These range from tiny, one person, operations making organic food products in their own kitchens to Nissan’s latest range of electric cars.”

“The growth of ethical markets is an important reminder of the relevance of our financial decisions. Our money really can work for positive social, environmental and cultural change.”

Huw Davies, Head of Retail Banking, Triodos

The Ethical Consumer Market Report is an annual survey of the value of UK sales from a wide range of products considered to be more ethical choices, and has run every year since 1999.

Some results made the 2015 report stand out:

  • The Green Car revolution continued to boom and is now worth £8.4 billion owing to improvements to electric charging infrastructure and increased consumer awareness.
  • Local shopping for ethical reasons grew significantly in 2015. Consumers increased ethical spending in their communities by 11.7%.
  • 53% of the UK population are choosing to avoid buying products and/or services over concerns about ethical reputation.

The report reveals that shoppers are looking for products that align more closely with their values, and will refuse products that they perceive as harmful, either to the environment of animal welfare.

Huw Davies, Head of Retail Banking at Triodos Bank UK, pointed out that “the growth of ethical and sustainable markets is an important reminder of the relevance of our financial decisions; where we spend, save, and invest. Our money really can work for positive social, environmental and cultural change.”

Download the full Ethical Consumer Markets Report 2016 here

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Pauline Brocklehurst 2 years ago

great to read this in a world I am becomming increasingly pessimistic about…