“Why do people choose to shop ethically? A big part of it is down to individuals doing what they can to make a difference in their own lives.”
Each and every one of us has a role to play in tackling the pressing social and environmental challenges facing us and creating the society we want to see. And making conscious choices about how we use our money – the products we buy, the companies we buy from and the banks we entrust it with – is one of the most powerful ways each of us can make a difference.
We are delighted to have sponsored 2015’s Ethical Consumer Markets Report, which demonstrates that despite continuing economic hardship, people are making those conscious choices, and at a growing rate. The value of ethical sales grew by 8%, during a period when inflation barely rose above 0.5%. And the overall value of ethical market grew from £35bn to £38bn showing a continued commitment from consumers across all sectors to support more ethical products and services.
The value of money held ethically fell by 2%. This was caused by accounts being closed or moved from the Co-operative Bank, rather than reflecting on the ethical money sector as a whole. All other elements in the sector – including savings and investments with Triodos Bank – showed year on year growth. Combined ethical money and ethical spending totals rose from £78bn to £80bn.
“They’re actively doing what they can to address the social and environmental challenges facing us today rather than waiting for others to come up with the solutions.”
In the food and drink sector, 2014 saw the first ever fall in a value of Fairtrade sales (4%) since the scheme began. The sector grew overall with a revival in organic sales, strong growth in sustainable fish sales, and a good performance in other ethical food sectors.
Why do people choose to shop ethically? A big part of it is down to individuals doing what they can to make a difference in their own lives. They’re actively doing what they can to address the social and environmental challenges facing us today rather than waiting for others to come up with the solutions. Part of it is that ethical products can be trusted, are often better quality and have transparent supply chains. And part of the reason is just the feel-good factor of knowing you’re doing the right thing.
The report’s findings are a very positive sign for ethical consumption, and for the growing movement of people who are making conscious choices with the money. And who, in doing so, are actively addressing the social and environmental challenges facing us today rather than relying on others to come up with the solutions.
words: Huw Davies
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