New research from eBay for Change shows that over half of UK shoppers feel guilty when they spend money on products that aren’t from a sustainable or ethical brand.
More than two-thirds of shoppers (65%) think about sustainability before making a purchase, and more than half (57%) consider whether a business gives back to society before making a purchase.
Four in 10 shoppers say that some or most of their purchases are now from brands that give back to society or the planet.
The findings come as eBay for Change – the dedicated hub for businesses with a social purpose on the marketplace – launches its second annual Shop for Change Report, which polled over 2,000 consumers on their shopping habits.
The report found that the recent cost of living crisis has changed shopping habits for 80% of UK consumers, with six in 10 saying that price is currently the factor they care most about when shopping.
However, despite recent challenges, shopping ethically and sustainably is still firmly on the agenda, with a huge 50% of consumers wanting to shop more regularly from brands that are clearly putting ethics or sustainability at the heart of their operations.
Shoppers are also optimistic about their power to make a difference with their purchases: 45% of people believe their purchases have the power to make positive change.
In fact, four in 10 consider that shopping from a ‘social enterprise’ – a brand that puts social or environmental purpose front and center of its operations – does as much or more good than donating to a charity. This is particularly true amongst Gen Z and millennial shoppers.
Over half of shoppers say they are more likely to buy from a brand that supports a specific cause close to their heart.
Reducing plastic pollution is the top cause that would make consumers more likely to buy from a social enterprise, followed by protecting the oceans and preserving animals’ natural habitats.
“It’s clear that there’s a real desire from shoppers to shop for both value and values. What’s important now is that businesses and marketplaces support shoppers to act on this desire and work to eliminate the barriers consumers might have to making these swaps every day.”Chris Gale, Head of Social Impact at eBay UK
UK Consumers Shop for Both Value and Values
The biggest barriers to shopping from ethical and sustainable brands are a perception of high product costs (according to 42% of shoppers), difficulty spotting the brands that aren’t ‘greenwashing’ (20%) and a lack of knowledge about ethical and sustainable shopping (19%).
Interestingly, despite the perception that shopping from ethical and sustainable brands is more expensive, everyday items are the things most likely to be purchased from social enterprises.
Cleaning products, everyday non-perishable food like tea bags, and regular toiletries like toilet rolls are top of consumers’ lists when shopping from ethical and sustainable brands. In fact, a third of people (32%) believe that shopping from social enterprises is a better value overall.
eBay for Change
eBay for Change is a hub on eBay UK, created to connect more than 20 million UK shoppers with small businesses that put ethics and sustainability at the heart of their work.
“Making simple ethical and sustainable swaps for day-to-day purchases can have a huge impact on both people and the planet.“
”At eBay for Change, we believe we have a responsibility to make these swaps easier, working with a multitude of social enterprises to offer consumers a wide range of price points and by helping consumers to make an impact with their purchases,” added Gale.
The 2022 eBay for Change report is available here.
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