The last few years have signalled a sharp change in public opinion on topics such as the environment and eco-friendly business practices.
BBC one’s award winning documentary Blue Planet 2showcased how plastic is disrupting our oceans ecosystems and had many viewers shocked at the damage products they are buying are having on the world around them.
It was the latest documentary style programme to highlight the peril of the natural world, and it seems these messages are getting across.
Shoppers are now much more switched on when it comes to the ingredients and packaging their products contain and come in, and a large proportion have altered their buying habits in order to make their shop eco-friendly.
A new survey from Clothes2Order revealed that around 50% of UK consumers said that they had researched a brand’s policies before making a purchase, with 44% admitting they had boycotted a brand based on its ethics or the way a product was produced.
What’s perhaps even more surprising is that the survey also found that 45% of people in the UK would be willing to spend more of their cash on a product which has been created using green methods.
These are significant numbers which will come as a shock to manufacturers who have perhaps underestimated the strength of feeling coming from the modern consumer about these issues.
So the question is, is it time take a look at your own business practices and consider bringing more green practices into play?
It’s a question I’m sure every business would like to answer yes to, however it’s not always as easy as that. Changing practices, using new materials and installing eco-friendly measures into production can be disruptive and expensive.
From a short term perspective, these things can seem like a cost not worth covering. But in the long term…it could not only save you money but open up a new customer base of ethical shoppers.
As public opinion changes and governments take note, new environmental legislation is likely to be introduced anyway so getting ahead of the curve and showcasing that your brand is one of the good guys is not only a good move from a PR perspective but could save you a lot of legwork down the line.
Simon Turner marketing director of Clothes2Order agrees that going green could well be a savvy business move.
“The results from our survey have categorically shown consumer attitudes are changing, and business owners are going to have to adapt to greener methods of working or face the consequences.
“Practises such as water saving technologies, which we have implemented within our production, plastic minimisation and carbon footprint reductive techniques are not only good for the environment, but now appear to be a savvy business move for those looking to keep in touch with their customer’s attitudes.”
Ultimately, whether you decide to make the switch to green or not it’s a fact that public opinion is evolving and businesses need to evolve with them, or risk being left behind.