According to the WWF, there was a 71 percent increase in Google searches for environmentally friendly goods between 2016 and 2021, indicating a shift towards conscious consumerism. Research finds customers are actively looking for more ethical products and services and are even willing to pay more for these alternatives. Meanwhile, businesses are turning to sustainable business strategies to meet the demand for ethical products.
Conscious consumerism is on the rise, which means they recognise the impact of their purchases and are using this power to get what they need whilst igniting and sparking real change. Keep reading to learn more about conscious consumerism and how appealing to these customers can benefit your brand.
What is conscious consumerism?
There are so many different terms out there to describe how we consume products and services. One phrase that has been popping up continuously over the last few years is ‘conscious consumerism’. The shift to more mindful, conscious, or ethical consumption is a direct response to the increased importance customers are placing on the environment.
Essentially, customers are making purchasing decisions with the environment or society in mind. They want to buy their product or avail of their service but know that it is benefiting our world in some capacity or reducing their ecological footprint. Ultimately, each decision of how much to purchase, what to buy, and how much to dispose of has a direct effect on our society and the planet.
Conscious consumerism can consist of shopping for fair trade and green products or choosing an electric vehicle. In addition, boycotting fast fashion brands to support small businesses that are more responsible and treat their workers better. However, as of recently, conscious consumerism has gone beyond product performance and is now linked to a range of social causes.
What are the benefits of conscious consumerism?
The practice of conscious consumerism has advantages for customers and brands alike. One main benefit of being a more conscious consumer is reducing your individual impact on the planet and limiting your contribution to waste. Not to mention, supporting communities or groups, which have historically faced economic difficulties due to structural inequities.
Another advantage of being a conscious consumer is encouraging businesses to make these all-important changes to protect the planet. Ultimately, conscious consumerism can mean a more sustainable impact. This is because customers are shopping with sustainability in mind and making conscious choices about what, why, and how they buy products and services. There are also advantages to appealing to conscious consumers.
For instance, doing so generally means you are a socially responsible business and positively impact society or the planet. By doing this, you are doing societal good, which makes a difference. Brands that fit this description may donate profits to charitable causes or work to reduce their carbon footprint, for example. Becoming this kind of business also adds esteem to your business, differentiates you in the marketplace, and bolsters brand equity.
Ultimately, conscious consumerism can equate to a more sustainable impact. However, it is an objective that consumers and companies must achieve together. Customers are aware of the urgency of taking action on the environmental emergency. With this in mind, they want to use their purchasing power for good. They are buying high-quality products that align with their social and environmental values.