Just one fifth of shoppers trust brands’ sustainability claims

Just one fifth of shoppers trust brands’ sustainability claims

While over half of consumers (53 percent) believe brands have the power
to change the garment industry for the better, just one fifth trust
sustainability claims made by brands, new research suggests.

A massive 83 percent of consumers would be more likely to trust the
sustainability credentials of a product if it had been verified by a third
party – an indicator that the role of supply chain data in increasing
consumer confidence on the authenticity of product claims should not be

That’s according to a new report, The Knowledge is Power – Consumer
Trust in Sustainability. Commissioned by Compare Ethics, a data-driven
sustainable product verification platform, the report examines consumer
trust at a time when just about every fashion brand is flashing their eco

’The gamble of greenwashing does not pay off’

According to Compare Ethics, the ethical consumer market is currently
worth 82 billion pounds in the UK alone, and if brands want to capitalise
on it they need to find ways to validate their sustainable claims.

That’s where Compare Ethics says it comes in. It researches the
sustainable credentials of products and brands and offers a platform for
consumers to check the findings.

“The world is at a crucial tipping point when it comes to sustainability
and consumers increasingly want to align their spending to their values.
Our report shows that without honest sustainability claims and readily
available information, shoppers will soon discover the truth,” said Compare
Ethics CEO and co-founder Abbie Morris. “The gamble of greenwashing does
not pay off.”

She continued: “Transparency is essential, but so is tangible evidence
on how brands are working towards their sustainability targets. Scaling the
use of new trust signals such as third-party verification technology from
Compare Ethics will enhance purpose led decision making and boost an
organisation’s triple bottom line.”

The report also highlighted the need for better consumer education about
exactly what makes a product sustainable. For example, nearly three
quarters (72 percent) understand ‘sustainable’ products are those coming
from sustainable sources, but perhaps don’t understand that these sources
can often be more energy and water intensive across their lifecycle.

Additionally, the report found a need for better education surrounding
the social elements involved in sustainability. For example, just 22
percent of shoppers associated sustainability with a brand paying workers a
living wage, highlighting the need to introduce new standards.

Photo credit: Pexels


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