The co-op has been producing an annual report on the expenditure of ethical goods and services since 1999.
It is available to download at www.co-operative.coop/corporate/Investors/Publications/Ethical-Consumerism-Report/ A very useful resource if you are trying to understand the ethical market place.
Below is an info-graphics highlighting just a few of the significant numbers from reports 2006 – 2011.
There is a definite and consistent change in consumer behaviour towards more ethical products and services. Despite the recession consumers are increasing their expenditure on ethical goods. This is of course made possible because more businesses are now supplying more ethical lines either because of regulatory measures or because of their own social responsibility policies.
Although the report is good news and total expenditure on ethical goods and services in 2012 stand at an all -time high of £47.2bn, this is still only a small proportion of our total expenditure on goods and services. It is also interesting to note there are also winners and loser within the ethical shopping basket. Whilst Fairtrade and Green cars have increased consistently, ethical fashion has not. Clarity and increased awareness of ethical brands is possibly the need in the fashion industry. Consumers are willing to buy but perhaps they need to be made more aware and also assured of the authenticity of the claim.
Total expenditure on ethical goods and services
Expenditure on personal products
There is however potential for growth in the ethical fashion industry.
There is a discussion about how companies operate amongst family and friends
An increase in the level of campaigning on environmental and social issues on amongst consumers
Source: Ethical consumerism report 2012 (Co-op)