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What is Sustainable Shopping and Why Should Businesses Care?

2023/01/20

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Unmindful mass production of materials and goods is one of the leading causes of environmental problems like pollution, climate change, global warming, improper waste disposal, and so much more. 

Scientists worldwide agree that immediate action is needed to address the existential threat to human civilization. People from different countries also feel the effects of this problem first-hand, causing the nagging need for businesses to be more eco-friendly now than ever. 

A consumer insight survey in 2020 shows that 75% of Filipino consumers prefer eco-friendly brands. Because of this, many local companies consider including environment-friendly ways to reduce the impact of one’s shopping on the environment. Numerous efforts to lessen the environmental footprint are carried out, including sustainable online shopping.

What is sustainable shopping, and why must businesses care about it?

What is Sustainable Shopping?

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Sustainable shopping is the environmentally conscious act of purchasing goods. According to Sustainability Victoria, this act recognizes that all purchases have environmental, social, and health impacts. 

The purchasing decision includes reviewing the raw materials used, the manufacturing process, packaging, and waste disposal procedures and ensuring every aspect is eco-friendly and socially ethical. 

Why Shop Sustainably? 

There are many reasons to shop sustainably other than protecting the environment. These reasons include the following:

  • It promotes good health

Sustainable shopping supports agricultural practices like lessening the use of toxic chemicals in farming. In turn, it produces healthy food ingredients. 

Toxic chemicals from garment production, mining, and waste disposal contaminate waters. Sustainable shopping includes consciously purchasing products and avoiding products produced while potentially harming the water and air. 

  • It advocates animal welfare 

Sustainable consumption considers the animals’ well-being at all stages of life, including how they’re treated before and during slaughter.

  • It demands better working conditions

Sustainable shopping is also about knowing how businesses make their products. The laborers’ working conditions are also considered here.

Many issues like child labor, unsafe working conditions, and underpayment of workers surfaced in previous years. Workers deserve to be treated and compensated fairly for their hard work and not to be taken advantage of. 

Examples of Sustainable Shopping Efforts

  • Sustainable fashion

The trend for secondhand clothes shopping or thrifting has grown in the past couple of years, thanks to fashionable Gen Zs. It’s not only seen as a trend but a norm to stay hip yet environmentally conscious. More sustainable clothing brands that upcycle and use sustainable fabrics emerged in the past decade. 

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  • Biodegradable/compostable packaging

Plastic packaging is known to fill the planet’s landfills and cause harm to marine life. Thankfully, more technologies improved alternatives to plastics, such as paper, mushrooms, seaweed, and cornstarch. 

Packaging is a serious marketing decision, especially in the food industry. You must invest in sustainable packaging to stand out from the rest of your competition. 

  • Local shopping

Shopping locally reduces travel and other processes of goods. It minimizes emissions and energy usage that contribute to climate change.

Why Should Businesses Care About Sustainable Shopping?

The clamor for corporate responsibility is evident with the rise of YouTube channels like Future Proof, where big companies are reviewed based on sustainability, corporate practices, worker conditions, and more. The channel amassed 18 million views and counting.

 

The demand for sustainable shopping is unsurprisingly unparallel to the supply. First Insight and the Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of Pennsylvania published a report that shows interesting insights.

Here are some findings from the report

  • Gen Z’s are growing their influence

Why Gen Z? This socially aware generation impacts their Gen X parents and Boomer grandparents. Because of them, 25% of Gen X customers preferred to shop for sustainable brands and increased their willingness to pay by 42%.

They will also represent 27% of the world’s income by 2030, and their influence will only increase in adulthood. More people will likely call for sustainable shopping because of this age group’s influence. 

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  • More consumers are willing to pay

According to the report, 58% of consumers from all generations are eager to spend more on sustainable shopping options. However, two-thirds of retailers believe consumers won’t pay for sustainable products. 

  • Consumers consider sustainability

The meaning of sustainability differs among generations. For Boomers to Millennials, sustainability means “organic, naturally harvested fibers or products made from recycled materials.“ On the other hand, Gen Z’s sustainability touches more on responsible manufacturing. 

Nevertheless, data shows:

  • 30% of consumers want to help the environment
  • 23% hope to reduce production waste
  • 22% want to lessen their carbon footprint
  • 17% take animal welfare seriously
  • Consumers consider a product’s health impact

A survey of 11,000 consumers shows 80% are willing to increase spending on health and wellness, despite difficult financial situations. The previous item mentioned considerations in sustainability, and more people equate sustainability with healthy options for the environment and their selves. 

  • Virtue signaling helps consumers want sustainable products

Virtue signaling refers to statements of actions of virtuousness or moral uprightness. The report showed that 7% prefer sustainable shopping to be recognized as a good person. 

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Despite these statistics, there’s a clear disjoint in the demand and supply for sustainable shopping, but more companies are getting the message and making green adjustments in their processes. However, the standards are high, and companies need to keep up. 

Go Green or Go Home

The times are changing, and people care more about the possible doom of people’s lives on the planet. According to the International Trade Administration, the sales for the Philippine eCommerce market reached $17 billion in 2021. These numbers mean more Filipinos are shopping online and are expected to reach $24 billion by 2025. 

With more Filipinos shopping online, you can present eco-friendly products. You’ll be appealing to more audiences than you think. Ensure you catch up with sustainable online shopping with the best eCommerce solution provider.

Book a demo to see the RUSH eStore in action today. 

author-avatar
Kent Marco

Creative Manager at RUSH Technologies

Kent Marco is a Creative Manager at RUSH Technologies - the go-to e-commerce services partner of every business in making digital easy, efficient, and effective in the Philippines. He has a solid experience in the field of Creatives and Advertising particularly in Visual Effects, Motion Graphics, Art Direction, Graphic Design, Sound Design, and Web design. His pastimes include managing a family business, composing and publishing songs, and staying up to date with the latest technological innovations and creative design trends.

author-avatar

Kent Marco

Creative Manager at RUSH Technologies

Kent Marco is a Creative Manager at RUSH Technologies - the go-to e-commerce services partner of every business in making digital easy, efficient, and effective in the Philippines. He has a solid experience in the field of Creatives and Advertising particularly in Visual Effects, Motion Graphics, Art Direction, Graphic Design, Sound Design, and Web design. His pastimes include managing a family business, composing and publishing songs, and staying up to date with the latest technological innovations and creative design trends.

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