Consumers spending more on 'ethical' goodsSales of greener products defy the credit crunch
30 December 2009
Consumer spending on ethical goods and services has almost tripled over the past 10 years according to the Co-operative Bank's Ethical Consumerism report, published today.
The Co-operative (Co-op) bank analysed ethical sales data for sectors including food, household goods, eco-travel and ethical finance.
The report shows that the ethical market in the UK was worth £36bn in 2008 compared to £13.5bn in 1999 - but still made up only a small percentage of the £891bn spent by households last year.
An 'ethical' product was defined by the Co-op as one which is 'environmentally friendly, sustainable or support[s] poor people'
Greener and energy efficient products
According to the Co-op, sales of energy efficient, 'greener' household products - which includes boilers, rechargeable batteries and energy-saving light bulbs - have increased five-fold, while the financial
services market has seen ethical banking and investments triple over the course of the decade.
Sales of Fairtrade products were up from £22m in 1999 to £635m in 2009 - with Fairtrade sales expected to break the £1bn barrier for the first time in 2010, according to the report.
Environmentally conscious consumers
Matt Stevens, Which? domestic appliance expert commented: 'It's no surprise to see consumers spending more money on ethical products and - there is much more choice available to consumers now.
'With advances in technology such as energy saving heat-pump tumble dryers and dishwashers that only use 10 litres of water to wash a full load, more products with environmentally friendly features are available than was once the case.'
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