A new survey released today by
ethical beauty retailer, The Body Shop, indicates that in spite of the
tough economic climate, ethics are as important, if not more important,
than price with today's increasingly eco-conscious consumers.
In the US the findings revealed that 76% of consumers are making more
purchasing choices based on the corporate behavior and ethics of a company
than they were five years ago and 43% of those polled say that they make
those purchasing decisions on a weekly basis.
"Green isn't going away, but consumers will be working overtime to add
up the 'value' of all their purchases. They'll be asking questions like
'How good is it for the environment versus the other brand?' and 'What
other personal benefits are tucked in here?'" says Corinne Asturias, VP,
Consumer Strategist for Iconoculture, a leading cultural trend research
Other findings included:
- 70% of respondents cite quality of goods and trust in the brand as
their criteria for buying a product
- 39% say they purchase based on the ethical reputation of a company
-- 38% say price and value is their criteria for purchase
Shelley Simmons, Director of Brand & Values Initiatives for The Body
Shop in North America said of the findings: "A growing number of people are
demanding more from the businesses that produce and sell the goods they
buy. Not only do they feel they have the right to a high quality product,
they want to know that the company they buy from is transparent and honest
about how those goods reach the shelves."
"They want the story behind the product that assures them that the
company has treated its suppliers fairly and that it has done its best to
take into account its impact on the environment; and that perhaps someone
has actually benefited from the sale of that product."
"The retail world is going to have to take notice of this powerful
group of consumers. If they respond to the expectations of the eco-shopper
everyone will benefit: Customers, suppliers, the planet and the businesses
themselves. It is a win-win for everyone."
More than 9,500 consumers across the US and Canada took part in the
survey during July 2008.
The Body Shop launched a new initiative on Facebook to sign a "Together
& Fair" Pledge to encourage shoppers to "think ethical" when making a
purchase. By signing up to the Together & Fair Pledge supporters make a
commitment to tell at least one person a week about a new ethical product
or service they have discovered.
Ms. Simmons added: "The power of the internet and word of mouth is
huge. We know from our findings that personal recommendations amongst
friends, families and colleagues are extremely effective."
"Our instinct is that there are many more people out there who would
make ethical purchasing decisions if they had the information easily at
"After all, we all have busy lives -- our jobs, our children and
families -- and it can be difficult to find time to discover who is
genuinely taking the ethical lead. Our new Facebook launch will encourage
people to spread the word on retailers and businesses who are doing their
best to support ethical initiatives that protect the planet and animals,
stand up for human rights issues, support fair trade initiatives and make a
To join The Body Shop's Together & Fair Pledge initiative, please visit
Signatories to the Pledge will be updated on the growing number of
eco-consumers who commit to spread the word.