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Monash research suggests 91 per cent of consumers look for sustainable ingredients or materials

Monash University research has found that an increasing number of consumers are prepared to pay more for products that use sustainable or recycled materials, with more than 50 per cent indicating it’s important that products are fully made from recycled materials.

The research, released on June 27, shows that 91 per cent of consumers want brands to use sustainable ingredients or materials, and 92 per cent believe sustainable business practices should be standard.

In good news for retailers, customers are willing to pay more for these options.

Two-thirds of consumers are willing to splurge on products from a sustainable or socially conscious brand and this figure spikes to 73 per cent for millennials.

The research also revealed that 70 per cent will pay more for products that don’t infringe on human rights.

Lead researcher Dr Eloise Zoppos, from Monash Business School’s Australian Consumer and Retail Studies unit (ACRS), said consumers want to buy ethically, with global impact being front-of-mind, with price and convenience no longer being the only purchasing drivers.

“There’s also been a decline in the sale of leather shoes and, in the same period, a 60 per cent increase in the number of women buying second-hand clothing. This behaviour has been fed by concern about the environmental impact of ‘fast fashion’.

“The modern shopper is constantly searching for meaning, not only in how they live, but also how they consume,” Zoppos said.

“Green spaces in shopping centres can also reduce consumers’ cognitive load and give them the mental space to be more mindful and considered in their shopping choices, and, ultimately, more satisfied,” she said.