Global solutions provider CGS said today that sustainability is driving demand and customer loyalty, according to its newly released 2019 U.S. Consumer Sustainability Survey. CGS surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. individuals, aged 18 and older, in regard to how sustainability impacts their buying preferences.
Two-thirds of respondents said they consider sustainability when making a purchase and will pay a premium for sustainable products, according to the report. And while cost is always a primary consideration, the company found that “consumers are putting an emphasis on sustainability and are also increasingly focused on shopping with brands whose mission they care about.” Interestingly, but not surprisingly, conscious consumerism resonates most with Gen Z shoppers, as 68 percent have made an eco-friendly purchase in the past year and 50 percent said they would be willing to pay more for a sustainable product, according to the report.
CGS also noted that Gen Z, “a rising economic force,” is “far more aware of the environmental effects of their purchasing decisions than their elders.” And it shows in the numbers: Gen Z ranked ethical business and manufacturing as a top factor when purchasing, the report said, while the other participants noted the import of considerations such as product price and availability. The survey also found that while shoppers are most likely to return to a brand for the product’s quality, the second highest reason for returns is due to a brand or product’s sustainable/ethical business practices; following in third and fourth place is brand name and brand mission, respectively.
Paul Magel, president, Business Applications division, CGS, said, “Today’s buyers are driven by more than price — they’re looking for brands that align with their own values and needs. To create a loyal customer base, brands must be transparent about the materials and development behind their products.”
Magel noted that its BlueCherry software “helps brands meet these demands and deliver on the promise of sustainability and transparency” via its “Enterprise Suite” that caters to organizations across consumer lifestyle products, retail and apparel industries by addressing needs such as core management, planning, product development, manufacturing, logistics, finance and sales functions, all according to the firm. The company also said that as fast fashion continues to grow in popularity, “businesses and consumers need to be educated on eco-friendly apparel business practices to minimize apparel waste.” Approximately 81 pounds of clothing is thrown away ever year, according to the EPA.
To mitigate waste, CGS said many domestic businesses “are taking action to implement [eco-friendlier] processes and products” and called out Patagonia’s Woolyester technology, a wool, polyester and nylon blend comprised of roughly 50 percent of waste materials. “Consumers today must feel a connection to brands that goes beyond cost and easy availability to drive true loyalty,” CGS said.
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