Consumer spending on eco-travel and other green goods and services grew by almost a fifth over two years despite the economic downturn, new figures have shown.
According to the Co-operative Bank’s annual Ethical Consumerism Report, the UK’s “ethical market” was worth £43.2 billion in 2009 compared with £36.5 billion two years earlier. This represents an increase of 18%.
The report, which has been compiled since 1999, analyses sales data for various sectors including food, household goods, eco-travel and ethical finance.
It would appear that more and more holidaymakers have been flocking to airports like Luton, Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick to go on eco-friendly getaways, while also using airport transfers to further reduce their carbon footprint.
Other winners during the difficult economic period included Fairtrade products, the RSPCA’s Freedom Food-labelled items and ethical banking, but organic food, rechargeable batteries and real nappies, as opposed to disposable versions, lost out with consumers.
Spending on ethical food and drink increased by 27% to reach £6.5 billion, or 8% of all food and drink sales. Fairtrade food grew by 64% to reach sales of £749 million, while sales of Freedom Food products tripled in two years to reach £122 million. Sales of organic food fell by 14% to £1.7 billion.
Ethical personal products including clothing and cosmetics was the fastest growing sector, increasing by 29% to reach £1.8 billion, while the market for green home products such as energy efficient appliances grew by 8% in two years to reach £7.1 billion.
The report also revealed that ethical finance increased by 23% to reach £19.3 billion during the two-year period as consumers became disenchanted with much of the financial services sector.
Copyright Press Association 2010