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Sustainability in UK Retail, 2019: Case studies and consumer attitudes


GlobalData "Sustainability in UK Retail, 2019", report investigates the key trends in sustainability in retail, such as circular business models and growing criticism of fast fashion; and includes a number of case studies of a range of grocers and non-food specialists, such as Marks & Spencer, Lush and Veja. The report also analyses the consumer attitudes around sustainability in retail, including attitudes towards sustainability, sources of influence on consumers' opinions, and consumer habits.

Individuals are not satisfied with the current actions of retailers, as 93.5% of consumers agree that it is the responsibility of retailers to act sustainably, but 79.8% agree that retailers are not doing enough to address issues around sustainability and climate change.

The 'war on plastic' gained traction from the BBC's Blue Planet 2 documentary. A number of retailers, especially grocers such as Tesco and Marks & Spencer, quickly reacted to this rise in consumer interest by reducing use of single-use plastics.


- 50.6% of consumers' opinions on sustainability were influenced by TV programmes or documentaries, with social media the second most influential source due to the rise in social media influencers creating content on how to make more environmentally conscious choices.

- Fast fashion has become the norm in the UK, and retailers have long been criticised for the human and environmental consequences of this, but awareness of this is growing. Despite fast fashion retailers such as H&M and PrettyLittleThing having sustainable ranges, they are still promoting a retail model that is environmentally unsustainable.

- Price is an important barrier to purchasing clothing & footwear, as 64.8% of consumers agree that it is difficult to find affordable sustainable and/ or ethical clothing & footwear.

Reasons to buy

- Use our in-depth consumer insight to learn which areas within sustainability are most important to consumers, allowing you to meet the demands of consumers for more sustainable products, such as reducing your use of single-use or unrecyclable plastics.

- Understand the actions that a range of food and non-food retailers are taking to tackle sustainability, to help inform competitive and market-leading sustainability targets across your business.

- Use our detailed analysis of consumer attitudes of sustainability in retail to identify the demographics of the consumers who value certain sustainability attributes the most, allowing you to target more sustainable products and sustainability marketing to specific consumers.

Key takeaways from sustainability in retail

Trends in sustainability in retail
Strategies for success
Case studies -grocers
Case study: Tesco
Case study: Marks & Spencer
Case study: Sainsbury's
Case study: Morrisons
Case study: Waitrose
Case studies - non-food specialists
Case study: H&M
Case study: Lush
Case study: Adidas
Case study: Levis
Case study: IKEA
Case study: AllBirds
Case study: Vega
Case study: Lindex
Case study: Hotel Chocolat

Attitudes towards sustainability
Opinions on sustainability
Opinions on sustainability: by sector
Consumer habits
Opinions on sustainability: food & grocery
Consumer habits
Fashion and sustainability
Opinions on sustainability: clothing & footwear
Consumer habits
Opinions on sustainability: health & beauty

Technical details: consumer survey work

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