Story at a glance

  • A large number of shoppers say they’re searching for environmentally friendly gifts this holiday season, even if it means going out of their way.
  • Recent surveys suggest consumers have become more ethical since the start of the pandemic and are re-evaluating what’s important to them.
  • Many new eco-friendly consumers say they plan to continue shopping that way.

Shoppers across the globe are going green for the holidays.

Nearly 40 percent of shoppers polled by the coupon code site WeThrift said they were very likely to “go out of their way” to find environmentally friendly gift options this holiday season.

Nearly 70 percent of the more than 1,000 respondents said they were likely to use recycled gift boxes, and 60 percent indicated they were likely to recycle gift wrapping. Half of respondents said they would be excited to receive an environmentally friendly gift this year.

Consumers are also seeking out brands that offer eco-friendly products and packaging, according to the survey, with 52 percent of respondents looking for products that are packaged with recycled materials and 44 percent searching for companies that use less chemicals and more organic ingredients in their products. Another 28 percent said they’d like more brands to partner with local environmental groups.


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The WeThrift poll is just one of many recent studies confirming that consumers all over the world are becoming more ethical and environmentally conscious, in part because of COVID-19.

A global survey released last year by management consultancy firm Accenture said consumers have “dramatically evolved,” and 60 percent reported making more sustainable or ethical purchases since the start of the pandemic. Roughly 90 percent of those consumers said they were likely to continue doing so.

The pandemic has caused consumers to “re-evaluate what’s important to them in life,” the company wrote in a statement accompanying the data, and 42 percent of the 25,000 consumers surveyed said the pandemic “made them realize they need to focus on others more than themselves.”

Another survey published this spring, also by Accenture, reported consumers are settling into “new habits,” and are thinking more critically about their food preferences, with more than 56 percent intending to spend less time eating out and more time cooking up sustainable meals in their own kitchens.

A recent study from professional services network PricewaterhouseCoopers said eco-friendly shopping this year is likely to be driven by Millennial and Gen Z shoppers, who are more loyal to environmentally sustainable brands than older generations.


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Published on Oct 28, 2021