2021
9
UK Ethical Lifestyles Market Report 2021
2021-08-04T04:03:44+01:00
OX1046029
2195
141119
[{"name":"Consumer Lifestyles","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/consumers-trends\/consumer-lifestyles"},{"name":"Ethics and Values","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/consumers-trends\/ethics-values"}]
Report
en_GB
“The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly been a distraction from environmental and sustainability concerns for many people, businesses and the government. However, it is important to note that for many consumers…

UK Ethical Lifestyles Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the UK Ethical Lifestyles market, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

The coronavirus pandemic was undoubtedly a distraction from environmental and sustainability concerns, as governments, businesses and consumers alike became focused on limiting transmission of the virus and protecting people. However, within this worrying climate, it is also perhaps encouraging to see that 26% of all adults consider the environment to be a higher priority now than before the COVID-19 outbreak.

In some respects, the outbreak posed a reprieve for the environment, as lockdown measures helped to significantly curb greenhouse gas emissions around the world. And yet, as PPE became mandatory in a range of out-of-home scenarios, single-use masks and gloves began to accumulate in the environment. 75% of all adults say that the focus on hygiene caused by the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic is causing a surge in waste, underpinning opportunities for businesses to further enhance their efforts to cut waste and help to clear up the environment.

But to be seen as ethical is not just about being green, and consumers are increasingly expecting brands to be more vocal on social issues. This is particularly true for the young, with a high proportion agreeing that brands should be involved with campaigning for social equality. Many brands were quick to speak out in support of the 2020 BLM protests around the world, but have since come under fire for not doing enough to drive real social change, illustrating the high standards that consumers are holding brands to when it comes to being ethical.

Brands can take a more actionable approach when it comes to tackling social issues by showing what they are doing to drive change. Just as businesses are embedding sustainability into their core ethos, it is important that they are also making the structural changes needed to cultivate real diversity in the workforce and to foster an atmosphere of inclusivity.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Consumer Lifestyles market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumers’ ethical behaviours and attitudes.
  • The extent to which consumer groups consider the environment when making decisions.
  • Frequency of selected environmentally friendly behaviours.
  • Motivators behind environmentally friendly behaviours.
  • Attitudes towards corporate sustainability and societal ethics.
  • Consumer perceptions of what makes an ethical company.
  • Categories consumers are most likely to consider ethics when buying.
  • Ethical lifestyle brands.
  • Ethical vegan lifestyle.

Covered in this report

Brands: Tesco, McDonald’s, Boots, Nintendo, Mattel (Barbie), Utilita Energy, L’Oréal, Wilko, The Sun, M&S, French Connection, Hush.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Katie Martin, a leading analyst in the Consumer Lifestyles sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Brands can take a more actionable approach when it comes to tackling social issues by showing what they are doing to drive change.

Katie Martin - Research AnalystKatie Martin
Research Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • COVID-19: market context
          • Economic and other assumptions
          • Executive Summary

              • Impact of COVID-19 on ethical lifestyles
                • Figure 1: Short, medium and long-term impact of COVID-19 on ethical lifestyles, 2021
              • The market
                • The UK’s growing population will put further pressure on resources
                  • Lockdowns aid sharp downturn in greenhouse gas emissions…
                    • …but excess waste climbs as hygiene concerns drive PPE and packaging consumption
                      • BLM protests raise awareness of social inequalities
                        • The consumer
                          • Environment now a higher priority for a quarter of all adults
                            • Figure 2: How consumers prioritise the environment since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, 16 April 2020-12 February 2021
                          • Environmentalism impacts consumer decision-making
                            • Figure 3: Frequency of considering the environmental impact in decision-making, 2021
                          • Protecting the planet proves top eco driver
                            • Figure 4: Reasons for considering the environmental impact when decision-making, 2021
                          • Rise of modern green behaviours
                            • Figure 5: Frequency of selected ethical behaviours, 2021
                          • Environmental efforts and social welfare both important
                            • Figure 6: How consumers define what makes a brand or company ethical, 2021
                          • Consumers most ethical when buying FMCG
                            • Figure 7: Consideration of how ethical a sector is before purchasing, 2021
                        • Issues and Insights

                          • COVID-19 makes the environment a higher priority
                            • Consumers expect brands to be vocal and help make social change
                            • The Market – Key Takeaways

                              • The UK’s growing population will put further pressure on resources
                                • BLM protests raise awareness of social inequalities
                                  • COVID-19 puts more focus on value for money
                                    • Lockdowns aid sharp downturn in greenhouse gas emissions
                                      • Plastic waste remains a concern as recycling rates stall
                                      • Market Drivers – Social Factors

                                        • The UK’s growing population will put further pressure on resources
                                          • Figure 8: UK population estimates and projections, 1990-2041
                                        • BLM protests raise awareness of social inequalities
                                          • Figure 9: Managers, directors and senior officials in employment in the UK, by ethnic group, 2014 and 2019
                                        • COVID-19 puts more focus on value for money
                                          • Figure 10: The financial confidence index, 2021
                                        • G7 announces tax reforms
                                        • Market Drivers – Environmental Issues

                                          • PPE waste falls into the environment
                                            • CO2 emissions fall as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak
                                              • Figure 11: Estimated total greenhouse gas emissions, UK, 1990-2020
                                            • Transport proves leading source of greenhouse gases
                                                • Figure 12: Estimated total greenhouse gas emissions, UK, by sector, 2019
                                              • COVID-19 drives surge in plastic waste in 2020…
                                                • …but recycling rates plateau
                                                  • Figure 13: Waste collected from households, by country, 2010-18
                                                • Levels of food waste remain high
                                                • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                                  • Food and drink brands and retailers look to tackle food waste
                                                    • Brands look to tackle hard-to-recycle materials…
                                                      • …including recycling single-use masks
                                                        • Fashion brands look to close the loop
                                                        • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                          • Environmentally friendly packaging claims lead ethical claims amongst new product launches
                                                            • Figure 14: Proportion of launches carrying ethical and environmental claims, January 2016-April 2021
                                                          • Food and drink brands and retailers look to tackle food waste
                                                            • Tesco to sell unwashed potatoes to cut down UK’s number one wasted food
                                                              • Animal Crossing joins with Hellmann’s to tackle food waste
                                                                • Figure 15: Hellmann’s partners with FareShare, December 2020
                                                              • McDonald’s pledges to redirect food whilst also pledging to cut plastic waste
                                                                • Brands look to tackle tricky-to-recycle materials
                                                                  • Beauty recycling schemes
                                                                    • Barbie manufacturer Mattel launches plastic toy send-back service
                                                                      • Utilita Energy teams up with David James to launch Football, Rebooted
                                                                        • Retailers and brands encourage the recycling of single-use masks
                                                                          • Wilko launches the UK high street’s first disposable face mask-recycling scheme
                                                                            • The Sun partners with Morrisons to launch face mask-recycling scheme
                                                                              • Figure 16: The Sun’s partnership with Morrisons’ Mask Force’ campaign, June 2021
                                                                            • Fashion brands look to close the loop
                                                                              • M&S brings back its Shwopping scheme
                                                                                • French Connection and Hush team up with Thrift+
                                                                                  • Clothing rental schemes also increase
                                                                                  • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                                                    • Pro-hygiene behaviours leave mark on the environment
                                                                                      • Greener delivery solutions needed
                                                                                        • Tightening household budgets could undermine ethical buying choices
                                                                                          • Environmental claims factor in consumer decision-making
                                                                                            • Consumers consider the environmental impact of food waste
                                                                                              • Rise of trendy green behaviours
                                                                                                • Fashion looks to close the loop
                                                                                                  • Ethical brands garner strong appeal
                                                                                                    • Supporting smaller businesses can improve ethical impression
                                                                                                      • Environmental efforts and social welfare both important
                                                                                                        • Consumers display a lower interest in ethics when it comes to financial services
                                                                                                        • Impact of COVID-19 on Ethical Lifestyles

                                                                                                          • Consumers need solutions to PPE waste
                                                                                                            • Figure 17: Mintel COVID-19 perceived importance of mask wearing when shopping in-store, 6 August-1 October 2020
                                                                                                          • Environment now a higher priority
                                                                                                            • Figure 18: How consumers prioritise the environment as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, 16 April 2020-12 February 2021
                                                                                                          • Rise in online shopping poses environmental problems
                                                                                                              • Figure 19: Proportion of adults shopping more online since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, April 2020- April 2021
                                                                                                            • COVID-19 lessens plastic packaging concerns
                                                                                                                • Figure 20: Statements surrounding packaging and COVID-19, 18-24 June 2020
                                                                                                              • Tightening household budgets could drive a downturn in ethical buying
                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Financial situation as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak, 14 May 2020-12 March 2021
                                                                                                            • Considering the Environmental Impact when Decision-making-making

                                                                                                              • Environmentalism impacts consumer decision-making
                                                                                                                • Figure 22: Frequency of considering the environmental impact in decision-making, 2021
                                                                                                              • Younger adults more likely to consider their environmental impact…
                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Frequency of considering the environmental impact in decision-making, by age, 2021
                                                                                                              • …but strong eco habits of older consumers prove true eco credentials
                                                                                                                • City dwellers more concerned about their environmental impact
                                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Frequency of considering the environmental impact in decision-making, by location, 2021
                                                                                                              • Environmentally Friendly Behaviour Drivers

                                                                                                                • Protecting the planet proves top eco driver…
                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Reasons for considering the environmental impact when decision-making, 2021
                                                                                                                • …underlining further opportunities to engage with consumers about corporate sustainability measures
                                                                                                                  • Consumers consider the environmental impact of food waste…
                                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Proportion of adults who say they consider the environmental impact of their actions to avoid food waste, by age, 2021
                                                                                                                    • …and its societal implications
                                                                                                                    • Environmentally Friendly Habits

                                                                                                                      • Older consumers stick to a more traditional approach to being sustainable
                                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Frequency of selected ethical behaviours, 2021
                                                                                                                      • Rise of trendy green behaviours
                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Frequency of selected ethical behaviours, by age – NET all the time and most of the time, 2021
                                                                                                                      • Plastic-free stores less widely available in rural areas
                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Frequency of going to plastic-free stores, by location of household, 2021
                                                                                                                      • Second-hand clothing sees a boom in popularity with younger consumers
                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Frequency of buying clothes/accessories second-hand, by age within gender,2021
                                                                                                                      • Electric cars increase in popularity
                                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Frequency of driving hybrid/electric cars, 2018 vs 2021
                                                                                                                      • Technology becomes important in helping consumers reduce eco impact
                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Frequency of usage of technology designed to help minimise carbon footprint, by age, 2021
                                                                                                                    • Ethical Attitudes

                                                                                                                      • Ethical brands garner strong appeal…
                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Selected attitudes towards ethical business behaviours, 2021
                                                                                                                      • …but as expectations grow, so does the need for transparency
                                                                                                                        • Smaller businesses perceived as more ethical than larger brands
                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Selected attitudes towards ethical business behaviours,2021
                                                                                                                        • Tech brands can do more to engage consumers on green credentials
                                                                                                                          • COVID-19 raises awareness of the need for greener travel
                                                                                                                          • What Makes a Company Ethical

                                                                                                                            • Environmental efforts and social welfare both important
                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: How consumers define what makes a brand or company ethical, 2021
                                                                                                                            • Consumers consider financial behaviour an ethical issue
                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: How consumers define what makes a brand or company ethical – selected factors, by age, 2021
                                                                                                                            • Fighting social issues most important to younger audiences
                                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Proportion of adults who consider brands that help fight social issues to be ethical, by age within gender,2021
                                                                                                                              • Financially responsible behaviour key to an ethical reputation
                                                                                                                              • Ethical Buying Considerations

                                                                                                                                • Consumers most ethical when buying FMCG
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Consideration of how ethical a sector is before purchasing,2021
                                                                                                                                • Food and drink top the ethical consideration list
                                                                                                                                  • Opportunity for ethical fashion certification
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Consideration of how ethical the clothing sector is before purchasing, by age, 2021
                                                                                                                                    • Consumers display a lower interest in ethics when it comes to financial services
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                          • Consumer research methodology

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