What Do Conscious Consumers Really Want?
Are you a conscious consumer? Do you want brands to behave better? You're not alone. We look at the growing trend of wanting businesses to share our values.
Tue 24 Nov 2020
We've been busy this summer. We partnered with research consultancy Telltale Research to survey our readers* and find out who conscious consumers really are, what they believe in and what they want brands to do.
What does being a conscious consumer mean?
Telltale Research have defined being a 'concious consumer' as meaning: ‘Someone who is concerned with, and seeks to reduce the negative impact that their own consumer choices have on people and/or the environment.’
In short, that's you, if you're reading pebble.
“I completely understand why people are looking for that new identity. I think how we consume and how we interact with the world – in the way we see ourself in relation to stuff and the people who make that stuff – it needs to change," says one of the interviewees, Hannah, 34.
Find out what our pebble readers have to say about being conscious consumers
What do conscious consumers believe?
- 73% want to live a greener, more sustainable life
- 93% believe climate change is our society's greatest threat
- 73% believe racism is the second biggest global threat - after climate change
“It is about making conscious decisions around where you invest your money, what types of products you purchase, what types of transportation you use.
It is also about how do you talk to other people and maybe encourage them to purchase differently.”
- Sarah, 27
What do conscious consumers want?
Conscious consumers want action on many issues, but these are the top five:
- Climate change
- Plastic pollution
- Fast fashion and clothing waste
- Food waste
What do conscious consumers want brands to do?
“I think what concerns me is that it is left to the consumer to do all the work, and it shouldn’t be for me to send back packaging to each company, and say ‘do better” - Michelle, 46
- 89% want brands to actively avoid plastic and help the environment
- 84% say brands aren't doing enough to tackle sustainability
- 84% want brands to be transparent about their supply chains and material sourcing
- 67% say they're happy to pay more for sustainable brands
- 65% want to help influence others to live more sustainably
- 65% want to share sustainable brands they discover with others
- 65% want a brand to have a purpose bigger than selling a product
“I think what concerns me is that it is left to the consumer to do all the work, and it shouldn’t be for me to send back packaging to each company, and say ‘do better” Michelle, 46
What actions have our conscious consumer audience taken to reduce their own impact?
- 90% purchased a reusable water bottle
- 82% purchased secondhand or vintage clothing
- 78% researched the environmental credentials of a brand before purchasing
- 78% reduced single use plastic containers
- 64% stopped buying products that contain palm oil
- 68% choosing bio based products and packaging
- 50% eating organically
- 47% monitoring energy usage at home
- 33% following a plant based diet
What turns conscious consumers off?
- 77% not purchased a product because it was bad for the environment
- 75 not purchased something because it was in plastic packaging
- 60% avoided a brand because of it's environmental rights record
“It is about making conscious decisions around where you invest your money, what types of products you purchase, what types of transportation you use. It is also about how do you talk to other people and maybe encourage them to purchase differently.” - Sarah, 27
"I think it was interesting to observe the importance of sustainability in people’s consumer choices correlate with an anti-plastic sentiment, in particular for those items that are used more frequently, such as clothes, cleaning and beauty products" says Alexandra Clark at Telltale Research.
"Every decision to make a sustainable choice makes a difference that can have a ripple effect, as we have already seen with many companies becoming more sustainable. However, I also agree with the Conscious Consumers asking for more action from both governments and brands to make that sustainable choice easier."
* 185 readers surveyed and five readers interviewed in depth.
Get 20% off your research project with Telltale Research. Use the code PEBBLE20 before 16 March 2020.
What do you think? Do you fit into this bracket? Do you share these beliefs?