People are less interested in buying sustainably produced products if it means they will have to shell out more money to do so.
The percentage of consumers who said they had recently purchased a durable good or service fell in March 2022 in more than 12 countries, compared to September 2021. That’s according to data released Friday by Deloitte’s Global State of the Consumer Tracker, which measured the responses of approximately 1,000 adults in 23 countries.
In March 2022, 41% of consumers said high costs were the main factor in their decision not to buy a durable good or service in the past four weeks. 24% neglected these purchases because they said it was not a priority.
Of those who purchased at least one sustainable product, a third said they paid “significantly more” for it compared to an alternative.
As inflation hit record highs in recent months, consumers began to show concern and a desire to cut costs where possible. Consumer prices rose 8.6% from a year ago, according to the monthly report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data found that consumers were more concerned about rising inflationary pressures in May, with median inflation expectations for the year ahead dropping to 6.3% from 6.3%. .6% in May.
Outside of resale, brands that offer sustainable alternatives aren’t always able to do so at a cheap price. For example, Adidas unveiled its Ultraboost DNA Made to Be Remade sneaker in April, which is constructed with recyclable thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and sells for $210. In February, Cole Haan unveiled the Generation Zerøgrand II, an eco-friendly lifestyle shoe with a patent-pending Flower Foam outsole (a lightweight material made from at least 25% dandelion rubber) which sells for 130 $.
Alternatively, fast fashion players like Forever 21 and Shein offer cheaper products, although they are generally seen as less focused on sustainability. Even so, Shein says he has systems in place that help him avoid overproduction and reduce fashion waste and oversees programs that prioritize recycled materials for packaging content.