Ethical spending has continued to grow, despite difficult market conditions, according to the 2015 Ethical Consumer Markets Report.
The value of ethical sales grew by 8%, during a period when inflation barely rose above 0.5%. And the overall value of the ethical market grew from £35bn to £38bn showing a continued commitment from consumers across all sectors to support more ethical products and services. Sales of electric, hybrid and other tax-band A-rated cars grew by 40% to nearly £7bn, and spending on solar panels rose by nearly 25% to £716m
The value of money held ethically fell by 2%, largely caused by accounts being closed or moved from the Co-operative Bank. All other elements in the sector - including savings and investments with Triodos Bank - showed year on year growth. Ethical investment grew by 9% to £13bn. Combined ethical money and ethical spending totals rose from £78bn to £80bn.
In the food and drink sector, 2014 saw the first ever fall in a value of Fairtrade sales (4%) since the scheme began. This may have been caused by a combination of factors including falling market share at Sainsbury’s and the Co-op, Fairtrade’s biggest supporters in the retail sector, and growing sales at Aldi and Lidl, which have smaller Fairtrade ranges. The ethical food sector grew overall with a revival in organic sales, strong growth in sustainable fish sales, and a good performance in other ethical food sectors.
- Ethical sales up by 8%
- The overall value of the ethical market grew from £35bn to £38bn
- Combined ethical money and ethical spending totals rose from £78bn to £80bn