In a world increasingly aware of environmental issues, sustainability has become a buzzword in many industries. The fashion industry, in particular, is under scrutiny for its environmental impact. Drapers, in partnership with Smurfit Kappa, conducted a survey among 2,000 UK consumers to understand how sustainability is influencing fashion purchasing behaviour. The results shed light on the importance of sustainable packaging and the willingness of shoppers to invest in it.
The Impact of Sustainable Packaging
The survey found that sustainable packaging and delivery are significant factors in consumers’ purchasing decisions. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents stated that they are more likely to buy from a brand or retailer if its packaging is sustainable. Similarly, 63% are more inclined to make a purchase if the delivery process is also sustainable.
However, a crucial question arises: Are consumers willing to pay extra for sustainable packaging?
The Price of Sustainability
While sustainability is a priority for shoppers, the majority believe it shouldn’t come at an extra cost. More than half of respondents (51%) indicated that they would not be willing to pay extra for sustainable packaging. This sentiment was even stronger among those aged 55 to 60, where 65% were unwilling to pay more. In contrast, younger shoppers aged 18 to 24 were more open to the idea, with 64% stating they would be willing to pay extra.
Clear communication and affordable options could bridge this gap. Businesses could explain why sustainable packaging might be more expensive and offer a range of choices to accommodate different budgets.
Challenges and Solutions
Thomas Berry, Farfetch’s Senior Director of Sustainable Business, highlights that sustainable packaging doesn’t necessarily translate to higher costs. In fact, opting for lighter and more efficient packaging, which minimizes the shipment of unnecessary air, can often prove to be more cost-effective than alternative solutions. This presents a promising opportunity for businesses, consumers, and the environment to all benefit from sustainable practices.
However, Berry acknowledges that the real challenge emerges when attempting to strike the right balance. Particularly in the luxury sector, where packaging plays a pivotal role in delivering an elevated customer experience, finding ways to reduce packaging’s environmental footprint while preserving that unique brand touch becomes a complex task.
Simon Winch, who heads sustainability and ethics initiatives at John Lewis, emphasises that their foremost objective is to ensure products arrive undamaged during transit. He underscores the substantial environmental and financial consequences associated with damaged goods, making it imperative to prioritize the careful selection and testing of materials.
However, Winch also acknowledges that there are frequently opportunities for substitutions that don’t incur additional expenses. These possibilities largely hinge on the specific product category and its unique packaging requirements. However, in certain areas, such as furniture, replacing non-recyclable plastic with recyclable materials may have a significant cost impact.
Educating consumers about the reasons behind price increases is vital for long-term sustainability efforts. When customers understand why certain changes incur higher costs, they are more likely to support them.
Myerton Packaging is honoured to work alongside clients who are leading the charge in sustainable packaging. Their commitment to reducing plastic waste and fostering a greener future is truly commendable, and we’re privileged to be their partners in this mission. In the announcement of the latest Round 4 Agrifood and Beverage Voucher Program, we were thrilled to see that 7 of our incredible clients have made it to the prestigious list. We are proud to be a part of this journey and celebrate the achievements of our valued clients.
Great Southern Groves is one of the recipients of the Round 4 Agrifood and Beverage Voucher Program of WA, the exquisite packaging helps it secure its very first order to export to Dubai.