WEDNESDAY 1 DEC 2021 4:58 PM


Research from visual communications provider, iStock, shows that UK consumers are using their spending power to support sustainability. Many consumers believe that supporting the environment goes hand in hand with supporting the local economy, with 55% of people only buying products from brands that make an effort to be eco-friendly.

The iStock research found that 23% of consumers choose to shop with small local companies and brands to make a positive impact on the environment. The data identifies a belief that smaller businesses are more likely to engage in sustainable manufacturing processes, with 10% of respondents stating this influenced their purchase behaviour.

Dr Rebecca Swift, global head of creative insights at iStock, says, “What we know coming out of COP26 is that sustainability is not just an enterprise business issue –our research shows the UK public expect to see businesses of all sizes taking responsibility.”

Only 14% of consumers stated that they choose companies and brands based exclusively on their level of environmental commitment and sustainable practices. Younger generations were found to have an increased interest in living and shopping sustainably. Generation Z were most interested in a brand's environmental commitments, with 70% stating it would impact purchase behaviour. This was followed by 68% of Millennials and just 42% for Boomers.

Over 70% of respondents said they believe that businesses and corporations share some responsibility for the environment and sustainability. To attract consumers the iStock team point to personalisation as the key. “Our Visual GPS research also shows that among the actions people are taking to reduce their own carbon footprint, doing business with their local small businesses is one area they believe they can make a positive impact – this represents an opportunity for small businesses in the UK to show their customer how they are committed to sustainability and how they can support their customer be more sustainable via their products and services,” adds Swift.

The findings were reported by iStock’s creative insights platform, Visual GPS, in partnership with global market research.