Bazaarvoice – a technology platform which allows companies to connect with their consumers – says recent research by its shopper-based Influenster community reveals that almost half of Brits ‘can’t afford to be more sustainable’.

Using clothing as an example, Bazaarvoice says that while 66% of the 1,000-plus respondents recognize the negative impact of fast fashion, and although 44% say they would like to ditch fast fashion and opt for more sustainably made garments, ‘they simply cannot afford the difference in cost’. “Despite two thirds of consumers recognizing the negative impact fast

The data offers insight into the mentality of shoppers: four in five consumers admit they are more likely to make sustainable swaps if they are offered incentives (for example, discounted items in exchange for participation in recycling programmes).

It understandably puts consumers in a predicament as they try to balance ethics with the income they have at their disposal

29% doubt the authenticity of brands’ sustainability agendas, believing them to be ‘marketing ploys’; but 41% take the time to visit a brand’s website and read up on any sustainability practices which may be in place, to avoid succumbing to greenwashing.

Ed Hill, senior vice president, EMEA, Bazaarvoice, comments: “In recent years we’ve seen that consumers don’t just want to shop, they want to support and shop from brands whose values and beliefs mirror their own. As we see the cost of basic necessities increase across the UK, it understandably puts consumers in a predicament as they try to balance ethics with the income they have at their disposal.

“It’s important that brands and retailers are either able to offer sustainable options that are affordable, or that they are able to take the guilt out of fast fashion purchases by properly promoting—and following through on—their sustainability commitments. To build trust, companies ultimately need to do more than just talk the talk, they need demonstrate their willingness to contribute to the greater good. But they must do so in a way that’s authentic, transparent and backed by actions that drive real change.”