For consumers and businesses, increasing attention is paid to ethics and moral values. This translates into purchasing decisions framed by concerns about the environment, sustainability, animal welfare, production and labour practices, as well as desires to positively impact communities and people.
The ‘Ethical Living’ megatrend is driven by three factors: awareness, availability and affordability.
Emergence of ethical industry
More companies are looking to authentic environmental strategies and moving beyond simple “green-washing”, and in doing this they carve out a path of innovative, profitable green business for others to follow. Increasing interest in water conservation is one way this plays out, with big names across industries like the Ford Motor Company, Nestlé, Levi Strauss & Co and Heineken focusing on water conservation to niche players entering markets with products whose central aim is to be ethical, targeting “deep-green” consumers.
Beauty with a cause
Established in 2016, Pinch of Colour states on their website that they are the first waterless beauty brand in the US, delivering colourless cosmetics while conserving water. Waterless products, in both form and function present opportunities to target environmentally-conscious consumers as well as generate a favourable brand image.
Although an ethical agenda is no longer limited to niche companies, the efforts of larger companies are high-profile but often only small-scale. Those that prioritise ethical business practices early will appear more genuine than those which seem to conform as a begrudging necessity. This is crucial in order to gain favour with the increasingly influential millennial consumer.
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