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Survey Reveals Ethical Sales Tripled over Decade in UK

cottonplantsConsumer spending on “ethical” products ranging from Fairtrade goods to “green” products for the home has almost tripled in the UK in the past decade, according to the Co-operative Bank’s Ethical Consumerism Report 2009, which measures ethical spending in Britain, reports The Guardian.

The report shows that the ethical market in Britain has expanded from £13.5 billion ($21.5 billion) in 1999 to £36 billion ($57.2 billion) over the past decade, and household spending on ethical products outstripped growth in overall consumer spending, which increased by 58 percent over the decade, reports The Guardian.

Fairtrade goods, including chocolate, coffee and cotton from developing countries, saw significant growth last year, reaching £635 million ($1.0 billion) in sales, up from £22 million ($35 million) in 1999, reports The Guardian.

The survey also reveals that “green” products for the home, from energy-efficient boilers to rechargeable batteries, has increased fivefold in the past decade, up from £1.4 billion ($2.2 billion) in 1999 to £7 billion ($11.1 billion) , although spending on renewables and eco-travel remain low, reports The Guardian.

The report also shows that the average family spending on ethical goods and services increased from £241 ($383) to £735 ($1,168) since 1999, and one in two UK adults say they have purchased products primarily on ethical grounds in the past year, reports The Guardian.

In the U.S., 91 percent of consumers surveyed said that protecting the environment is the cause they personally care the most about.

In a related finding, 82 percent of those surveyed said they were more likely to trust a company more for making progress on environmental initiatives.

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