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More than Two-thirds of Americans Buy Green Products, Services

A recent survey found that 69 percent of American adults purchase green products or services, slightly less than previous years, and nearly one third believe such products are the norm and a required expectation.

Tork, a recycled paper products brand owned by personal hygiene company SCA, commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct the national online survey. The survey, which was executed online in May 2012, questioned 2,199 US adults.

Luxury brand Gucci has taken note of consumer demand for sustainable products and recently launched “Sustainable Soles” line of footwear made with biodegradable plastic. The special edition of eco-friendly women’s and men’s shoes were designed by creative director Frida Giannini and are part of the prefall 2012 collection. The announcement follows the release of Gucci’s biodegradable liquid wood sunglasses, which combines wood fibers from sustainably managed forests, lignin from paper manufacturing and natural wax.

Green restaurants particularly enjoy support from consumers, according to Harris online poll. Of those surveyed, 52 percent said they would rather eat at a restaurant with a social and environmental component. Nearly half of those surveyed expect a green restaurant to cost more, which suggests consumers place sustainability above cost, SCA said.

The best way for a business or restaurant to show their environmental commitment is to promote greener choices on menus, store shelves and posters, the survey found.

Other key findings include:

  • Four in 10 US adults believe green products and services are just getting started;
  • 82 percent of those surveyed are knowledgeable about which companies and brands have a strong history of sustainability. Of those, 80 percent consider the company’s track record on sustainability when purchasing from them;
  • Only 18 percent trust companies claiming to be transparent even if they have independent verification for accuracy.
  • Three-quarters of adults say they can determine if a green claim is true.
  • Consumers verify green claims in different ways. Some 27 percent consider their own research to be the most reliable, while 19 percent rely on independent third-party certifications.

Picture credit by Gucci

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One thought on “More than Two-thirds of Americans Buy Green Products, Services

  1. Interesting how Gucci’s “Sustainable Soles” line is mentioned as an example of sustainable products. Gucci’s attempts may in fact be misguided and provide a further example of greenwashing which lulls mainstream consumers into thinking they’re making a better purchase which they may not be…

    While it’s a positive step that a major fashion house is sourcing, procuring and marketing footwear made with a so-called “eco-aware material” (bio-plastic), the fact is that end-of-life is not the most important area that footwear companies should be focusing on. To clarify, marketing a shorter degradation process for the shoe compared to traditional industrial plastic material may not be better. In the end, where these shoes to end in landfill, which is the most likely scenario, there would in fact be waste.

    Can Gucci prove that it’s biodegradable plastic shoe will in fact biodegrade in a standrd landfill? If so, please prove it.

    Were Gucci to take a life cycle approach to its footwear collection (industry best practice), they may in fact discover that using sustainably sourced leather or recycled plastic would use fewer resources and have lesser environmental impacts overall. In the spirit of transparency, I welcome Gucci’s comments on this – please share your perspectives. My Twitter handle is @greenergoods.

    Best regards,
    Michael Smith

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