Please see below selected recent consumption-related change.
- As global connectivity soars, generational shifts could come to play a more important role in setting behaviour than socioeconomic differences do. Young people have become a potent influence on people of all ages and incomes, as well as on the way those people consume and relate to brands. In Brazil, Gen Z (people born between 1995 and 2010) already makes up 20% of the country’s population. McKinsey believes all companies should be attuned to three implications for this generation: consumption as access rather than possession, consumption as an expression of individual identity, and consumption as a matter of ethical concern.
- The $3 trillion+ global apparel industry.accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions and has been the second largest industrial polluter, second only to oil. Nearly 70 million barrels of oil are used each year to make the world’s polyester fibew, which is now the most commonly used fibre in our clothing. But it takes more than 200 years to decompose. More than 150 billion garments are produced annually, enough to provide 20 new garments to every person on the planet, every year, according to Forbes.
- Despite the efforts of brands and watchdog groups, stories of abused workers earning poverty wages routinely surface in the global garment industry. One organsation that has worked on the problem for 20 years believes the issue isn’t any one company or practice, but the business model the industry operates on. Until that changes, noted Quartz, the millions of dollars brands spend on corporate responsibility programs are treating symptoms but ignoring the disease.
- Indeed, Quartz also pointed to an Indian factory supplying a number of well-known brands, where workers said they were viciously beaten for daring to join a union, researchers for an aid group who found that garment workers in Bangladesh and Vietnam making clothes for big international labels were paid so little they couldn’t adequately feed themselves and female garment workers in Vietnam who face “systemic” sexual harassment and violence at work.
- Many customers these days are a passionate bunch, claimed Raconteur: they’re passionate about the products they buy and passionate about the brands they buy from. And with two out of every three shoppers now considered to be a ‘belief-driven buyer’, companies would be wise to take notice, as ignoring the reasons behind conscious consumerism could damage sales and reputations.
- Working through cheap, disposable clothing is ever easier thanks to low-cost brands, but it’s also wasteful and feeds an industry rife with harsh labour conditions and environmentally unsustainable practices, leading some to give up fast fashion.
- For thousands of children in the cocoa fields of West Africa, chocolate is a source of hard, sometimes hazardous, work and the the link between child labour and chocolate is a long-standing one, warned Raconteur. Reports of under-age minors being made to work in cocoa-producing countries date back two decades or more. According to the 2018 Cocoa Barometer, a report by 15 European non-profit organisations, as many as 2.1 million child labourers are working in West Africa alone.