While we are up to our ears in data that says that consumers will pay a premium for ethical products and that the majority consider ethical factors in their purchase decision making, the still sliver sized penetration that ethical products (such as fair trade, organic, post-recycled packaging etc.) have achieved in conventional markets suggests otherwise. It’s time to face the fact that consumers skew themselves greener or more ethical than their actual purchase decisions belie in these surveys. So what can we do to spur not just ethical attitudes, but ethical purchasing behavior?
Dara O’Rourke of The Good Guide says a lot in this article about the complexities of ethical consumption. He breaks down the barriers that the modern consumer has to adopting ethical consumption like this:
1. Habitual purchasing
2. Sophisticated marketing by conventional producers
3. Lack of good information to make an ethical choice
This is a great place to start. There are many entrepreneurs and start-ups trying to solve this problem right now — but which ones will be able to come up with really great solutions to these barriers remains to be seen.
Over the next several weeks, I will be reviewing different start-ups within this framework: which of these barriers are they addressing and how well. At the end of these reviews, it will be interesting to draw out any themes that will reveal the trends, strengths of and opportunities in the world of social entrepreneurship focused on ethical consumerism today.
If you know of a start-up that you would like to see reviewed let me know.
Author: Jack Dentith
This blog post originally appeared on BitofGood.com and the Hubble.