In the United Kingdom, Sustainability is a national concern. The factors contributing to sustainability in the UK market are a low-carbon economy, sustainable consumer behavior, sustainable diets, recycling and plastics, carbon neutrality, and food waste.
The UK’s low carbon economy is worth more than £200bn, it is almost four times the size of the country’s manufacturing sector, with accelerating growth (Guardian’s report). The report also states more than 75,000 businesses from wind turbine manufacturers to recycling plants employ more than 1.2 million people in the green economy.
According to Deloitte, sustainability is a key factor in consumer decision-making, mainly among younger generations. The report states 43% of UK consumers are actively choosing brands due to environmental values, and 28% stopped buying certain products due to ethical or environmental concerns.
According to the Snowdrop Solutions report, sustainability is a major concern in the United Kingdom with more interest in the smaller cities across the UK. The report states that the most-researched sustainability topics from different cities were sustainable diets, recycling and plastics, carbon neutrality, and food waste. The report also states that 60% of 1.250 British adults opted for sustainable banking with banks with a positive environmental impact.
According to Mintel’s report, sustainability in food is a growing trend in the UK market with consumers looking for ethically sourced products, organic, plant-based, locally produced, or with reduced packaging. The report also states that 66% of UK adults agree that food companies help more consumers to reduce their environmental impact.
The several ways the UK government promotes sustainability, both domestically and internationally. Such as: –
- The government published a “Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener”, setting out its policies and proposals for decarbonizing all sectors of the UK economy to meet the net zero target by 2050. The strategy covers areas such as power, transport, buildings, industry, agriculture, land use, waste, and international collaboration.
- The government is committed to the delivery of the “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” with a set of 17 global goals to eradicate extreme poverty, fight inequality, and injustice, and leave no one behind. In 2019, the government also published a “Voluntary National Review”, reporting on the UK’s progress on the SDGs with best practices and challenges highlighted.
- “UK Green Taxonomy” implemented by the government, a framework defining economic activities count as environmentally sustainable. The taxonomy also aims to create more clarity and consistency for investors, improving understanding of companies’ contribution to environmental impact and supporting the transition to a green economy.
- The government supports various initiatives and programs to promote sustainability in different sectors and regions such as the “Green Homes Grant”, the “Clean Growth Strategy”, the “Environmental Bill”, the “Levelling Up Fund”, the “Global Partnership for Education”, the “Green Climate Fund”.
Sustainability brands in the UK offering products and services in different categories needed for the environment, people, and animals are: –
- Clothing: The best sustainable clothing brands in the UK are “MUD Jeans”, denim that uses recycled cotton and closed loop production, “Veja” a sneaker brand that uses organic and fair-trade materials and transparent supply chains, “Finisterre”, a clothing brand focuses on durability, functionality and environmental responsibility; and “Beaumont Organic”, a luxury fashion brand with organic and natural fabrics supporting social causes.
- Homeware: The nest sustainable brands in the UK are “Clean Living”, a cleaning brand with eco-friendly alternatives and minimal packaging, and “IKEA”. A furniture and home accessories brand with renewable energy, recycled materials, and low-impact design, “Bamboo Revolution”, a bedding brand with organic and ethically sourced materials; and “The Fine Bedding Company”, a bedding brand with recycled plastic bottles for duvets and pillows.
- Children: The best sustainable children’s clothing brands in the UK are “Mori”, a sleepwear and daywear brand with organic and natural fabrics, “Frugi”, a clothing brand that uses organic cotton, recycled materials, and ethical production, “Little Green Radicals”, a clothing brand with organic and fair-trade cotton and supports farmers and workers; and “Toby Tiger”, a clothing brand uses organic cotton, eco-friendly dyes, and playful designs.
- Companies: The best sustainable companies in the UK are “Bulb”, an energy supplies providing 100% renewable electricity and carbon-neutral gas, “Toast Ale”, a beer company that brews with surplus bread and donates profits to fight food waste, “The Body Shop”, a cosmetic company uses natural ingredients, cruelty-free practices, and community trade partnerships; and “Lush”, a cosmetic company with natural ingredients, minimal packaging and ethical sourcing.
Source: UK Sustainability, Sustainability in the UK, Deloitte, The Guardian, NetZero Strategy, Sustainable Development Goals, Sustainability Regime, High Street brands, Sustainable brands, Clothing brands, Hubble, Sustainable Food brands, Sustainable Food companies, Sustainable Food brand