Shoppers going green demands action from brands and businesses

With recent extreme weather events affecting areas across the globe, increasing air pollution levels in our cities, and the impact of plastic on the natural environment becoming more and more noticeable, and reported upon, it’s no surprise consumer concern over sustainability and the environment is growing.

Now, according to a report by internet retailing, customers are looking to the brands and businesses they buy from to lead the way in doing something about it.

According to research by GlobalWebIndex, 80% of internet users in the UK are ‘concerned’ about the future of the environment, with two thirds identifying plastic pollution as their number one environmental concern. The research also reveals 71% of consumers are making substantial efforts to recycle more.

And this, Internet Retailing says, is backed up by internal research from Pinterest which reveals its 320 million users were increasingly aware of their sellers’ green credentials.

There has been a recent wave of interest in reducing and recycling waste from the bike industry, and while a number of brands are putting things in place to limit their impact on the environment, there is clearly still a way to go in making the industry ‘green’.

Those currently listening to consumers’ calls to take more responsibility for their environmental impact include the likes of Raleigh with its Bottle Amnesty Campaign, and Muc-Off, which has implemented an in-store bike wash refill programme, among several others. Tern Bicycles’ Josh Hon and Matt Davis explain how Tern is building sustainability into the fabric of the brand on this episode of the CI.N Podcast.

Rubber giant Schwalbe also launched a shop-facing inner tube recycling platform at this year’s CoreBike show, while fellow tyre brand Continental is experimenting with dandelion root as an eco-friendly rubber replacement.

Several apparel and accessory brands have also hopped on board the sustainability bandwagon, with Apidura founder Tori Fahey placing emphasis on repairing over replacing, and Endura pledging to plant one million trees per year.

With almost three quarters of UK consumers happy to wait longer for goods if the delivery method was more sustainable, the last-mile and cargo bike sectors also serve as a good opportunity for bike brands to flex their green muscles.

Fashion retailers such as H&M have already started trialling greener bike delivery options, while the Co-op is launching a new online delivery service in partnership with e-cargobikes.com in March, and across the Atlantic UPS has integrated e-Bikes and e-Cargo bikes into its delivery offering for Seattle. If those outside the bike industry can utilise its technology to reduce its impact on the environment, isn’t it time the bike industry itself did, too?

According to former Olympic athlete and Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman, big businesses, tech and innovation companies have the power to make cycling advocacy, and in turn sustainability, a visible, serious discussion. Hear from Boardman and others how the likes of OVO Energy is tapping into the cycle market to increase its sustainability credentials, and how the trade can play its part, on this episode of the CI.N Podcast.

Hayley Everett

Multimedia Reporter

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