Consumer Demand for Sustainable Products is Motivating Brands to Go Green

The new generation comprising millennials and GenZ are concerned about the disastrous effects of single-use plastics, which is driving them to shop from sustainable brands.


In recent times sustainable and eco-friendly have increasingly risen to become buzzwords, among Indian shoppers and so is its adoption in several D2C brands especially in the fashion and beauty space. The childhood lessons of environmental harm caused by humans are ingrained in the minds of Indian consumers, especially millennials, are driving the growth of sustainable brands. 

A new report from the Capgemini Research Institute says that 79 percent of the consumers are changing their purchase preferences for brands focusing on social responsibility, inclusiveness, and environmental impact.

Is Covid-19 driving the sustainable business of brands? 

A global survey from Accenture finds that at the onset of covid, 60 percent of the consumers have shifted to environmentally friendly, sustainable, or ethical purchases, and 9 out of 10 will continue to do so. The pandemic has led consumers to prioritise climate change and is preferring to live a life of minimalism.  According to Capgemini’s report, 67 percent of the consumers will be more cautious about the scarcity of natural resources due to the COVID-19 crisis, and 65%  will be more mindful about the impact of their overall consumption in the “new normal”.

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A report from Capgemini Research Institute says that 79 percent of the consumers are changing their purchase preferences for brands focusing on social responsibility, inclusiveness, and environmental impact.

Consumers and entrepreneurs following the sustainable suit

India’s millennial and Gen Z population alone constitute 35 percent of the total population. The generation is unique in its way as the behaviour of millennials has been more inquisitive, oriented to self and globalist that are shaped by events of globalisation, and economic stability. These events have made them more conscious of their impact on the environment. 

Similarly, the GenZ individuals have been exposed to digitalisation and the internet at an early age and are digital natives, which is why they are communohlic and like to voice their opinions about the injustice done to people or the environment. Witnessing incidents of recession, war, and terrorism since young have shaped their behaviour to be more sensible and practical to the problems that emerged. The consumption behaviour of GenZ individuals entails the usage of brands that are ethical and showcase uniqueness, which is mushrooming new-age entrepreneurs to come up with products and concepts that focus more on sustainability and less wastage. 

What are the brands doing to foster the culture of sustainability? 

Sustainable fashion brands like Doodlage founded in 2012 by Kriti Tula, upcycles the rejected fabric pieces to create patchwork jackets, delicate shrugs, and exquisite shirts. In a large garment manufacturing factory while stitching apparel a large part of the fabric gets wasted which ends up in landfills or is incinerated, Kriti uses the same pieces of leftover fabric to create clothes. 

A fabric after dyeing is washed to remove the excess colours. The chemical dyes released into the water are untreated and are released into the water bodies harming the aquatic life and has a high risk to enter our food chain. Soham Dave’s fashion brand uses dyes made with natural ingredients and after dyeing the fabric he dries them under the sun ensuring minimum wastage of resources. 

Beauty and personal care brands are committing to UN’s SDG (sustainable development goals) to ban the use of single-use plastics. D2C Natural personal care and beauty label SoulTree has introduced biodegradable packaging, which can be decomposed naturally with the help of moisture and microorganisms. Once decomposed, the compounds either return to nature or disintegrate, leaving no waste behind.

What lies ahead for sustainable brands in India?

According to a FashionScope report by McKinsey, “Sustainability will gain ground in India, where the local market is projected  to reach nearly $60 billion in revenues in 2022, making it the sixth-largest in the world after the U.K. and Germany.” As more D2C brands opt for sustainable packaging, it will open new business opportunities for B2B packaging solutions that offer eco-friendly packaging material. To be more sustainable, brands can offer refill packs that require minimal packaging. 

Moreover, there lies an onus with the brands as well where they need to make people aware about using sustainable brands and their impact on the environment. Capgemini’s report says that 88% of consumers in India are willing to purchase a more sustainable product once they are made aware of the sustainability issues.

Shalmoli Sarkar
Shalmoli Sarkar
An MBA in marketing and a BTech in chemical engineering, Shalmoli writes on marketing strategies and business technology for new and aspiring entrepreneurs.

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