Sustainability in United Kingdom (UK) Retail – Case Studies and Consumer Attitudes

Pages: 51 Published: May 31, 2019 Report Code: VR0212SR

GlobalData "Sustainability in UK Retail, 2019", report investigates the key trends in sustainability in retail, such as circular business models and growing criticism of fast fashion; and includes a number of case studies of a range of grocers and non-food specialists, such as Marks & Spencer, Lush and Veja. The report also analyses the consumer attitudes around sustainability in retail, including attitudes towards sustainability, sources of influence on consumers' opinions, and consumer habits.

Individuals are not satisfied with the current actions of retailers, as 93.5% of consumers agree that it is the responsibility of retailers to act sustainably, but 79.8% agree that retailers are not doing enough to address issues around sustainability and climate change.

The 'war on plastic' gained traction from the BBC's Blue Planet 2 documentary. A number of retailers, especially grocers such as Tesco and Marks & Spencer, quickly reacted to this rise in consumer interest by reducing use of single-use plastics.


– 50.6% of consumers' opinions on sustainability were influenced by TV programmes or documentaries, with social media the second most influential source due to the rise in social media influencers creating content on how to make more environmentally conscious choices.

– Fast fashion has become the norm in the UK, and retailers have long been criticised for the human and environmental consequences of this, but awareness of this is growing. Despite fast fashion retailers such as H&M and PrettyLittleThing having sustainable ranges, they are still promoting a retail model that is environmentally unsustainable.

– Price is an important barrier to purchasing clothing & footwear, as 64.8% of consumers agree that it is difficult to find affordable sustainable and/ or ethical clothing & footwear.

Reasons to Buy

– Use our in-depth consumer insight to learn which areas within sustainability are most important to consumers, allowing you to meet the demands of consumers for more sustainable products, such as reducing your use of single-use or unrecyclable plastics.

– Understand the actions that a range of food and non-food retailers are taking to tackle sustainability, to help inform competitive and market-leading sustainability targets across your business.

– Use our detailed analysis of consumer attitudes of sustainability in retail to identify the demographics of the consumers who value certain sustainability attributes the most, allowing you to target more sustainable products and sustainability marketing to specific consumers.

Key Players

  • TerraCycle




    Marks & Spencer











    Hotel Chocolat

    People Tree







Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Key takeaways from sustainability in retail


Trends in sustainability in retail

Strategies for success

Case studies -grocers

Case study: Tesco

Case study: Marks & Spencer

Case study: Sainsbury's

Case study: Morrisons

Case study: Waitrose

Case studies – non-food specialists

Case study: H&M

Case study: Lush

Case study: Adidas

Case study: Levis

Case study: IKEA

Case study: AllBirds

Case study: Vega

Case study: Lindex

Case study: Hotel Chocolat



Attitudes towards sustainability

Opinions on sustainability

Opinions on sustainability: by sector

Consumer habits

Opinions on sustainability: food & grocery

Consumer habits

Fashion and sustainability

Opinions on sustainability: clothing & footwear

Consumer habits

Opinions on sustainability: health & beauty


Technical details: consumer survey work

List of Figures

List of Figures

Sustainability agreement statements, 2019

Sustainability agreement statements, by demographic, 2019

Importance of sustainability by sector, 2019

Sources of influence on consumers' opinions on sustainability, 2019

Sustainability in food & grocery agreement statements, 2019

Diets followed by consumers, 2019

Reasons for diet choice, 2019

Statements around changing consumer habits, 2018

Consumer likelihood of using a deposit & return scheme, 2018

Consumer likelihood of using TerraCycle's Loop scheme for food & grocery products, 2019

Consumer likelihood of using TerraCycle's Loop scheme for toiletries, 2019

Consumer likelihood of using TerraCycle's Loop scheme for household products, 2019

Why consumers would be unlikely to use the Loop scheme, 2019

Sustainability in clothing & footwear agreement statements, 2019

Sustainability in clothing & footwear agreement statements, by demographic, 2019

How often consumers purchase clothing & footwear from shop types, 2019

Consumer clothes recycling habits, 2019

Sustainability in health & beauty agreement statements, 2019

Frequently Asked Questions


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