Consumers are using their wallets to demonstrate to merchants that they care about the sustainable practices of the retailers they buy from and the products they sell.

Several Forrester surveys find that roughly one in three online U.S. consumers currently purchase, pay more for and will continue to seek out sustainable products:

  • 35% of U.S. consumers say they regularly purchase sustainable products. (February 2020, 142,480 U.S. consumers.)
  • Roughly 35% of U.S. consumers say they are willing to pay more for sustainable products. (March 2020, 953 U.S. online adults.)
  • 32% of U.S. consumers say in the next 12-24 months they will go out of their way to buy from companies that are committed to reducing their impact on the environment. (May 2020, 500 U.S. online adults.)

And retailers are responding to this demand and incorporating sustainable practices into their businesses, such as making products with recycled materials, offsetting their carbon emissions and reducing their packaging.

But making these sustainable initiatives happen takes thoughtful planning and investment. Two apparel merchants, State of Matter and Yamamay, shared with Digital Commerce 360 their journey in how they are making their businesses more sustainable. Yamamay, an established lingerie retail chain, had the challenge of incorporating new eco-friendly materials and packaging into its global supply chain. State of Matter, a startup, had a different set of challenges. While it launched with the intent of selling sustainably made clothes, it had to overcome the obstacle of convincing shoppers that they needed its products with effective marketing.

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