Today’s Pricing is a Buzzkill for Sustainability: Consumers Perception

Tanjina Riya

image001Over the past few years, sustainability has (thankfully!) become an important topic as we hurtle towards breaching the limits of our planet. With that, the concept of creating more sustainable industries has been accumulating momentum. It’s an issue highly fitting to the fashion industry, where the notion of sustainable fashion is finally getting attention! Furthermore, people are unveiling their eco- consciousness and they are aware of the economic, ecologic and social importance of buying sustainable products. Amidst this green mindset, manufactures have been creating products in a new way- with ecofriendly goods popping up in a variety of categories from energy to food and clothing.

Sustainable products do tend to cost more and today’s pricing is a bummer for many mediocre consumers who want to consume “green” items but woefully they can’t afford it! It’s never a bad time to do something good- but is doing good a privilege which only the rich can afford? Why don’t we all have the right to go “green” and end up with the very things that we have desired for so long?

Why are Eco Products too Damn Pricey?

Eco products are so expensive because of supply chain implications. It is not easy making products that have minimal influence on the environment – and extra costs come with a higher degree of difficulty. There are some hidden costs involved in the production of a sustainable product-

  • Environmental costs
  • Human costs
  • Life cycle costs

Sustainable shopping is a niche. The demand for reusable products is currently low compared to disposable products and “Reusable costs more than disposable”. Again, to ensure a biodegradable end adds up some extra costs.

Reasons why eco-products add up more


Factoring in all the hidden costs makes sustainable products costly than say plastic or non-biodegradable alternatives. When it comes to sustainable purchases, you are paying for ‘Quality over Quantity’ and quality goods cost more.


Western Consumers’ Purchase Intention & Behavior Regarding Sustainable Clothing

Sustainable products cost more, however, we need to spend much more. Double whammy! When we choose sustainable products we are not just limiting the environmental footprint by opting out a less sustainable version, but we are contributing to a greater demand that will allow businesses to begin reducing costs. And the beacon of hope is people are more likely to spend for sustainable products than never before. Back in 2015, 66% people were willing to pay more and constant acceleration has passed over the 80% mark in 2019. Millennials (ages 22 to 35) and Gen Z (ages 16to 21) are willing to pay more for green products.



But How Can We Unview the “Green Gap”?

Sustainable products are 75-85% more expensive than the conventional products. It is apparent that, there lies a large gap between prices and most of the mediocre consumers often find these prices non-sensical. Though consumers want to go with sustainability in mind but many of them cannot afford or simply do not want to spend more. This causes a gap between consumers stated intention to act sustainably and their actual behaviors.

Bridge the gap: Making Sustainable Products Affordable

Here arises the question, “Can sustainability and affordability ever go hand in hand?”

Right now the demand is low but in the future when sustainable products become the norm instead of just a trend, the demand will increase and the price will take a downhill. An increase in demand and how beneficial sustainable products are for the environment can also mean tax exemptions and benefits from the government in the future. Though pinpointing when exactly is that going to happen is still a guessing game.

As for how you can contribute to bringing in a change? Switch and buy sustainable products. Individual purchases mean increasing demand. If you leave it up to someone else to purchase eco-friendly products, and you don’t help at any chance you get, there will simply not be enough people to get the job done. Eco-friendly products will stay at the same heightened price and toxic products will continue to rule the shelves of all department and online stores.

We defy odds, we face challenges with valor and it’s time to fight against all the odds to save our mother nature. Individuals, government, companies, stakeholders, share holders everyone should come forward and a joint approach and willingness can take a step forward for more sustainable future. When it comes to deciding whether or not to buy environmentally friendly products, the consumer’s viewpoint is critical. The socioeconomic status of clients and their views toward environmentally friendly things fluctuate significantly. However, safety has the highest and most favorable impact on customer purchase intentions for eco-friendly commodities during this COVID-19 epidemic, followed by healthiness, quality, and worthiness. This shows that customers want to buy ecologically friendly products since they are safer, healthier, and of greater quality. As a result, it is critical for eco-product marketers to include these elements in their promotional strategy in order to encourage consumers to buy eco-friendly products. Again purchasing environmentally friendly goods isn’t simply a fad; it’s become a way of life.

Data reference: