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Sustainable consumers and the "New economies"

  • Published on January 9, 2018
Between February and April 2018, the spanish consumers association OCU and the Forum of New Economy and Social Innovation (NESI) carried out the research “Other consumption for a better world” to understand the sustainable consumption habits of Spanish consumers, their barriers, sustainable consumer trends and degree of involvement with twelve “new economies”: circular, collaborative, social & solidarity, ecologist, the common good, slow movement, degrowth, transition network, feminist, the commons, ethical finances and positive impact economy. We have also talked with 26 experts in new economies to understand the purpose of their movements in different areas of consumption, from food to finance, going through fashion, leisure, mobility or domestic consumption. Thanks to all this, we can affirm that there are a majority of Spanish consumers (73%) that take into account ethical and environmental aspects when taking purchase decisions, that they are receptive for a major change, and that new economies offer alternatives, trust, motivation and wellbeing to sustainable consumers. 1. 73.5% of Spaniards already make consumption decisions for ethical or sustainability reasons. 2. Citizens are prepared to consume more ethically, but have huge barriers of lack of information, price and accessibility. 3. Sustainable consumption is not only what we buy, but, above all, what lifestyle we carry. 4. 62% of Spaniards believe that their consumption is a very powerful tool to change the world. 5. Citizens do not know the labels of the new economies, but 57.5% of Spaniards feel identified with their messages. 6. The mantra of the new economies at the service of people and the planet is "consume less and better". 7. The new economies provide confidence, alternatives, well-being, resilience and savings of natural resources.
The general objective of the study is to contribute to sustainable consumption. The specific objectives of the investigation are: 1. Understand the Spanish citizens and discover how they connect their consumption with their values, beliefs and worries about the world. Understand and quantify their habits and decisions and what are their barriers to sustainable consumption. 2. Analyze the proposals of the "new economies at the service of people and the planet" on consumer issues, the way in which, from their plurality, these proposals reach the private consumers and the perception that they have of them. There is no name that encompasses all the movements that are making proposals for an economy to service of people and the planet. In this study we have focused on twelve, but it is not an exhaustive list and does not constitute a homogenous movement: ethical finance and banking with values, economics green and ecologist, collaborative economy, social and solidarity economy, circular and blue economy, companies with positive social and environmental impact, economy of the common good, slow movement, feminist economy, degrowth movement, open source commons and transition movement. 3. Value the transformative potential of the new economies in six different sectors (food, mobility, fashion, finance, home and leisure) to contribute to a change in consumer behavior towards more sustainable models, and make recommendations to consumers, representatives of the new economies and public administrations for the development of sustainable consumption on a large scale 1. Description of the New Economies: Origin, values, structure of their organisations, geographical scope, members, networks, achivements... 2. Analysis of their proposals about sustainable consumption 3. Consumer's survey: focus groups for active users and online survey for general population 4. Research of their proposals for consumers in terms of sustainability, transparency, offer, consumer habits and local consumption 5. Recommendations for consumers, New economies and Governments for a more conscious consumption Consumer awareness - 250.000 people Media - 25 publications, TV and radio programs New economies - Debates with the 12 new economies to improve their matching with sustainable consumer expectations

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