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Ethical shopping catches on in the UK

Date 3 Dec 2007

Spending on ethical goods and services has almost doubled over the past five years, according to a new report. During 2006, UK households splashed out an average £664 each on green and ethical food, clothing, energy, transport and financial products. This was a rise of 81% on the 2002 figure of £366, according to the Co-op Bank's Ethical Consumerism Report.

But more than half of people questioned by researchers had not bought any products or services primarily for ethical reasons that year. Only 6% of the UK adult population are described in the report as committed ethical consumers - people who shop weekly for ethical products and services.

The UK's total ethical market is now worth £32.3bn - up from £29.7bn a year ago. But it still makes up a small proportion of the UK's £600bn total consumer spend.

The Co-op Bank's Simon Williams said: "Ethical consumers play a vital role in the early adoption and development of ethical products and services. "But it will only be through legislation that we will secure the necessary changes to deliver mass market, low carbon lifestyles."

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