Skip to content
Environment, RetailOnline Retail

Cost of living is high but consumers say they’re willing to pay more for sustainable products: study finds

Monash University 2 mins read

Research from Monash Business School’s Australian Consumer and Retail Studies (ACRS) latest Retail Sustainability Spotlight has found that over half of Aussie shoppers say sustainability is an important factor when making a retail purchase. 

Despite the increases to our cost of living, the research confirms Australian shoppers are becoming more conscious of what they buy; voting for sustainable products, with their wallets.

Leading this research is Stephanie Atto, Research and Strategy Director at Australian Consumer and Retail Studies.

“The most interesting finding is the difference between how various age groups – particularly younger and older shoppers – differ in their views and the magnitude of their behaviours towards sustainability,” said Ms Atto.

“Younger consumers,18 to 34 years of age, are significantly more willing to pay for ethically produced products, as well as products made from recycled materials and packaged in recyclable materials.

“They also take public transport, buy second-hand products, and recommend eco-friendly products to friends, family and peers more than other age groups.

“Older Australian shoppers, aged 55 and over, tend to bring their own shopping bags to stores, recycle product waste, buy locally sourced or produced products, and compost food waste significantly more than other age groups.” 

Grocery and related products, apparel, such as clothing, footwear, and accessories are the most common retail purchases amongst Aussie shoppers.

Ms Atto said quality and longevity were notable factors in purchasing behaviour. 

“The sustainable factors that are most important to Australians when making a retail purchase are durability (85 per cent) and repairability (73 per cent),” she said.

“Consumers also felt it was an important factor if products are locally produced (64 per cent),

ethically produced (62 per cent), and packaged in recyclable materials (59 per cent).

“This can be seen in companies’ efforts to make sustainability a priority and make it easier for consumers to make good consumption choices.

“While sustainability perceptions and practices may differ amongst shoppers, the positive shifts in attitudes and behaviours of government, businesses and individuals are a step in the right direction to pave the way to a better future for all.”

About the research

ACRS conducts annual research, known as the ACRS Retail Monitor, into Australian consumers’ shopping preferences, attitudes and behaviour. As part of this larger retail study, data on sustainability was collected from n=1,001 randomly selected Australian shoppers in June 2023.

For media enquiries please contact:

Loretta Wylde

Monash University

Media and Communications


T: +61 (0) 432 123 106

For more Monash media stories, visit our news and events site


For general media enquiries please contact:

Monash Media


T: +61 (0) 3 9903 4840

More from this category

  • Environment, Local Government
  • 29/11/2023
  • 14:34
Resource Recovery Australia - Reviva Leeton

A new treasure trove for Leeton

This Friday, 1 December, marks the opening of Leeton’s newest treasure trove Reviva Leeton and locals are warmly invited to its grand opening. Operating…

  • Contains:
  • Environment, National News Current Affairs
  • 29/11/2023
  • 09:00

MEDIA ALERT | CAHA’s Chelsea Hunnisett available for comment from COP28

Australia’s peak body for climate and health, the Climate and Health Alliance, is currently represented at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) by our Policy and Advocacy Manager, Chelsea Hunnisett. This year will be the first year health has been featured as a key focus of global climate discussions. The COP28 Presidency has set out a plan of action, focused on matching the highest ambition for negotiated outcomes, with an agenda to implement those ambitions in the real world. The Presidency has called on governments and key climate stakeholders to take action in four key areas: Fast-tracking the…

  • Energy, Environment
  • 29/11/2023
  • 07:00
UNSW Sydney

Green policies will maximise photovoltaic potential and minimise future energy costs

The levels of atmospheric aerosols and greenhouse gas emissions will have a significant impact in the future on both the production of photovoltaic energy and associated costs. That is the conclusion of research by engineers at UNSW who have studied a wide range of climate change models looking ahead 70 years. In a paper published in the Renewable Energy journal, they conclude that variations in the climate system, depending on whether weak or strong action is taken globally to reduce emissions, will lead to changes in photovoltaic (PV) energy generation. Their analysis of complex computer simulations, known as Global Climate…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time your distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.