UK Ethical Market - Annual Report

The Ethical Consumer Markets Report has been acting as an important barometer of UK spending since 1999. We track sales data across a wide range of consumer sectors.

The report is trusted and used by businesses, academics and the UK Government. 



Ethical Markets Report 2015


Ethical spending has continued to grow, despite difficult market conditions, according to the 2015 Ethical Consumer Markets Report.



The value of ethical sales grew by 8%, during a period when inflation barely rose above 0.5%. And the overall value of the ethical market grew from £35bn to £38bn showing a continued commitment from consumers across all sectors to support more ethical products and services. Sales of electric, hybrid and other tax-band A-rated cars grew by 40% to nearly £7bn, and spending on solar panels rose by nearly 25% to £716m

The value of money held ethically fell by 2%, largely caused by accounts being closed or moved from the Co-operative Bank. All other elements in the sector - including savings and investments with Triodos Bank - showed year on year growth. Ethical investment grew by 9% to £13bn. Combined ethical money and ethical spending totals rose from £78bn to £80bn.

In the food and drink sector, 2014 saw the first ever fall in a value of Fairtrade sales (4%) since the scheme began. This may have been caused by a combination of factors including falling market share at Sainsbury’s and the Co-op, Fairtrade’s biggest supporters in the retail sector, and growing sales at Aldi and Lidl, which have smaller Fairtrade ranges. The ethical food sector grew overall with a revival in organic sales, strong growth in sustainable fish sales, and a good performance in other ethical food sectors.


Report highlights

  • Ethical sales up by 8% 
  • The overall value of the ethical market grew from £35bn to £38bn
  • Combined ethical money and ethical spending totals rose from £78bn to £80bn



Value of the Ethical Market 1999- 2014

Graph showing the value of the ethical market from 1999 to 2014. A full sized version of the graph is available in the full report.  



The full report also includes data on:

  • Ethical Food and Drink
  • Green Home
  • Transport
  • Ethical Personal Care 
  • Ethical Money
  • Boycotts




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