31st January 2023

How to shift consumer behaviour to become more sustainable

By TFRG Team

The green agenda has never been so popular, with eco-friendly brands and businesses saturating a range of sectors from furniture and fashion to interiors and food.

Global events including COP27 alongside the increasing news on climate change have also focused consumer attention back on the planet, with around 65% of shoppers saying they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability. Consumer interest in sustainability seems to be at an all time high, or does it?

While the majority of consumers showcase positive attitudes towards sustainable shopping, only 26% actually go through with a purchase. So how can we change positive opinions on sustainability to make greener consumer habits?

Recycling trends

As the popularity for sustainable living continues to grow, so do the relevant trends that follow. Consumers are always at the forefront of new trends and recycling is no different. From upcycling and buying pre-loved items to crafting and shopping locally there are a wide variety of eco trends that consumers love and businesses can support too.


It’s important to educate consumers to ensure they have all the information they need to make informed decisions around sustainability. For example, following various advertising campaigns, many people believe that their mattress needs replacing after eight years. Research conducted by Dreams in 2016 revealed that 76% of people’s mattresses were less than eight years old.

However many mattresses are able to last longer than this if they are well looked after. This could result in a longer lifespan for a product before it is recycled responsibly and broken down into its component parts – something that we specialise in at The Furniture Recycling Group.


Incentives are a great way to reward your customers and support return custom at the same time. By incentivising an environmental choice, it helps consumers to get into the habit of choosing the greener option and over time influencing their behaviour.

Starbucks offers slightly cheaper drinks if customers use their own reusable cup, with other consumers paying an extra 5p for the use of a paper cup, therefore rewarding the customers who are willing to make a more sustainable choice.

Personal connections

Sharing a personal connection to your brand, business, product or service with customers can be an integral part of creating a lifelong customer! Many independent shops and cafes support local community initiatives that are important to their customers to make sure they feel connected and that there is an added value to shopping with you.

Follow Your Legend, a brand aiming to protect wildlife on a global scale has recently created an exciting alternative to receiving traditional charity donations. While consumers will still donate money, they will now receive a cuddly toy and a QR code, which when scanned will show a range of details about the unique animal the customer is supporting such as their name, age, about their offspring and videos of them swimming in real time in the ocean.

This level of personal connection allows the consumer to feel added value and a sense of pride in what they have supported, something that they will want to replicate with future purchases.

New initiatives

It can be easier for consumers to choose more sustainable options when the greener choice is right in front of them.

We support a range of retailers across the UK including John Lewis and Simba with our mattress recycling service. We can recycle and rejuvenate used mattresses diverting them away from landfill by either breaking down used mattresses into their 19 component parts and recycling, or by rejuvenating comfort guarantee mattresses which retailers can then resell to consumers.

By introducing new sustainable schemes, consumers automatically start to choose more environmentally friendly products and services and may find it harder to go back to previous choices that aren’t offering a greener solution.

Social media discovery

Humans are very social creatures. We often look to our friends and family to understand their habits and opinions which can influence our own. So when it comes to how to spend our money, people in positions of influence and authority can have a big impact on our choices.

Social media is a key source of brand discovery and trust for the majority of consumers. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or a public figure, the people they follow alert them to new trends, products and habits before brands.

Discovery via social media influencers creates authentic connections between consumers and a brand, with the result of adopting a new buying behaviour or utilising a new product. To really influence a change across a range of consumers, brands should consider introducing social influencers or brand ambassadors to their marketing campaigns to support long term consumer change.

There are several ways of helping your customers to become more sustainable and unleash their green purchasing power. Tapping into popular recycling trends, but most importantly creating environmentally friendly initiatives so they have the choice. If new ideas are created in line with your business and sustainability goals it ensures they not only help your business, but the planet too.

Discover how our recycling service is helping a range of businesses and brands to support their customers greener shopping habits.

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