Press release -
Climate change is impacting the consumption choices of every second Swede
The ongoing debate on climate change is having a major impact on consumption habits in Sweden. But it is affecting women and men differently. The shifts in consumption are most pronounced among city-dwellers, young people and women. The figure for women is 66 per cent. While for men it is 46 per cent.
Yet although awareness of the climate crisis is growing, six out of ten women are still purchasing products that they don’t have room for. This is one of the findings of a survey conducted by Elfa.
Climate change awareness has altered women’s consumption habits the most
Many Swedes (56%) say they are modifying their consumption habits as a result of the debate on climate change. It has generally led to a reduction in purchasing, unused items being sold or donated to a greater extent, and a surge in recycling among the public.
This is according to a survey commissioned by Elfa and conducted by Yougov. The survey found that it is predominantly women who have changed their consumption behaviour. Two out of three women (66%) responded that the climate change debate is shaping their consumption habits. Just under half the men (46%) who were interviewed said that this is the case. There are also far more (67%) people in the youngest age group, 18-29 years, who say that their consumption habits are influenced by climate change than in the 50-59 age group, where the figure is 50 per cent. An overwhelming majority of students and urban residents also answered that the climate change debate has affected their consumption choices, with the figures being 73 and 62 per cent respectively.
“We can see that the debate on climate change is having an increasing effect on women’s consumption habits, but men are still better at using the space in their wardrobe and not buying items that they don’t have room for. We need to inspire one another in order to make a real difference,” says Christine Dalman, Storage Expert at Elfa.
Not practising what we preach
Although many of us claim that the climate crisis debate is having an influence on how we consume, the survey also reveals that many Swedes are over-consuming. Almost half (48%) the men and more than half (58%) the women say they have bought products for which they don’t have storage space. One in three people say they only use half of their clothes and shoes on a regular basis. Four out of ten people send clothing and footwear that they don’t use to recycling centres in order to make room for new items. Nearly one in four people (24%) throw the items away, while one in five people (21%) sell the things they don’t use. Young adults and families with children are among those who are best at recycling clothing and footwear, while pensioners and the elderly without both work and children were found to recycle the least.
Fashion expert Nina Campioni, who is a member of Elfa’s think tank “Studio Elfa”, shares her thoughts on our new consumption patterns;
“Paradoxically, we are spending more than ever on Black Friday, but the interest in sustainability is growing noticeably. This is something I’m seeing both as a consumer and from the perspective of the fashion industry. It is an incredibly exciting and crucial time for the paradigm shift and the massive changes that need to occur.”
About the survey
The survey was carried out in 20-23 March, 2020, by YouGov, an independent market research company, on behalf of Elfa. It is an online survey covering a total of 1011 people, aged between 18 and 74 years. The choice of interviewees is representative of the Swedish population with regard to gender, age and religion.
Elfa provides a storage system created to fit people’s individual needs throughout life. Our product portfolio includes customized sliding doors as well as wall-hung or free-standing wardrobe interiors. – all in sustainable, functional design of the highest quality.
The company was founded in 1948 and has been owned since 1999 by The Container Store, the USA’s largest storage products retail chain. The Container Store is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Elfa has three factories and seven sales companies in Europe. The group reported turnover of approximately MSEK 1 203 in the 2019 fiscal year and by the end of fiscal year 2019 the group had 501 employees. Our head office is located in Malmö