The top 30 items we buy without considering their sustainable credentials

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

More than two thirds of Brits shop sustainably for food but turn a blind eye when it comes to homeware products, according to research.

A poll of 2,000 adults found more than a third (36 per cent) have never considered the sustainability credentials of a mattress or a TV before making a purchase, while another 35 per cent said the same of laptops and smartphones.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

White goods, bedding and sofas are also among the homeware items bought without any consideration for the environment.

In comparison, less than one in five would purchase makeup without thinking about how sustainable it was, while only 20 per cent would do the same with eggs and pet food.

Most important consideration

It also emerged price (64 per cent) is still the most important consideration to shoppers when deciding what to buy, followed by the look of the product (36 per cent).

But 21 per cent take into account environmental concerns while 14 per cent look for items which are locally sourced.

Hide Ad

And it emerged the kitchen is the room of the house respondents are most likely to fill with eco-friendly products (23 per cent).

Hide Ad

A spokesman for The John Lewis Partnership, which commissioned the research, said: “As a society, we are becoming increasingly conscious about the origin and sustainable credentials of the products we buy. But as this research shows, this doesn’t always apply to all areas of the household.

“The public has an important role in shaping standards across the UK as the more they demand high standards and sustainable action, the more pressure they put on businesses to deliver them.

“As a nation, we’ve made great strides over the last few years in ensuring the UK sources more sustainable food and packaging and we need to ensure that interest isn’t restricted to the kitchen only.”

Hide Ad

While 43 per cent of respondents consider themselves to be a sustainable shopper, only 16 per cent make a conscious effort to check a brand’s eco credentials before buying its products.

But despite some trying to shop sustainably, 37 per cent feel there is not enough action being taken by brands.

Hide Ad

And more than a third (32 per cent) even went as far as to say brands are not doing enough to raise awareness of their sustainable products – at a time when 51 per cent would prefer to buy more natural items for their home.

Sustainable mattress

The research coincides with the launch of John Lewis’s new sustainable mattress range, which for the first time will be made with wool from sheep farms supplying its sister brand Waitrose.

Hide Ad

With countless British farmers forced to burn their wool due to its low value, the move aims to shine a light on the quality of British wool as well as raise its value for the benefit of sheep farmers all over the UK.

The John Lewis Partnership spokesman added: “We hope initiatives like this will encourage more people to think where their products have come from and how sustainable they are, from the coffee they drink in the morning to the mattresses they sleep on at night.”

The study, commissioned via OnePoll, also found 52 per cent of adults are willing to pay as much as 13 per cent more for products which use sustainable wool to help the livelihood of British farmers who produce them.

Hide Ad

It also emerged 66 per cent are completely unaware many lamb producers burn wool due to the low prices they receive.


  1. TVs
  2. Mattresses
  3. Smartphones
  4. Laptops
  5. White goods/kitchen appliances
  6. Bedding
  7. Sofas/ chairs
  8. Shampoo
  9. Towels
  10. Washing up liquid
  11. Washing detergent
  12. Clothes/ shoes
  13. Wooden furniture
  14. Lightbulbs
  15. Gardening supplies
  16. Toilet paper
  17. Cars
  18. Rice
  19. Soap
  20. Teabags
  21. Toys
  22. Milk/ dairy products
  23. Moisturiser
  24. Coffee
  25. Fruit/ veg
  26. Pet food
  27. Plastic bottles
  28. Eggs
  29. Facewash
  30. Beauty products
Related topics: