Mind the Gap –

Between Your Ethics and Your Actions

Catch Up Video View Session

Jim Needell – Chief Client Officer, Ipsos UK

Joanne Meehan – Professor of Responsible Procurement, University of Liverpool



  • Ethics
  • Consumer trends
  • Economics
  • Retail

Consumers say climate change is an important issue, but cheap clothes, mass produced meat and bargain holidays fly off the shelves. In the Venn diagram of what we say and what we do, how much overlap really exists? 

We say we want to be better consumers, act more responsibly and do our part to make the world a better place, but do our actions match our words? Research suggests that people aren’t necessarily putting their money where their mouth is – supporting ethical consumerism in theory but not in practice.  

A 2020 survey from GlobalData found that 45% of shoppers are actively searching for sustainable products, goods and services. Online supermarket Ocado has recently launched a dedicated virtual ‘aisle’ showcasing 1,100 products from more than 35 B-Corp certified brands, as customers increasingly look for more sustainable groceries.

Yet fast fashion and homewares brands continue to grow, consumers still take short-haul flights, eat processed foods, drive everywhere, use disposable products and buy cheap ‘stuff’.

We read negative headlines about the likes of BooHoo, Amazon and Uber but increasing numbers of consumers use their products and services. So is this talk of ‘conscious consumerism’ just hot air?

What’s the business case for behaving ethically, how can you do it better, and how can you talk about it to consumers? Do ethics really matter to today’s consumers?

In these so called enlightened times, why is the ‘say do’ gap so wide and how can we close it? 



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