This year’s Christmas period is set to be the most ethical on record for UK businesses, according to a new study.
The latest Ethical Consumer Markets Report published by sustainable lender Triodos Bank and Ethical Consumer found that the overall ethical market is worth £81.3 billion across 27 business sectors, showing a year-on-year increase of 3.2 per cent.
It also marked the 14th consecutive year of growth, outstripping the rate seen by non-ethical counterparts.
The study said sales of ethical food and drink grew by 9.7 per cent, with the organic market growing to £1.81bn, up 3.8 per cent.
Among Scottish consumer brands offering ethical Christmas products are artisan cheesemaker Isle of Mull Cheese and boutique organic chocolatier Chocolate Tree.
The growth comes as food price inflation has reached 3.4 per cent, with discount retailers growing market share.
Sales of ethical clothing were up by 22.4 per cent in a sector worth £36 million, while data published last week by accountancy and advisory firm BDO revealed a 2.5 per cent year-on-year drop in fashion sales last month.
Bevis Watts, MD at Triodos Bank UK, said: “It is encouraging to see that more and more people are consciously choosing ethical and local options at Christmas and rejecting mindless consumerism. Where we spend, save and invest has a huge impact on our environment and the world around us. However, at just 1.3 per cent growth, the report shows that ethical banking is still lagging behind other ethical sectors.
“This might have been because the options just haven’t been there.”