50% of global consumers now eco-friendly

The number of eco-friendly consumers is rising, with 50% globally being more environmentally conscious, according to a PwC’s June 2021 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey.

According to the survey, a high percentage of the people who work from home are more likely to engage in sustainable behaviours.

Consumers who were surveyed, indicated that they choose products with a traceable and transparent origin, buying from companies that are conscious of the environment and supportive of protecting it.

Furthermore, these consumers say they intentionally buy items with eco-friendly packaging or less packaging; they buy more biodegradable products, and when shopping for products, they check the labelling/packaging for sustainability certification(s).

Cape Town-based Evolve Biodegradable, a company established in September 2020, prides itself on its locally manufactured and packaged products by South Africans for South Africans. 

According to Eva Kaiser, director at Evolve Biodegradable, the business specialises in eco-friendly cleaning, personal hygiene and skin care products.

Eva Kaiser

Kaiser is also the director of Evalution Flooring, a vinly flooring company that services the commercial and residential market, whose products are GreenTag Certified, offering the option of recycling the off-cuts to avoid sending extra waste to landfill. This initiative is still in the beginning phase but will be launched in the near future.

“Our clients are eco-friendly people who have a passion for reducing their carbon footprint and want to be kinder to our planet,” says Kaiser.

Increase in environmentally conscious consumers

As indicated he PwC survey, Kaiser explains that as a result of Covid-19, they are noticing that consumers are becoming more eco-friendly, with many choosing to buy from companies that are conscious of protecting  the environment.

However, the challenge for Evolve Biodegradable is convincing customers to shop online. “Customers like to touch, feel and smell the product before purchasing, and many say it’s easier to grab the product off the shelf when shopping,” points out Kaiser. She says they are looking to implement a subscription-type model that will make it easy for return customers when purchasing similar products.

“Online shopping has definitely increased substantially during the Covid-19 pandemic, but it appears that people are not very keen on purchasing general household or face products. We really hope this will change, as it is not easy to convince people to look at something new.”

Having been in the biodegradable product industry for a year now, Kaiser says that in general, the majority of South Africans are not eco-friendly and do not appear to care too much about the environment.

It could be that it’s easier to grab products off the shelf when shopping, or that biodegradable items have generally been quite expensive compared to conventional products. “Our products are unique and competitively priced.”

Additionally, Kaiser says she finds that recycling doesn’t appear to be important to most people. To this end, Evolve Biodegradable has embarked on promotional campaigns of their products. There have a re-usable packaging and refills offer, and they offer discounts if packaging is returned to be re-used or recycled.

Evolve Biodegradable eco-friendly products

Kaiser explains that they supply a full range of eco-friendly cleaning products for floors and general household cleaning, including bathroom and kitchen cleaners, degreasers and dishwashing liquids. 

“We also have a range of personal hygiene products, including our Hand Wash and Body Wash. Our Eau de Poof is a winner, as it’s a ‘Before you Go’ loo spray, which ensures that whatever happens in the loo, stays in the loo.” 

Other popular products include Citrus gel and Laundry Fragrance Booster for washing clothes.

“We’ve recently introduced a skin care range called Jyothi, which we’ve been testing for several months to see how well it works. It’s so effective, that friends and family have been commenting on how good our skin looks and I’ve personally stopped wearing base every day, which is unheard of for me,” notes Kaiser.

Moreover, Kaiser points out that their manufacturer encompasses the latest ingredients in green technology and most are GreenTag Certified. 

Anelda Williams, Eva Kaiser and Megan Clench

“Our manufacturer and developer is the only company whose microbes are GreenTag Certified. These microbes make the products beyond net zero, with additional downstream benefits to the environment and aquatic systems.”

Evolve Biodegradable products use dermatologically safe ingredients that are checked for inflammatory effects, such as carcinogenicity and respiratory risks, for example.

These products are not tested on animals and they do not contain animal or genetically modified ingredients, thus they are Vegan, Halaal and Kosher.

“We also have concentrate products with constant research and development to ensure the products are affordable, compared to other conventional products. As a female-only-run small business, we are detail-oriented, ensuring customer satisfaction with each purchase.”

On being environmentally friendly

Kaiser says, “Now more than ever, it’s important to be eco-friendly and kinder to the planet.”

Operating an environmentally friendly business helps to reduce the impact on the environment and that is what Evolve Biodegradable does.

“Unfortunately, there aren’t nearly enough people realising this, but we are doing our best to convert people to a more sustainable way of living.”

She points to renowned natural historian, Sir David Attenborough’s television documentaries that show how the planet is being decimated by humans and their actions. 

“If we can convert people to eco-friendly and biodegradable products and help them to realise that these products work just as well, then we’ve already achieved something huge to stop all the toxic cleaning agents that are mass produced, going down the drain and entering our rivers, lakes and oceans.” 

Kaiser emphasises the importance of not falling for the ‘green washing’ that is happening, where there are claims that things are ‘green’ when they aren’t actually.

“We would love more people and businesses to go on our journey with us to a collectively cleaner and more sustainable environment,” she adds.

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Edited by Gudrun Gillham

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Safrea or its members.

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