Open-minded shoppers willing to try new products leading to a boom in ethical spending, says report

The contribution to the economy of 'ethical' or 'environmentally friendly' products has been calculated to be worth £32bn

Shoppers who are happy to be the first to try out new products are driving a boom in ethical spending, from electric cars to DIY energy generation, according to a new report.

The contribution to the economy of “ethical” or “environmentally friendly” products has been calculated to be worth £32bn, says Ethical Consumer magazine’s annual report.

The publication’s editor, Rob Harrison, said: “Early adopters, the people who try out new products first, are continuing to lead the way to a more sustainable future.”

The figures, compiled by the Consumer Data Research project, represent a 9 per cent increase in the sector, which is faring better than the UK economy as a whole, Mr Harrison said, adding: “The strong performance of the UK’s ethical market is also particularly good when compared to economic growth of 1.9 per cent over the same period.”

Sales of electric and hybrid cars grew by 78 per cent in 2013 to be worth almost £5bn. Spending on ethical food and drink rose 8 per cent, with free-range egg sales up 19 per cent and sustainable fish increasing by 17 per cent.

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