Consumers Women `more ethical than men'

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The Independent Online
Nearly half of all women believe themselves to be ethical consumers, concerned about the environment and their effect on it. This compares with less than a third of men.

According to research by the Future Foundation and commissioned by British Telecom, ethical consumers are characterised by a heightened sense of concern about crime, education and unemployment. But they are also more worried about a broader range of problems from discrimination and homelessness to the global environment.

While ethical consumers make up one in three of us, the survey of a thousand people found that they are most likely to be aged between 35 and 55. They are also more likely to be women.

Of those aged 35 to 44, 42 per cent said they were ethical consumers and 46 per cent of 45- to 54-year-olds agreed. Worryingly those least likely to be interested in an ethical standpoint were the 18- to 24-year- olds, half of whom said they were unconcerned about such issues. More than four out of five of the ethicals said they would be prepared to pay a little more for products if they knew it did a lot for the wider society and the community.