But when it comes to what’s inside these boxes the lines of good and bad become even more blurred. After reading up about unsustainable palm oil plantations in Indonesia, Amol has become the household’s palm oil police and can’t seem to stop finding it in food, cosmetics and even cleaning products. He also started buying himself clothes made of fibre grown in regenerative ways whenever he can, which made him more aware of how Alice’s £3 playground sweatpants really only seem to last a couple of washing cycles.
Helen, meanwhile, keeps stumbling on stories such as how labels made of citrus juice residue allow upcycling, and has started scouting for products that feel more in line with her values. Because why not buy stuff that might not negatively impact Alice’s future?
Covid-19 has made our dirty habits more visible and, in a sense, it has radicalised a large group of people that used to be recycling moderates. They’re people like Amol and Helen who, when confronted with the amount of plastic they produce, are now scouring labels to try and minimise their family footprint. And when presented with a clear choice, they will pick the less impactful option, often regardless of the extra cost, trouble or longer delivery time.
What people like Helen and Amol are ultimately craving is transparency. They find comfort in the fact that the consequences of their actions are clear so they can make informed decisions. For brands this represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sway a demographic that is usually already set in their ways. For example: the supermarket that implements touchless tech in a way that minimises food waste and then manages to communicate that story in a concise way, will come out on top.
Transparency is now central to society – not just a wishy-washy afterthought. Innovating, implementing and telling that story and involving customers in the correct will be crucial in the inter- and post-Covid world.
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