The Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) recently published its fifth annual consumer research study, the 2013 Green Home Furnishings Study. The report, available now for SFC members and non-members, shows that consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious in their purchases and are willing to pay more in order to own greener products, but retailers and manufacturers need to educate consumers about sustainable home furnishings if they want to earn their dollars.
“The need for greater awareness about the importance of ‘living green’ is among the top takeaways from this year’s study,” says to SFC Executive Director Susan Inglis. “Our report shows the consumer is more aware about sustainability, especially as it pertains to energy savings and reclaimed materials, but the need for home furnishings retailers and manufacturers to do more is clear-cut.”
Indeed, 49 percent of this year’s 460 respondents stated they were “Definitely Interested” or “Very Interested” in buying green home furnishings, if the style and cost was about the same as other options. Meanwhile, 46 percent of respondents cited “lack of awareness” as the reason why they have not purchased green home furnishings.
Other key findings:
-Style, quality, and price were the top factors for consumers when they make their next furniture purchase.
-42.9 percent of respondents shop the Internet before going to a furniture store.
-Toxic pollutants in the waste stream were the top environmental concern for consumers.
-50 percent of respondents stated that they knew a little about global warming but were not doing much about it.
-The two areas that showed that consumers had changed their lives were: replacing light bulbs with compact fluorescents (76.3 percent) and recycling in the home (75.5 percent).
-58 percent of respondents felt that if a product claimed to be 'green' it would probably cost more.
-46 percent of consumers were unaware of any 'green' home furnishings and 45.2 percent would definitely be interested in buying green home furnishings if styling and cost was about the same as non-green home furnishings.
-Half of the survey respondents (50.4 percent) were “Definitely interested” or “Very interested” in purchasing wood furniture that was certified as “legal” rather than wood furniture that did not carry this certification.
To obtain a copy of the 2013 Green Home Furnishings Study, which was underwritten by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and conducted by Impact Consulting Group, SFC members obtain login credentials when they contact the SFC offices at 252.368.1098 or [email protected]. The report is available to non-SFC members for $250 at https://furniturecore.com; select the Industry Info tab and choose Industry Reports in the dropdown menu.