Research shows that cost jargon and greenwashing are consumers worries when it comes to buying sustainable products and materials for the home

Cost, greenwashing and jargon top consumers’ concerns about buying sustainable home products

Cost, greenwashing and jargon are among the top worries from consumers when choosing and buying sustainable products and materials for their home, according to our new research in the Homes Unhooked PR and marketing guide

Research shows people are confused and worried about buying sustainable products and materials for their home

Research: Consumers want to buy sustainable products or materials for their home – but they have concerns

Over half (52%) of people said they would like to buy products or materials for their home that are sustainable and have a positive impact on the environment but think these products are more expensive. On top of this, 50% worry that a company’s claims around the sustainability credentials of their products or materials for their home may be misleading or inaccurate.

The research, which questioned 2,015 adults as part of our Homes Unhooked PR and marketing guide, also found that 27% of consumers don’t know where to check the information and proof of sustainability claims for products or materials for their home. Furthermore, nearly a quarter (23%) said they don’t understand the language and terminology used by businesses to explain the sustainability credentials of their products or materials.

Businesses in the home interiors and construction industry need to be careful of greenwashing and jargon when promoting the eco-credentials of their products and materials

Consumers will check the eco-credentials of appliances, building materials and home furnishings - here’s where they go for the information 

The research found that people do want to make informed choices when buying products and materials for their home. Nearly two-thirds (62%) said they would be likely to check the sustainability or environmental impact of appliances before buying them, over half (54%) said they’d check before buying building materials, and 53% said they’d check before buying home furnishings.

When it comes to checking information about the sustainability or environmental impact of products, there are multiple sources consumers use. A third would check a brand’s own website, nearly a quarter (23%) would look at review sites, 22% social media, 19% packaging, and 16% news stories. 

Where, if anywhere, do you go for information about the sustainability / environmental impact of a brand's products before you buy them? 



Review sites


Social media




News stories / media coverage


Third party sources


Award wins / accreditations


ESG reports



Why businesses need consistent, clear messaging when it comes to the sustainability of their building materials, appliances and products for the home

Claire Gamble, managing director of Unhooked Communications, said: “Our research shows that for nearly half of consumers (47%) buying products or materials for their home, it’s important to buy from sustainable businesses that reduce their impact on the environment. However, there is some confusion and worries around making sustainable choices for the home.

“Before businesses start considering their PR strategies to communicate their environmental and sustainability credentials, firstly they need to make sure they’re operating in a way that genuinely benefits the planet and people, from their business operations and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies through to their manufacturing methods and investment strategies. Secondly, businesses need to have clear evidence to back up what they’re doing, whether its testing and data to support the energy efficiency claims of their products and materials, or regularly monitoring and measuring improvements in other areas of their business, such as recycling and reducing carbon footprint. 

“Our research shows shoppers will check several sources when researching the sustainability credentials of products and materials for the home. It’s therefore important for businesses in the construction and home interiors industries to have consistent messaging and proof points across multiple channels, including their website and social media, as well as third party channels, such as review sites and media outlets. Awards and accreditations can also help to build trust and credibility.”

Want to find out more about how to genuinely communicate the sustainability credentials of your building materials, appliances or products for the home? Read our Home Products and Materials Sustainability Comms blog or download the full Homes Unhooked 2023-2024 PR and Marketing Guide.

Homes Unhooked: PR and marketing guide for building materials, products and services for the home

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