DNV survey finds that consumer knowledge of circular economy is growing and their attitude towards it is generally positive; trust in companies requires strengthening, more innovation and legislation is needed to drive increased engagement, action

Sample article from our Consumer Wellness

HØVIK , January 24, 2022 (press release) –

A recent survey by DNV reveals that consumer knowledge of circular economy is growing and their attitude towards it is generally positive.

  • Of those familiar with circular economy only 45% indicate extensive knowledge and active participation.
  • 60.9% gain information from media and social media channels.
  • Only 1 in 5 gain information from manufacturers and suppliers directly.
  • 48.1% buy products with recycled properties.
  • 62.9% prefer to buy less or go for second-hand products.

A recent survey by DNV reveals that consumer knowledge of circular economy is growing and their attitude towards it is generally positive. However, trust in companies requires strengthening and, more innovation and legislation is needed to drive increased engagement and action. 

“Awareness is key but, subsequent consumer behaviour influenced by the knowledge they have is crucial to making the circular economy a reality. Ultimately, it is this knowledge is that will inspire consumer action to engage in recycling or take-back efforts or try out innovative circular products or services,” says Luca Crisciotti, CEO of Supply Chain & Product Assurance in DNV.

Encouragingly, only 35.8% had not heard of circular economy. Of those that had, 45% indicated they have extensive knowledge and actively participate.  Knowledge and engagement appear to be higher among the younger generations with more than 53% saying they actively participated. Only 32.4% in the oldest grouping said the same.

The survey reflects that consumers are mostly gaining information from media and social media channels (60.9%), with political discussion (26.8%) and friends (23%) being some way behind. Only 1 in 5 respondents mentioned information coming from manufacturers and suppliers directly, highlighting businesses may need to do more to get their message out and build trust.

“Manufacturers and companies have to drive circular economy transition. However, this is not possible without consumer participation. Thus, more must be done to fill the information gap, ensure that consumer awareness is priority and provided validated, trusted information,” says Luca Crisciotti.

Clearly, consumers are beginning to consider the impact of their purchasing behaviours. As many as 48.1% said they buy products with recycled properties and 62.9% prefer to buy less or go for second-hand products. Behavioural patterns, upbringing and purchasing power seem to play a role. Those above 55 years of age do more repairs than their younger counterparts. The younger generations tend to buy more second-hand and rent instead of owning. This could reflect a mix of it new fashion trends and economic power.

A number of aspects influence consumers when deciding on whether to buy circular fashion products.  Information on ecological footprint is very important (49.1%). It is closely followed by working and labour conditions, quality of the product, and certifications, verified labels and validated sustainability claims.

In the area of fashion, the primary reasons for choosing a circular product are still style and the price. Contributing towards environmental and circular causes ranks third. Price is especially relevant for the younger generations, which could potentially be linked to their purchasing power.

While consumers are not willing to go circular at any cost, it is interesting that when asked about plastic circularity, for example, they perceive most alternatives to single-use plastic as circular and sustainable. This provides an opportunity for the companies to adapt and consider business model innovation, focusing on the efforts that yield the most return.

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.

See our dashboard in action - schedule an demo
Chelsey Quick
Chelsey Quick
- VP Client Success -

We offer built-to-order consumer wellness coverage for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation.

About Us

We deliver market news & information relevant to your business.

We monitor all your market drivers.

We aggregate, curate, filter and map your specific needs.

We deliver the right information to the right person at the right time.

Our Contacts

1990 S Bundy Dr. Suite #380,
Los Angeles, CA 90025

+1 (310) 553 0008

About Cookies On This Site

We collect data, including through use of cookies and similar technology ("cookies") that enchance the online experience. By clicking "I agree", you agree to our cookies, agree to bound by our Terms of Use, and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. For more information on our data practices and how to exercise your privacy rights, please see our Privacy Policy.