Facts & Figures

Lead Market Sustainable Consumption

Sustainable consumption, i.e. consumption that has as little negative impact as possible on the living conditions of future generations, has increasingly entered the public and private consciousness in recent years. An increasing proportion of consumers are paying more attention to the origin, ingredients and manufacturing conditions of the products on offer, whereby both environmental and social factors can play a role in the purchasing decision.

This basic trend remained unbroken in 2020, a year dominated by the Corona pandemic, and has in some cases intensified, especially with regard to regionally produced foods such as vegetables, fruit and meat products. This development could indicate that in times of a global health crisis, people feel an increased need for consumer goods whose origin is traceable and thus conveys a sense of security and trust. Particularly with regard to the meat industry, a connection with the Corona cases in some companies and the accompanying reporting on the working conditions in the industry can also be assumed. The results of further studies indicate that the trend towards more regionally oriented food consumption will continue beyond the Corona pandemic.


Key Insights

to the Lead Market

121,197 (+0.0%)


10,332 (-1.7%)


72.91 bn. € (+7.8%)


A major part of resource consumption and environmental pollution is due to the consumption behaviour of private households. The consumption of products or services enables consumers to satisfy their needs. However, current patterns of consumption leave their mark all over the world, manifesting themselves in many ways, e.g. through precarious living and working conditions in some production locations, extinction of species, plastic islands in the sea and the emission of greenhouse gases. Sustainable consumption attempts to minimise these negative effects, so that future generations are able to meet their needs without exceeding the earth's capacity limits.

The lead market of sustainable consumption was able to maintain its employment figure from the previous year at approximately the same level (+38; 0.0 %). The share of total employment remains at 6.8 %. More than half of the employees (61.7 %) work in the core area of retail trade with short-lived consumer goods. A regional focus of the lead market exists in the district of Wesel and in Herne.

The trend towards sustainably manufactured products is also growing in the textile and clothing industry. For example, sales of garments made of fairly produced and traded cotton have been rising steadily for several years, and the demand for alternative materials such as vegan leather alternatives or recycled plastic is also increasing. Buzzwords such as "fair fashion" or "green fashion", which initially only referred to small niches in the textile industry, are becoming more and more important. It is therefore foreseeable that textile companies that focus on sustainability, the development of new materials and fair production conditions will continue to establish themselves on the market in the future.

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