Are sustainable products expensive?

It is a common belief that sustainable products cost more. While it’s true that in many cases the upfront cost is higher, it is far cheaper in the long term as the products can be reused multiple times. In some cases, it isn’t true at all and the sustainable option is better for your wallet and the planet.

There are many reasons why sustainable products can be more expensive. The production process involves using quality raw materials that are more expensive, higher manufacturing costs due to the more complex process, following green practices and a lack of demand.

Let’s delve deeper into the why behind these elements!

Lack of demand 

Although many more people are exploring sustainable lifestyles, especially since covid-19, the demand for them is surprisingly low. Why? There are many reasons! Sustainable products are better for the planet and last longer but they lack street credit because people don’t know enough about the options out there.

Not only that, people tend to get comfortable and they choose products and brands that they are familiar with rather than branching out and trying something new. These factors all translate to a higher price to make some kind of profit.

However, when you buy an eco-friendly product, you are increasing the demand for that item which will make it accessible for more people in the future.

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Quality raw materials 

The cost of sustainable products is higher than traditional products because the raw materials are more expensive. This is because they are produced in smaller quantities, they’re of better quality and have a lower environmental impact.

Additionally, many products rely on the use of chemicals such as pesticides and preservatives. Natural alternatives are more expensive because they have higher standards, which is why the majority of commercial businesses choose unsustainable methods.

Products that have third-party certifications such as Fair Trade, organic, B Corporation and leaping bunny are also more expensive. To get this certification, businesses have to pay a fee and undergo rigorous testing and inspection which increases prices for profit. But these certifications give consumers peace of mind, showing that they have chosen an ethical and sustainable product.

Discover our quick guide to eco-friendly terms

High manufacturing costs

Creating eco-friendly products involves a more complex and expensive process. Single-use plastic cutlery may be easy to cut, mould and press but bamboo cutlery involves more time and high-quality resources to produce. Additionally, natural fibres and innovative sustainable technology cost more money than their traditional counterparts. For example, fair trade or organic cotton is more expensive than regular cotton because it is more ethical and doesn’t use chemical pesticides of fertilisers.

Following green practices 

Some eco-friendly businesses go even further by not only selling sustainable products but by being a sustainable business as a whole. This may involve using recyclable packaging, following green policies such as using renewable energy or offering fair wages. Following these practices can be more expensive because they adhere to the highest standards. These companies stand out as the quality minority.

Not only is following green practices the right thing to do but it is also good for business because it creates a circular economy. When workers are paid a fair wage, they can afford their basic needs and invest more money into the local community, which helps businesses grow. However, because labour costs are higher than their unsustainable competitors, green businesses need to charge more per product to make a profit.

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Why should you still buy eco-friendly products? 

You have two options in your basket, one eco-friendly product and one not. You may sit there umming and ahing because you want to choose the eco-friendly product but it is more expensive. Here is why you should choose the sustainable and perhaps more expensive alternative.

When you buy sustainable products, you are telling the world that you support using sustainable resources, third-party certifications, fair labour and green practices. If more of us make this stand, more businesses will listen and adapt. You also tell businesses that there is an increased demand which will lead to more eco-friendly products that cost less.

It sets a good example for your friends and family, helping to educate them and making them more likely to follow suit. It is a great opportunity to start conversations with children, explaining the benefits of choosing eco-friendly products.

Check out our guide for teaching children about sustainability

Despite the more expensive upfront cost of some products, you end up saving more in the long term because they last longer. This means you will have to buy new products less frequently, saving you money! For example, LED lightbulbs last up to 50,000 hours whereas incandescent bulbs typically only last 750 hours.

Water-saving showers from hansgrohe save water each month which is a huge bonus at the moment as the cost of living continues to rise. Single-use products such as makeup wipes, kitchen roll and clingfilm may be cheap but you have to continually buy them when they run out. Reusable alternatives such as bamboo makeup remover pads, bamboo towels, Stasher bags and beeswax wraps last for many years and can be washed and reused again and again.

Shop all Sustainable Living

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How to decrease the cost of eco-friendly products?

The simplest way to decrease the cost of eco-friendly products is to increase demand. How can you do this? Buy more eco-friendly alternatives! Your purchases will tell businesses that you support sustainable products and if enough people do the same, more money will be invested into sustainable production, leading to a decrease in price.

But remember, not all eco-friendly products are more expensive than their non-sustainable counterparts! ecoegg laundry eggs and ecoegg dryer eggs for example, are the cost-effective and eco-friendly way to clean and dry your clothes. For just £9, you get 70 washes out of it which works out at an amazing 14p per wash. When you buy the refill pellets, that decreases to 10p per wash.

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Likewise, OceanSaver EcoDrops fill up one 750ml bottle of eco-friendly cleaning solution for £1.50 which is cheaper than many unsustainable alternatives like Dettol and even other sustainable brands like Method.

Shop all OceanSaver

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Put your money where your mouth is 

Here at SaveMoneyCutCarbon, our tagline is that we have everything you need to be more sustainable by reducing energy, water, plastic & carbon all while saving money, which is why we only stock products that we love!

When you become part of our Home Club, you save money on your favourite products every time so it will quickly pay off. Choosing sustainable products for your home benefits the planet and everyone else, demanding more responsibility from businesses, driving demand and thereby reducing prices.

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