In the late 1980s we’d started to see mainstream brands selling ‘green’ products: washing-up liquid and clothes detergents that were more friendly to the environment. Concerns about phosphate-based detergents in water supplies, organo-lead compounds in petrol and the effect of chloro-fluoro carbons on the ozone layer drove a wider consumer awareness of the environment setting a zeitgeist that was ripe to sell more environmentally conscious fast-moving consumer products.
Sales of these products dropped as the recession changed consumers focus from being environmentally responsible to paying down personal debt and worrying whether they would have a job next year.
According to Ipsos as reported by Le Monde; an increasing number of consumers feel ‘too much is being done about climate change‘. A combination of ‘green wash’ products, with environmental groups seen to be part of a green conspiracy (just look at your typical Greenpeace campaign and it kind of makes sense) and a feeling that consumers greening efforts don’t move the needle in the first place. Le Monde describes this as green fatigue.