Mongolian consumers’ understanding about sustainable wool and cashmere productsEconomy
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The AVSF Mongolia’s project on Sustainable Textile Production and Eco Labelling – SteP EcoLab organized a meeting to introduce the findings of a Survey to determine the Mongolian consumers’ perception about sustainable wool and cashmere products.
The meeting hosted the executives and marketing specialists from wool and cashmere processing companies who have shown interest and demonstrated their willingness to introduce sustainability principles and adopt sustainable production best practices. During the meeting, the participants highlighted the specific elements and the importance of the survey as the first within the sector, having extensive discussions around the opportunities revealed by the survey and sharing their current practices in working with consumers. The survey was made among 500 UB consumers who purchase wool and cashmere products more than once per year and with the monthly income of over MNT1.5 million. 85 % of total surveyors responded they pay attention to environmental issues trying to reduce their footprint and emphasized overgrazing and desertification as the most imperative issues. Surveyors were frustrated that the traditional eco-friendly lifestyle and culture of the Mongolians with the deep admiration for mother nature are fading and the businesses overlook environmental issues. The consumers’ perception about sustainable products were differing depending on the level of education. Out of total respondents 17% replied they have heard about sustainable products, and the remaining part associated this as “daily use products or the products in high demand or with stable price”. Most respondents noted that the current Mongolian translation of the word “sustainable” tends to cause misinterpretation of the main content and therefore may need revision.
To the questions about their opinions about sustainable production by domestic processors, the surveyors replied they have doubts or that they have hardly reflected from this perspective. However, following the explanations about sustainable value chain and production, 93% of the respondents showed a high interest in using sustainable products in the event if there is fact assured information about sustainability. Moreover, 18% of the respondents agreed to pay up to 55% premium price for the wool and cashmere products that environmentally-friendly, socially beneficial, and economically efficient.
At the meeting, the STeP EcoLab Project Manager Dr. Ing. U. Sarangoo highlighted: “There is a positive tendency that the consumers’ attitude is changing towards more sustainable consumption and about sustainability in general. Therefore, this is critical for the processors to recognize the essence of sustainable production and help the consumers make the right choice. One of the most important facts that need to be always remembered in the sustainable value chain is ethics and faithfulness of all the involved stakeholders. We believe that the survey findings and recommendation will serve as the foundation for company CEOs to review their production practices and for decision-makers to collaborate with producers to adopt sustainable production requirements and best practices”.
The Sustainable Textile Production and Eco Labelling project – SteP EcoLab is funded by the European Union and implemented by AVSF Mongolia to promote sustainable production in the wool and cashmere value chain.