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Alibaba says demand for sustainable products is surging on its B2B site

Alibaba Group, one of the world’s leading B2B marketplaces, has revealed a significant increase in the number of UK businesses sourcing more sustainable products, with high growth in several product categories, including refillable cosmetics (+64% year-on-year growth), organic detergents (+58%), and eco-friendly sanitation (+21%).

With Earth Day (22nd April) shining a light on environmental issues and calling for businesses, individuals, and governments to ‘invest in our planet’ – the data indicates a clear shift in the sourcing priorities of UK SMEs and reflects rising consumer demand for more sustainable and eco-friendly products. 

Today, some 76% of consumers in the UK are trying to play their part in creating a more sustainable future and expect brands to do the same, with 30% of consumers either switching brands or positively or negatively advocating to support this shift. 2

This has created significant opportunities for both businesses and suppliers. On its platform, has recently upgraded its Request for Quotation (RFQ) feature – a free and easy solution for buyers to send out what products they are looking for and matched suppliers will come to them and give out quotes – and, globally, has seen an 88% increase in the number of RFQs which include commonly used sustainability phrases, such as “sustainable”, “eco-friendly”, “bio-degradable”, “zero-waste”, “renewable”, “organic”, and “reusable”.

In addition to refillable cosmetics, organic detergents, and eco-friendly sanitation, has seen strong growth in bio-degradable straws, eco-bio-degradable t-shirts, and LED lighting in the UK – one of the platform’s largest buyer markets. To support UK businesses as they seek to unlock growth, is welcoming hundreds of new and sustainable products each month, cementing its position as the long-term sourcing partner of choice.

Roland Palmer, General Manager of UK, Benelux & Nordics for Alibaba Group said: “Not only has seen a big increase in sourcing needs for sustainable products, the platform is also a “hidden treasure trove” for such products with up to 6 million sustainable products to choose from. For businesses in the UK, providing consumers with more sustainable products is no longer a nice to have; it’s critical for driving advocacy and unlocking long-term growth opportunities. As the sourcing partner of choice for thousands of UK SMEs, has an important role to play in helping businesses create a greener future. To that end, we’re proud to host an ever-increasing portfolio of sustainable and eco-friendly products, and to work with suppliers around the globe to align to internationally recognised sustainability standards.”

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