Is Saving the Planet a Women’s Task?

Various studies have shown a remarkable trend when it comes to the marketing of green products.

Woman using solid shampoo with a brush

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The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano

From sustainable clothes to eco-friendly cutlery, these products are mostly marketed and purchased by women.

Why Is This Happening?

When shopping at supermarkets, it is now easy to notice that green choices are all over the place! However, if we think of clothing, considering that the fashion industry is a great polluter, are there plenty of sustainable options for men and women? The simple answer is yes. I can recall many brands for women who want to buy second-hand or eco-friendly clothes. While for men, I can hardly think of any. As revealed by a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, there is strong evidence that people regard consumers who have eco-friendly habits as “more feminine.” The research has also mentioned that men avoid green behaviors to protect their masculinity.

Another possible explanation for the fact that eco-friendly products are mostly marketed and bought by women is that females are usually considered responsible for domestic tasks rather than men. This also explains why sellers tend to use pink when selling green products. The market research firm Mintel has called this an “eco gender gap.” A report by Mintel said women “still tend to take charge of the running of the household,” with laundry, cleaning, and recycling falling under that banner. Still, advertisers have forgotten that it is also their job to tell their audience that sustainability is not just for women. Our planet also needs men to engage in adopting environmentally friendly behaviors.

It is worth highlighting that the study “Is Eco-Friendly Unmanly,” available in the Journal of Consumer Research, indicates that shoppers who engage in eco-friendly behaviors are regarded by others as more feminine and also see themselves as more feminine. If you wonder how to make men want to buy green products, there is good news!


The mentioned study also found that men are more open to purchasing environmental products if their masculinity gets a branding boost. For instance, in another study, the team compared the desire to donate from men and women to green charities. One of the charities was named “Friends of Nature,” whose logo was a tree, while the other was called “Fun for Wilderness Rangers,” whose logo was a wolf howling to the moon. Women were more likely to select the traditional green marketing option while men were attracted to the masculine branding.

Various studies have revealed that using masculine terms for green products, instead of employing the traditional marketing strategy, is effective for engaging men in eco-friendly purchases. However, in a time when scientists have confirmed that human activity, particularly greenhouse emissions, is the leading cause of temperature increases, a threat to masculinity is no excuse to change your habits to ensure the future of our planet.

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