Sustainability trends for a greener planet
Now that the worst of the January blues are over, we thought we’d investigate the trends creeping into 2022 around sustainability. Whether it’s a pledge to fly less, choosing Oatly over dairy in your latte or a project to rewild your garden, there are signs all over the place that people are heading to the greener side. We’ve picked up on 5 trends that are on the agenda for a greener planet this year, some already more apparent than others.
- Sustainable Finance
The finance sector has one of the biggest parts to play in delivering the goals set by COP26 of net zero by 2030. Consumers can really impact here by moving their money to organisations that prioritise ethics and the environment. This year, more of us will choose to set up accounts with ethical banks such as Triodos Bank, to avoid financial institutions that invest heavily in fossil fuels. Ethical banking is not just about having a card made of recycled plastic or planting trees with every new account made. Although these gestures are a step in the right direction, the most important impact factor is the investment and lending focus of the bank. A bank that is truly ethical, will lend to support sustainable movements such as electric vehicle infrastructure.
- Sustainable Fashion
Having nowhere to go for the duration of the pandemic, helped a lot of us think about our fashion buying habits, particularly with regards to fast fashion, and whether a new top for every occasion is a good idea. A survey by consultants McKinsey found that 58 per cent of people are now less concerned with fashion, with over 70% saying they intend to keep their clothes for longer. 2022 will see consumers seeking to have a wardrobe that’s longer lasting and more minimalist. More people will scrutinise fast fashion labels and look for eco materials whilst shopping such as bamboo fibre, or organic cotton.
Not only will consumers think more consciously about how much they’re buying; secondhand trends will continue to rise too. It’s been fashionable for a while to seek out the most vintage item on Brick Lane, however, with the focus now more on the environment and less on the ‘cool’ factor, second-hand clothing will continue to grow in popularity. Secondhand shopping apps such as Depop and Vinted, are making it easier to find alternative fashion items, and is a trend that’s particularly going to be pushed by Gen Z this year.
- Climatarian Diets
Near the end of last year doctors at global nutrition app Lifesum coined the term ‘climatarian diet’, which is all about considering where your food comes from rather than completely cutting things out. It involved factors such as seasonal eating, reduced meat intake, and being mindful about harmful additions such as pesticides. Wholefood diets will become the new mega trend for 2022’s food industry, as being conscious about where your food comes from and its impact on the planet is one of the easiest and best ways to contribute towards a more sustainable future.
- Circular consumption patterns
With mass consumption and economic growth being quite possibly the worst combination to avoid a climate crisis, this year will see consumers choosing brands and products that work within circular models. Think about these three R’s: repairing, reusing and refilling. Zero waste shops will become increasingly popular, whilst supermarkets will also venture into the world of reusing. For example, Tesco have already partnered with a global platform for reuse, Loop, to trial a reuse system with key brands in some of their stores. If not a circular model, consumers will otherwise choose brands that are not just carbon neutral but carbon positive. This means brands that implement measures that have an overall positive effect on the planet, from beauty products to clothing lines, to homeware. For example, London-based research studio Post Carbon Lab, is looking into using algae in our clothes that can photosynthesise as you wear them!
- Mindful living
The last green trend of 2022 that we’ve investigated is an overall awareness with consumers to live more mindfully. It is likely this has stemmed from the pandemic where people were forced to reconnect with nature and the outdoors as a way of getting out the house and dealing with the stresses of life. This has helped give people insight into what their values really are and what they care about. We’ve been on the mindless consumer treadmill for so long,” says Conway-Wood. “People are wanting to become more conscious citizens and wake up to the impact they can have on a wider level.”
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