We’re not here to persuade you. You already get it.
Along with rising numbers of consumers around the world, you know the shift to a more ethical, sustainable consumerism is the coming trend of all trends. And that you need to be a part of what’s ahead.
At TrendWatching we’ve been tracking this shift forever. So why are we highlighting it now?
Because we’re at a crucial inflection point in the journey. Awareness of the damaging planetary and social impacts of much consumerism has never been higher – driven in part by charismatic leaders (respect, Greta!) and powerful global movements for change. One glimpse of that shift in attitudes? In the UK, 23% consider the environment and climate change one of the most important issues facing the UK – the highest levels seen in 30 years. (Ipsos MORI, February 2020)
Meanwhile, even legacy players admit it’s time for radical action. Microsoft has announced plans to be carbon negative by 2030. Jeff Bezos just pledged USD 30 billion for climate change (but what about paying your tax, Jeff?). The World Economic Forum says businesses must serve society and the planet, not just shareholders.
This revolution is needed. It’s right. The opportunities are huge. Trends can be your fuel.
A long time coming…
Sure, we can rewind the clock and take a trend-journey through the evolution of this moment.
Remember back when eco-consumption was a niche status play for affluent consumers who dreamed of owning – or went out and bought! – a Tesla Model S. Or back when Patagonia helped redefine the quest for a more socially responsible business by telling readers of the New York Times ‘Do Not Buy This Jacket’. Recall the emergence of a new search for a GUILT-FREE CONSUMPTION.
Fast-forward to 2020, and purposeful consumption is more available, affordable and just plain better than ever. That means it’s becoming less a matter of status for those who opt in, and more a matter of shame for those who don’t.
But this report isn’t about the deep shifts that brought us to this place. Instead, we’re here to share three actionable trends that you can apply now. They are drawn from our full report on The Future of Purpose – featuring five trends, trend evolution timelines and additional innovation examples – that we’ve just published inside our Premium Service.
1. SUSTAINABILITY AS A SERVICE
Consumers embrace services that allow them to track and reduce their planetary impact.
2. OPEN SOURCE SOLUTIONS
In 2020, smart brands open source their most purposeful work.
3. CODE BREAKERS
Consumers look to brands to break their brand or industry code in the name of ethics or sustainability.
As always, each of these trends is illustrated by innovation examples that are already reshaping the expectations of your customers.
And on that, one last word before we dive in. In 2020, every business – even the most virtuous – needs to change. When we highlight the innovation examples below, we’re NOT saying the businesses behind them are perfect. Or that these examples absolve them from the need to change further.
What we ARE saying is that these examples represent steps – sometimes tiny ones – in the right direction. And that when consumers see them, they’ll start to change what they expect from you.
And that’s how the momentous change that’s coming will happen. One step at a time. So let’s go.