What does the New Year bring? More than joyful tidings, it is another new year to look out for the move towards being kinder to the planet in all our dealings. People are going to adopt the ‘living green’ principle in a big way, experts predict. This will help in inching closer to a cleaner and greener planet. People of all generations are more aware and willing to go the extra mile to help the planet with their sustainable choices. Here’s a look at the top sustainability trends of 2019:
8 – Sustainability trends to go big in 2019
1. Recycling and circular economy will increase
China’s move restricting the import of used plastic and other trash which it used to recycle for other countries has led to countries all over the world scramble to initiate their own recycling methods and facilities. Countries are banning plastic use, especially single use plastic and educating citizens about reusing.
In the US, many automated curbside pickups for trash which can be recycled have been started. Consumers themselves are becoming more mindful about what they should buy.
Circular economy is gaining momentum, which could see an addition of approximately 9 million and 25v million jobs (McKinsey Report). The UN’s Environment Program stated that recycling and reusing materials would add 2 trillion dollars to the world’s economy. Therefore, recycling and circular economy will be trending in 2019.
2. Open collaborations will forge change in businesses
One of the sustainability trends will be in the corporate sector. Due to pressure from consumers, corporate will have to analyze and implement sustainability in all aspects of their businesses. Big manufacturers have to ensure their footprint is low in order to sell more. They would also have to learn with ‘new people’, work with environmentalists and researchers to work out ways measure the impact of their operations on the planet.
This will help in them coming up with green innovations. For example, manufacturers may power most of their operations and facilities with renewable energy power sources.
3. Prefabricated construction material will be the norm
Prefabricated materials will be used in 2019 more than ever. These materials save on the labor cost, and offer many eco friendly benefits. They reduce the waste at construction sites, thus reducing waste in the landfills, and reduce the VOCs too. Prefabrication is one of the sustainability trends which will continue in 2019.
Renting will also be trending in 2019. Renting is the in thing in 2019, renting homes and cars to clothes. Fashion companies are renting out their garments instead of selling them. Renting gives more access to sustainable choices.
The company ‘Rent the Runway’ is only ten years old and is valued at 800 million dollars, which goes to show the success of the renting idea expanding to clothes. Customers can rent through the app and website. Accessories, clothes, handbags – everything can be rented.
Another app called ‘Tulerie’ was started in 2018. This is a fantastic eco-friendly business idea which allows users to rent items from their own collections to their peers.
Renting clothes is the most sustainable method of reusing clothes, as every garment can be worn numerous times (30 times at least) before being discarded. Now, can you, or do you wear something we own so many times? No. But when we rent it out to others, and also rent from others, we get the chance to wear different clothes, without having to buy.
Buying anything new creates the demand which manufacturers have to supply, causing fresh use of already depleted raw materials and water. It also leads to a lot of pollution, as the garment industry is one of the most polluting industry sectors in the world.
Thus, renting is a sustainability trends which will gain momentum in 2019, as people understand the benefits of renting.
5. Green products will become more affordable
Green products are more expensive than conventionally produced goods. This is because of the pricier raw materials and methods and also because they are not mass produced in numbers that would offset the higher price of materials. But with more people opting for green products, the demand is higher, which has gradually reduced the price of sustainable goods.
Some big retailers are stocking green products such as clothes made from recycled plastic at low price points. Thus, the gap between sustainable and non-sustainable products is closing and this is one of the sustainability trends we will be seeing this year.
6. Biophilic design will be embraced extensively
Numerous studies have proven the link between people and their connection to nature. Living in artificial environments without any link to nature causes many psychological disorders. Biophilic design concept is about depicting natural rhythms, patterns, colors and textures of nature to office and home design for the well-being of the occupants.
Designers using biophilic designs make green innovations to the indoor environment such as including natural light, plants and natural views in their designs.
7. Businesses will advertise their green initiatives
All eco-friendly business ventures will promote their ‘green’ quotient. This will attract employees who are concerned about the environment and want to carry on their going green practices in the workplace too.
Almost all green products will have labels descriptions which detail the source of their raw materials, manufacturing practices and so on to satisfy the knowledge hungry people who keenly read all labels before purchasing. People want to know that the delicious coffee they are drinking, the chocolate they are relishing and the clothes they are showing off do not come at the cost of labor which is not treated well.
Employers will continue to focus on the wellbeing of the emotional, physical and cognitive wellbeing of their workforce. Office interiors are being redesigned to include spaces where they can connect with each other, and spaces where they can rest and recharge. This is a trend which is not green for structures but green for people, as offices are being renovated or built keeping this trend in mind.
Sustainability trends in 2019 will make the world a better place to live in. These trends will continue beyond 2019 too, as people and businesses try to weave in sustainability in every aspect of their lives.