Here are the sustainability trends to look out for this year.
In 2021, we predicted the past year would bring more interest in recycled textiles, reliance on data to understand the effects of climate change, increased adoption of eco-friendly living, and improved regulation of toxic chemicals. For the most part, we were on target.
So what will 2023 bring? And how will communities, governments, companies, and individuals continue to make progress on sustainability during these pivotal years for reversing the effects of climate change?
We have a few ideas. We consulted the latest research, surveys, and consumer reports to predict what’s to come. Curious about the results?
Here are sustainability trends to look out for in 2023.
As the number of people prioritizing planet-friendly products and brands increases — nearly 90 percent of Gen X consumers are willing to spend 10 percent extra or more for sustainable products — they will also demand greater transparency from companies. To cultivate loyalty, brands will no longer be able to skirt by with vague sustainability statements. In order to stay competitive, they’ll need to be more transparent about how and where their products are made, whether materials are ethically and sustainably sourced, and how they’re reducing carbon emissions. A report by Deloitte found that consumer brands that aren’t open and transparent are the most at risk of losing meaningful trust with consumers. Avocado, for its part, is already one step ahead. We’re implementing blockchain technology into our supply chain to deliver a level of transparency and verified material integrity that few brands provide.
Read more: Why Blockchain is Essential for Brand Trust
Renewable energy — particularly wind and solar technologies — will get a major boost in 2023. In the past decade, the cost of solar infrastructure declined by 85 percent, and the cost of wind energy is projected to fall by up to 35 percent by 2035, making them the most attractive options when it comes to energy. Add to this the Inflation Reduction Act’s expanded tax credits for renewable energy projects and the Biden administration’s aggressive plan to lower greenhouse gas pollution by 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, and it’s predicted that private sector investment in solar will explode. In fact, by 2024, industry experts forecast that almost 33 percent of the world’s electricity will come from renewables, with solar accounting for almost 60 percent (or at least 697 gigawatts) of expected growth and onshore wind accounting for 309 gigawatts.
Read more: Are Solar Co-Ops The Future of Clean Energy?
Fast fashion has lost its luster. The second-hand market is stepping up to take its place. Thanks to online resale companies like Poshmark, ThredUp, and Depop, shoppers are looking for gently used clothing more than ever. And the market will continue to grow. The resale clothing industry is projected to blossom 16 times faster than non-resale in the next four years and reach nearly $30 billion in value in 2023, up from $25.9 billion in 2022. Lower price points and increased interest in sustainable fashion are key motivators. It makes sense. A recent survey by NielsonIQ found that 48 percent of people are looking to brands to take the lead on creating sustainable change. Companies are taking note. Patagonia, REI, lululemon, Athleta, and even IKEA launched buyback and resale programs to offer customers refurbished items at a lower cost in the name of sustainability — and to stay competitive with eco-minded shoppers.
Read more: 6 Sustainable Fashion Books We Love
According to Businesswire, 63 percent of individuals consider sustainability an important factor when purchasing consumer goods, and a third of Americans are willing to pay a premium for sustainable products. As a result, we’ll see products marketed as eco-friendly — think everything from coffee and cosmetics to furniture, bedding, and household items — continue to capture more of the consumer goods market share. Currently, sustainable products make up about 17 percent of the market and experience 5.6 times higher average sales growth than those not marketed as sustainable. Those who buy planet-friendly items can also expect to see their purchases shipped in more eco-friendly packaging. The global recycled packaging materials market is predicted to grow from $136.5 billion in 2018 to $180 billion in 2023.
Read more: Why We Need to Ditch Plastic Packaging
According to Architectural Digest, 94 percent of those surveyed believe that sustainability will continue to be top of mind and 91 percent predict biophilic interior design will remain popular. So expect everything from DIY solar kits, solar-powered security systems, and rolled solar shingles to sustainable furniture, organic materials, and nature-infused elements to take over homes in 2023. An increasing number of climate-aware homeowners will also invest in energy-efficient and water-saving appliances, like smart thermostats, dishwashers, washing machines, toilets, heat pumps, and induction stoves, to save money and lower their carbon footprint. Home construction is going sustainable, too. Keep an eye out for cellulose and hemp insulation, recycled and reclaimed wood, sustainably created tiles, and cork building materials.
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