Normalizing Sustainability

Public concern about climate change has reached a high point, leading to more proactive lifestyle changes, including a shift toward slow fashion, more widespread seeking out eco-friendly products and services.

This trend originates from the report:

Marian Saltzman - Five Trends

Public concern about climate change has reached an alltime high, according to a GlobeScan survey conducted in 17 countries, with 65 percent of respondents calling the situation “very serious.” It’s reached the point that 4 in 10 respondents to a 2022 survey conducted in 31 countries cite climate change as a deterrent to having children. That’s a big shift from just a few years ago when many people seemed inclined to dismiss concerns about our impending climate catastrophe.

As extreme weather events have jolted the complacency of large swathes of the global population, what once was deemed “theoretical” or a “point of view” is now considered settled science by a majority of people. And that’s impacting how ordinary consumers make purchasing decisions, both large (homes, vehicles) and small. We needn’t look far to spot signs that people are finally adjusting their lives to meet this global threat.

Real estate portals such as Redfin and have begun providing climate-risk data alongside details of a home’s bedrooms and bathrooms. That makes sense at a time when three in five people surveyed say climate risks have influenced their choice of where to live.

In partnership with retailers, Japan has backed a points system that supports shoppers’ eco-friendly purchases with loyalty points that earn rewards. We’re also seeing a more significant shift toward slow fashion, with startups such as Sweden’s Asket rejecting seasonal collections in favor of a “permanent” collection that promises years of wear and other retailers creating programs—e.g.

, Cuyana’s Lean Closet and FIVE TRENDS FOR 2023: RETHINKING EVERYTHING 17 Patagonia’s Worn Wear—that encourage customers to return used items so they can have a second life with someone else. Eco-friendly products and services have been on offer for decades. The difference now is in their broader availability and consumer acceptance levels.

U.S. research by Capterra in 2022 found, for instance, that 88 percent of consumers check the sustainability of a product prior to purchase at least sometimes, while one in five always check.

In 2023, we’ll see more innovations in eco-mindfulness, including new delivery models, carbon footprint labels on foods, and passive sustainability products and techniques such as “thirsty” asphalt for flood-prone areas, a new ultrawhite paint that reduces the need for air conditioning, and tiny urban forests that promote biodiversity, bring down temperatures, and reduce pollution. Amid a global energy crisis and rising inflation, we’ll also see more people eschew air travel in favor of overnight buses and trains. According to Pinterest, searches for “train trip aesthetic” rose 205 percent in the past year.