Sustainability Mainstream

Sustainability has become a key focus for consumers and businesses alike, with increasing importance placed on environmental considerations and the search for sustainable options. This trend is seen to be transitioning from a niche market to a mainstream lifestyle, with all consumers expected to align their values with their spending in the future.

This trend originates from the report:

FORERUNNER - The Dinner Party ‘28

The importance and urgency of sustainability is rising in consumer’s minds, despite avenues to act on this value still being nascent. Sustainability has emerged as a key focus across many areas of life, with 31% of participants stating that they spend a lot of time thinking about the environment, sustainability, and climate change, and 43% saying it’s important to find sustainable options across various categories of household and personal spend. Businesses have also awakened to the growing need for sustainable options and environmental considerations, often driven by consumer pressures.

While early business efforts championing sustainability led to niche brands and products focusing on ingredient transparency and local supply chains, today bigger brands and businesses are racing to integrate sustainability into their practices with varying degrees of success. Eventually, increased standardization of sustainable business practices will mean increased competition for appealing to the growing set of sustainability-minded consumers — ultimately driving greater practicality and accessibility of offerings. Consumers have created the flywheel for demand, but it’s on businesses to deliver solutions in an affordable, value-aligned way, rather than consumers shouldering the weight of change with high costs and friction.

This resonates with the sentiment shared by Saver, a typically middle-aged, more financially constrained archetype, who proved to be the most environmentally conscious archetype despite less financial flexibility. Sustainability is in a transitionary period from early to mainstream. While the sentiments around sustainability from Maverick, a younger archetype, might look neutral or underwhelming at first glance, their early investment in this area is in fact an encouraging signal given their limited life experience.

For a younger demographic, their near-parity with other archetypes is significant — with 12% of Mavericks spending a lot of time thinking about the environment and climate change and 33% believing it’s important to find sustainable options across daily consumables. They are still finding their footing with environmentalism but their headstart is pronounced. Much like how wellness started out as a niche emerging trend before proliferating all consumer mindsets today, sustainability is in a transitionary period from early to mainstream.

While the degree of environmental enthusiasm is varied amongst consumer archetypes today, it will eventually become a fully integrated lifestyle that will not be reserved for a select few activists, but for all consumers who feel committed to align their dollars with their values with the right tools and options to do so. The simple reality is that this progression is both essential and inevitable for a prosperous future..