Sustainable Trends You Should Keep an Eye on in 2023
Corporations around the globe are shifting more to sustainable action rather than just talking about change. There's more interest in recycled textiles, increased adoption of eco-friendly living, reliance on data to understand climate change effects better, and reduced environmental footprint while minimizing resource and energy consumption.
Most corporate leaders now find a renewed purpose in sustainability, believing it deepens their organization's sense of purpose. It also goes a long way to retain a new generation of employees. This shift has been fueled by energy source concerns, investor appetite for better environmental, social, and governance performance, and rapidly changing regulatory standards.
These are the top sustainable trends to look out for in 2023.
Brand Transparency Will be a Key Driver for Reinventing Products
As more people demand greater transparency from multinational corporations and companies, nearly 90 percent of Gen X consumers will willingly spend 10% more on sustainable products.
More people now prioritize planet-friendly products. To cultivate brand loyalty and stay competitive, companies must be more transparent about the source of raw materials and production process and whether such raw materials have been ethically and sustainably sourced.
According to a report by Deloitte, consumer brands that are not transparent risk losing meaningful trust with consumers.
There Will Be More Reliance on Wind and Solar Energy Sources
Wind and Solar renewable energy sources will get a significant boost in 2023 as they are more attractive options. Solar infrastructure costs declined by 85% in the past decade, while wind energy costs are projected to drop by 35% by 2035.
Coupled with the Biden administration's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 50% by 2030, investment in renewable energy sources is likely to increase significantly. In a recent projection, about 33% of the world's electricity will be from renewable sources (solar accounting for 60% or 697 gigawatts while onshore wind accounting for 40% or about 309 gigawatts).
The Second-Hand Clothing Market Will Prosper.
Fast fashion is gradually losing its taste, with the second-hand market quickly stepping up to take its place. Online resale companies such as ThedUP, Poshmark, and Depop are now looking for gently used clothes for resale. This market is likely to grow rapidly this year. In 2023, the resale market will reach $30 billion in value, up from $25.9 billion in 2022, with the industry projected to grow 16 times faster than non-resale over the next four years.
The main drivers for this trend are the increased interest in sustainable fashion and lower prices. About 48 percent of customers now want companies to lead sustainable change efforts, according to a NielsonIQ survey. Other companies like REI, Athleta, Lululemon, and IKEA are taking note of this trend, launching a buyback and resale program in the name of sustainability.
We Are likely to See More Sustainable Materials and Products
About 63% of consumers consider sustainability a key factor when shopping, with a third of Americans willing to pay more for sustainable products, according to Businesswire. In 2023, following this trend, we will likely see more eco-friendly products, from coffee to cosmetics, furniture to household items.
Currently, only 17% of the market includes sustainable products, although these are experiencing 5.6 times higher average sales growth compared to products not marketed as sustainable. Product packaging for eco-friendly products is also often recyclable, with the global recycled packaging materials market expected to grow to $180 billion, an increase from $136.5 billion in 2018.
Growth of Eco-Friendly Home Design
According to Architectural Digest, sustainability will continue to be a key trend in interior design. You can expect more DIY solar kits, rolled solar shingles, and solar-powered security systems.
Additionally, sustainable furniture, organic material finishes or furnishing, and nature-infused elements will take over many homes in 2023. Climate-aware homeowners will also likely invest more in energy-efficient, water-saving appliances, smart thermostats, washing machines, dishwashers, toilets, induction stoves, and heat pumps.
These appliances will enable them to save money while lowering their carbon footprint. Home construction methods are becoming sustainable too. The market now offers recycled and reclaimed wood, cork building materials, sustainably created tiles, and cellulose and hemp insulation.
Sustainability will be a key driver in almost every industry as consumers become more conscious about the environment. AI might play an important role, too, contributing to better conservation of natural resources thanks to better prediction ability, managing the energy demand and supply in energy grids, or improving agriculture yield.
While it could take a while to realize the full potential of adopting AI, it will be the most disruptive technology of the century.