2020 Predictions - (non) sustainable habits

December 19, 2019

Based on Euromonitors list of 20 mega trends to be aware of in 2020, I have dived into the 4 I find most important: Experience More, Connected Consumers, Shopping Reinvented, and New Ways of Working. Here's my take on "Shopping Reinvented" or as I call it: (non) sustainable habits.

If you want to start at the beginning, I urge you to read my intro about these four mega trends before diving into my take on the first trend.

Marie Kondo vs Black Friday

We will see a growing change in the fashion industry. Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious about their habits. Marie Kondo’s TV show audience is already buying more clothes with a green profile, that are recycled and traceable.

I think we will see a growing push into other retail industries to follow this trend, as initiatives become cheaper to copy. Look at brands like Patagonia for sustainability, Asket for traceability and Organic Basics for continuous product development towards less environmental impact.

On the other end of the spectrum we have the worlds’ biggest shopping day, Black Friday. People go crazy for a good deal, it’s a stampede of bargain hunters, and the online shops begin their Black Friday sale with pre-sale and black week campaigns. We see shops cutting prices by 50-80%, and customers buying multiple identical items. There are three times the amount of storage units in the United States as there are McDonalds. People are stocking up on cheap TVs and headphones from Amazon.[1]

Both of these approaches to impacting purchasing habits are more about acquiring customers than they are about selling more products. On the one side, the ‘righteous’ segment who buys consciously, and on the other side the ‘bargain’ segment.

The Patagonia branding vs Amazon’s value offering. Also, it’s not just a matter of choice – a lot of people cannot afford a $250 recycled Patagonia sweatshirt. They buy what and when they can afford items.

Intelligent Fashion

Either way, I think we will see a growing division in customer segments – in the short run. In the long run, a merge of sustainable, cheaper products. We will probably experience further utilization of tracking and transparency technology. Customers are demanding awareness about the source of fabric, goods, the working conditions etc. Combine this with online shopping, and you have a winning recipe. A sort of intelligent fashion.

[1] Huffpost 2015 - America Has More Self-Storage Facilities Than McDonald's, Because Apparently We're All Hoarders

Curious for more?

Read the intro to my 2020 predictions or the next predictions for what we will see, during the first years of the next decade:

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Trust, Trump and NewSpeak 2.0

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