Why is the Sustainability Here to Stay?

Over one-third of all global consumers are willing to pay more for consumers goods and services, as found in a recent study of over 10,000 people across 17 countries. Consumers are seeing themselves as the primary catalysts of change, and they have voiced their desire to back companies that research, innovate, and make necessary changes to ensure they do their share to reach Paris Agreement goals. In what ways are human beings showing their interest in green living, and how can companies fulfil their ever-growing demands?

Americans are Embracing Green Housing

Real estate prices indicate that people are willing to pay more for energy efficient homes (between 5% to 10% more, to be precise). In particular, home buyers are looking for homes with optimal insulation and sealing (since these save on heating and cooling costs), solar power, rainwater tanks, and sustainable appliances and smart tech. All these changes can help homeowners make big cost savings, which is another powerful motivation to change to eco-friendly living. Solar energy, for instance, dropped by over 70% in recent years and despite the initial cost of fitting panels on the roof, the switch results in savings of over $30,000 over a 20-year period.

Sustainability Here to Stay

The Plant-Based Food Craze

The number of vegans in the US has spiked by 3000% since 2004, as more people become aware of the major health benefits that a plant-based lifestyle can offer. Veganism and vegetarianism are linked to lower levels of heart disease and obesity. They can also promote better mental health, whenever a healthy, fiber-rich diet is followed. Not everyone is ready to totally give up meat, but many are dabbling in reducetarianism—which involves cutting back on animal products without going full-blown vegan or vegetarian. This is good news for the planet indeed, since food production accounts for one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and takes up 50% of the planet’s habitable area. Meat and dairy, in particular, account for 14.5% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.

A Passion for Sustainable Fashion

The fashion world is also embracing a plethora of green practices, with shopping sites like Lyst noting a 37% rise in searches for green fashion items. Brands like Bureo are teaming up with fishing communities to collect, clean and shred fishing nets, so they can be recycled into a sturdy fabric called NetPlus. Brands like Eileen Fisher, meanwhile, are accepting unwanted or old clothes back, remanufacturing these items into brand-new designs. Patagonia, an American brand specializing in outdoor clothing, uses approximately 87% recycled materials in their fashion lines and relies exclusively on 100% organic cotton. Top-selling jeans brand, Levi’s, is another standard-bearer. Not only does it create jeans that last a lifetime, but it also plans to reduce its water usage by 80% thanks to the Water<Less® technique. The latter includes various initiatives, including using a thimble of water and ozone (instead of detergent) and washing jeans with bottle caps and golf balls (instead of fabric softener) to soften them up.

Sustainability is far from a passing trend. It has reached the deepest levels of nearly every industry, including real estate, food, and fashion. Consumers have realized that their decisions have a big impact on whether or not our green and blue Planet can remain that way for future generations.

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