1. Fast fashion will fade away.
Companies that churn out cheaply made clothes at great environmental cost are floundering at the moment — consider that fast-fashion juggernaut Forever 21 declared bankruptcy in September — and that looks to continue in 2020. Meanwhile, Adidas is beta testing a fully recyclable running shoe made from just one material, and clothing companies that make basics meant to last a long time are on the rise. There are also more clothing rental subscription services popping up, some from established brands.
2. People will feel the pressure to be green.
With more options than ever to make an environmentally friendly choice when it comes to purchasing decisions, consumers will feel as if they must. “When sustainable alternatives are widespread, affordable and just as good or better than the legacy option, then eco-consumption becomes less about the status of opting in, and more about the shame of opting out,” reports TrendWatching. “That’s why in 2020, millions of consumers will seek out products, services and experiences that help them alleviate rising eco-shame.”
3. Companies will put purpose on par with profits.
As awareness grows among consumers, more businesses will use a sustainability ethos as one of their guiding principles. Research from B Lab — which created the B Corp Certification to recognize companies that meet certain standards in social sustainability and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency — found that certified B Corps in the UK are growing 28 times faster than the national economic growth of 0.5 percent.
That shows that a company considering its environmental impact isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also good for business. (At Dolphin Blue, we’ve been certified since 2011.)
4. More solutions will emerge to the plastic problem.
In 2019, there was a mass exodus of plastic straws in restaurants, and plastic bags continue their march out of the municipalities that still have them. Plastics in the ocean have captured public attention, and more people are looking at their own personal plastic consumption, opting to find alternatives. From biodegradable six-ring packs to edible water bottles, creative solutions are being pioneered all the time — expect more in the coming year. For example Dolphin Blue offers sandwich and snack bags made from organic cotton.