Going Green: Studies Reveal Growing Importance of Sustainable Living

So many different lifestyle trends have come and gone through the decades, but one issue which looks set to influence the purchasing decisions of consumers for the foreseeable future is sustainability.

With so much discussion and debate raging about the impact we are having on the planet, both consumers and businesses have become so much more aware of the importance of making greener, eco-friendlier choices. The issue touches so many different areas from how we travel to the energy efficiency of our homes, but two recent bits of research have put a spotlight on how it specifically affects both the world of beauty and one of the biggest fashion trends of recent times.

Fast fashion’s impact

Clothes are such an essential part of our lives, but how often do you stop and consider what impact your fashion choices could be having on the environment?

New data compiled by Betway has put a spotlight on so-called ‘fast fashion’, the concept which sees us buy items which are produced quickly and cheaply for a low cost. While the idea is great for embracing new trends and keeping your wardrobe up-to-date, it is less than positive for the environment. Betway’s Wasted Wardrobe analysis revealed that while the fashion industry produced 10 percent of global carbon emissions in 2018, that percentage could rise to 60 percent by 2030.

Fortunately, the research highlighted that many countries are working to offset fast fashion through various initiatives, while brands have also stepped up to the plate too. For example, leading sportswear brands like Nike and Adidas are taking steps including using recycled materials, while Zara has pledged to reduce its landfill waste to zero percent by 2025.

Sustainable beauty

Elsewhere, a study by Sagentia released at the end of October highlighted how consumers want to see the beauty industry embrace more sustainable and ethical attitudes. The poll carried out in the UK revealed that almost eight out of ten adults want beauty brands to do more to create products in a sustainable manner. It also revealed that such issues are as important as other key characteristics such as fragrance to many consumers. Matt Herd, a spokesperson for the company, said the findings highlighted how sustainability and climate change discussions are now in the mainstream.

Companies responding to the growing need of consumers for sustainability in their products are now revisiting their business strategy. They are looking into different ways they can incorporate key concepts in sustainability. Many beauty companies are now more cognizant of the need for social responsibility.

Businesses are now evaluating the ingredients that they put into their products. At the very least, a great proportion of the ingredients should be grown in an environment-friendly manner. Companies are also looking at ways to how they can redesign their packaging to incorporate more eco-friendly materials. This can also help lessen their carbon footprint.

Not only do businesses have to re-evaluate their beauty offerings. They are now beginning to understand that sustainability in the beauty industry also encompasses their internal operations, including marketing and distribution practices. There are also companies that are now engaged in the creation and implementation of socially-responsible programs.

Changing attitudes

These studies underscore people’s changing attitudes about sustainable living. They are now more environmentally aware. This allows them to make more meaningful decisions when it comes to their purchases.

While they are showing more concern for the environment, there are still a lot of things that people need to improve on. For instance, having “natural” or “organic” on the label of a particular brand does not always mean that the company is already practicing sustainability. Every aspect of the product should have elements of sustainability to it. This includes the internal processes that the manufacturer adheres to in the creation, marketing, and distribution of such products.

It is definitely true that discussions about the environment are rarely out of the news these days and this does appear to have had an impact on the attitudes of both consumers and the brands they buy products from. The importance of a sustainable lifestyle is gaining momentum and it will be fascinating to see what comes next as the trend continues to develop.