By: Lesley Brown
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Go for Green, Green Living and Thinking
Trends study by Alice Audouin Consulting and Aurélie Chaffel – Perspectives Lab.
16 October 2018, by Charlotte Marrécau
The 1.618, an international network focused on the dynamics of new luxury – modern, committed, and sustainable – welcomed Alice Audouin, from Alice Audouin Consulting, and Aurélie Chaffel, from Perspectives Lab, to present the trends study Go for Green, Green Living and Thinking.
Aurélie Chaffel, associate director of Perspectives Lab, a strategy consultancy firm for brands, trends, and foresight, recently opened an office in Shanghai, the city with aspirations to become the world’s leading ecological power.
Alice Audouin is the founder of Art of Change 21, presents artistic experiments that support desirable sustainable development. Alice Audouin Consulting works alongside companies on sustainable development through art. She was also a speaker at Futura-Mobility’s meeting in October 2017.
Between Paris and Shanghai, the two firms have joined forces to undertake this study, based on surveys among many consumers and clients, plus interviews with university experts; a total of 20 experts from the US, France, and the U.K. participated. Ten consumer trends and six consumer typologies are detailed in the 150-page publication.
Growing awareness of climate change, a twofold moment
We are currently witnessing a twofold moment, with a strong decline in awareness yet strong support for citizen mobilisation. As the poet Hölderlin said: “but where danger is, also grows saving power”.
In the US, Donald Trump is elected and at the same time emerge anti-Trump circles, which create a huge ecological movement. In France, Emmanuel Macros is elected ‘Climate Champion’ while Nicolas Hulot leaves the government. China is strongly advancing sustainable development. Its extremely vertical operating mode, together with centralised power, gives the country formidable efficiency in this field.
Signs of climate change are now manifold. Events during the summer of 2018: peaks in temperatures soaring as high as 35°C in polar regions, serious fires in California and ‘abnormal’ droughts… all mark a major turning point in awareness.
Artists are committed to and play a significant role in supporting and raising awareness of climate change.
More importantly, citizen mobilisation actions are increasing in strength and number. Within companies, the values of consumers and employees alike are gaining ground; and all these values now integrate social and environmental dimensions. The business models of companies are changing.
Consumers as catalysts of change
The study Go for Green brings to light 12 core consumer values: commitment, preservation, cooperation, sobriety, honesty/transparency, inclusiveness/sharing, regeneration, creativity, circularity, imagination, spirituality, and holism.
In this context, and taking into account the values brought to light, the study examines 10 current world trends:
- Citizens are keen to know the origins of the products they consume and how they are produced.
- Anthropocentrism is being called into question, putting animals on an equal footing with mankind.
- Immediate surroundings are becoming laboratories for resilience and adaptation, in order to rebalance the consumer society.
- The deconsumption trend is growing and concerns everyone.
- Philanthropy is gaining in importance, both for individuals and businesses.
- Citizens are refocusing on their health and the “non-toxic’.
- Innovations are becoming eco-responsible and smart.
- Do it Yourself (DIY) is booming; manual activities allow people to decentre themselves, to learn, and better preserve their environment.
- The world is becoming aware of the ramifications waste is having on the planet and recycling is becoming a focus point.
- Awareness among individuals is profoundly changing their everyday lives and becoming a driver of this change.
In the study, each of these trends is explained and illustrated by examples of commitments and works of art.
For instance, to explain trend number seven – ‘innovations are becoming eco-responsible and smart’ –the study cites L’Oréal and its Sustainable Product Optimisation Tool (SPOT). New and innovative, this tool measures the environmental and societal impact of a product, at every stage of its life.
The trend is illustrated by the artwork ‘Rising’, by Marina Abramovic, which recreates the experience of the melting ice and rising sea levels through virtual reality.
The study concludes by describing new typologies of consumers who are sensitive to sustainable development. Six in total, they range from the ‘Yogi seeking flavour’ to the search for a new, ‘slow’ lifestyle, to the ‘bona fide Rupturist’, who rejects the current system and creates his/her own.
A Futura-Mobility meeting in February 2019 will be entirely dedicated to an in-depth presentation of the study Go for Green.
Cover photo : Flickr/cc Gorgeous Eyes