Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, are not often credited with really flattering characteristics: smartphone-fixated, uninterested in politics, and lazy. A study published by Morgan Stanley in 2017 shows that millennials are the more aware consumers. Thus they buy products by sustainable brands twice as often as the average population.
In the same year the sustainability portal Utopia found in its study that, among sustainable consumers, millennials have “a very well-developed sense of responsibility.” Thus they view their purchasing patterns as a political manifesto. Fifty-seven percent agree “fully and completely” that they intend their consumer decisions to bring about some sort of change. More than any other age group they are prepared to vouch for their ethical views: they are glad to spend more money on products characterised by greater sustainability. They want to lead “a good life” and to do no harm to others.
Long-life products create trust and loyalty
In 2018 the Swedish government came to a drastic decision to combat the throw-away economy: the tax rates for repairs to bicycles, shoes, textiles and household goods were lowered. Calculated at € 75.6 million, this tax break amounts to 50 percent. It must become more attractive to purchase long-life products. And manufacturers are rediscovering this potential. The central task for all brand manufacturers is to fascinate millennials – to draw them into relevant dialogues, to give them a real feeling of belonging, and to create meaningful products. For they have a great deal of power. It is up to them to decide where they spend their money, and on what. This does not mean that every design company must be perfectly “ecological.” What counts is that entrepreneurs should act transparently and endeavour to improve constantly. Authenticity is what is required. Authentic brands are highly valued.
The fact that today’s consumers are living to new standards is reflected in the five themes of the Heimtextil Trend book “Toward Utopia”. More information on the importance of these trends for interior design and the design and use of textiles can be found at Heimtextil in the Trend Space, Hall 3.0.
Header photo: Laura Chaplin at the panel discussion in the Green Village at Heimtextil 2018. The fashion designer supports sustainable cotton cultivation with her label and is ambassador of the initiative “Cotton made in Africa”.