India | Sustainable | 18th January 2022 | Virtual Wire
In the year 2020, there have been many advancements in technology and trends, which prove how innovative and out of the box mankind is.
This year has also seen some trends that move away from fast-paced technology and innovate with traditional crafts and nature. There is a slow and steady rise in consumers who want to make more informed and well thought out choices when it comes to the products they purchase. Sustainable, natural and eco-friendly products are at the forefront of this transition to help consumers begin their journey towards a healthy body and skin that help them rejuvenate and maintain the planet.
What exactly is the world together experiencing in terms of sustainable, natural and eco-friendly trends? Listed below are some of the trends that are having a major impact on consumers and are also demand that consumers are making towards the market-
Fall of Fast Fashion
What is fast fashion? Fast fashion are those clothing items that are mass-produced and sold
at big retail stores. The process of mass production leads to a lot of materials getting wasted
and a lot of pollution caused due to factory processes. What consumers are now looking at is Slow Fashion. This means that consumers are looking at items of clothing that are long-lasting, durable and less harmful to the environment. Garments produced in slow fashion are made with a lot of thought and every garment is unique and most aim at creating zero waste.
All of us get enamoured by the fancy ad aesthetic packaging a company sells their product in. A good-looking packed product is also Instagram worthy, but the real question is: is the packaging really friendly towards the environment? Can it be reused? Does the process of making the packaging damage the environment? How much plastic is used in the packaging? These are just a few of the questions the consumers are now keeping in mind when they shop and look for products. Consumers now choose to buy products that not only support sustainability, and are nature-based, but they also expect the packaging to be friendly towards the environment. Many companies have now made the switch to policies of returning the packaging boxes for reusing, or some are made from handmade paper and recycled papers.
Sustainable Fashion and Circularity
Along the lines of Slow Fashion, the concept of Circularity has emerged. This refers to where the fashion industry ensures they use materials that are renewable and are safe. The goal is to create products that will last long and that can be recycled or reused. The goal is to educate and equip the consumers with better alternative ways to stylish fashion that does not have a harsh impact on the environment.
Demanding for Information
It is clear that the consumers are the ones that drive the market and the trends. It is no surprise that the consumers will be the ones to demand information from companies they are purchasing from. With the rise in sustainable and natural products, consumers demand
that companies mention the ingredients used in the products, to make sure their claims to sustainable, natural and eco-friendly ingredients is true. This step is also beneficial to consumers who are opting for a sustainable and natural lifestyle as they are able to know what goes into the products they are purchasing.
Consumers are now supporting local brands instead of mass-produced brands for a number of reasons. Some of the main ones being, that local production will have less waste and harmful effects as compared to the bigger companies. In terms of packaging, the amount of plastic generated when you shop online is much more and local companies reduce such usage of plastic. This is just a glimpse of how the world is incorporating and delving into the sphere of sustainability. What about India? What are the trends that have shaped the consumers here? India for many years has always had a certain connection towards nature and natural products and the need to strike a balance between humans and nature. This is now being renewed as more and more people move towards actions and purchases that conserve and preserve the environment. Some trends that help India keep up with the Sustainable trends.
1. Single-use plastic
The credit is due here both to the Govt. of India and the citizens for following the policy of banning the use of plastic bags. Consumers now bring their own bags when they go shopping or the shops they purchase from provide bags that are either made out of newspaper or recyclable paper or cloth bags. These alternatives can be reused as many times as necessary or can be used for other purposes.
2. Menstrual cups
Ladies, we all know the ongoing debate on the price of pads and tampons, and how this essential’s price should be reduced or made free. An alternative that many are choosing to look into and shift is the menstrual cup. This product is made of silicone and can be used for a very long time. This product is easy to use and clean. There is zero waste produced while on your periods, unlike when using pads and disposing of them. Most companies that produce these menstrual cups also provide sustainable packaging, thus keeping the whole process sustainable and eco-friendly.
3. Upcycling clothes
A lot of brands are now looking at up-cycling as a way to consume the waste created by others. Companies like Cornucopia, a Mumbai based company, take scraps of clothing, leftover buttons and threads, and old t-shirts and turn them into quilts, saris and kurtas.
4. Bamboo Toothbrush
Brushing our teeth is a part of all our daily routines, the amount of energy and plastic used to create and package the plastic toothbrushes has a lasting impact on the environment. The toothbrush once thrown away ends up in a landfill. An upcoming trend is the use of bamboo toothbrushes. Bamboo is naturally antimicrobial and if disposed of will decompose. Thus, this option is both good for the teeth as well as the environment.
5. Natural soaps and Shampoo bars
Companies are now creating and catering to individual needs while using natural ingredients. Since some of the chemicals might have side effects on certain skin types, companies are choosing to make different soaps and shampoos that can cater to a wide variety of skin and scalp types. Shampoo bars are now becoming a thing. Companies create
shampoo bars that can help in strengthening the hair or keeping the scalp healthy. It is made out of natural products. A few companies also have a zero-waste policy for their packaging.
This is a big step as most shampoo’s come in bottles that can only be used once, and once thrown away add to the pre-existing junk that is clogging the planet. The world and India are taking their own steps to creating products that shall help give back to the planet after years of taking from it. While such companies exist, it is also due to the consumers and their demands that such changes are being made possible. As consumers, it is our duty to point out the wrong that is done to the environment, but then again it is also the need of the hour to think outside the box and come up with new, quirky and sustainable ways of replacing the harmful products.