It’s that time of the year again, when we look into our crystal ball to see what’s in store over the next 12 months in the world of eco-wellness.
We are more than a little proud to report that every single trend we called out last year was right on the money so we are feeling confident about this year’s forecast.
The year 2018 was a great 12 months for eco-warriors: so many previously fringe movements went mainstream including veganism, zero-waste living, conscious consumerism and plastic-free.
In 2019, they will only get stronger. But there’s also some exciting new developments to look forward to.
Check out our 2019 trend predictions!
The circular economy goes mainstream
The term “circular economy” used to elicit a major yawn from everyone except the most seasoned eco-warriors.
Originally associated mostly with fashion, it’s a concept rooted in responsible consumerism. Closely linked to zero waste, the idea is that whatever you create stays in use for as long as possible with a focus on reuse, repairing, refurbishing and recycling, thereby minimising waste (and landfill) as much as possible.
With doomsday less than 12 years away – according to many scientists – a circular economy ethos is now more important than ever and we foresee big changes in how consumers “consume”. It’s never been more crucial for manufacturers to justify their supply chain.
Digital minimalism takes hold
Sorry Facebook, but 2019 is going to be a bruiser!
The term digital detox has gained ground for some time now, but 2018 was the year when the whole world realised how destructive, unhealthy and often malignant social media is. People are waking up to the ills of so-called connectivity apps and we anticipate an en masse withdrawal from social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Further, phone-free time will become more common – we all need more screen breaks and it looks like we will finally start taking them.
The rise of responsible tourism
People have never travelled more and so much.
Everyone from your cousin to your colleague is booking detox getaways, cultural discovery trips and extreme adventure tours.
One big change in 2019? The importance of being an environmentally responsible traveller. The destructive impact of tourism on previously pristine locales (think Bali’s plastic problem) is making travellers rethink their choices.
Villas with plastic policies, safaris with wildlife-friendly credentials, resorts that uplift their local communities – this is what the new wave of Gen Z and millennial travellers are looking for.
Big winners will be eco-friendly hotels, resorts with sustainability policies, carbon neutralising apps and travel platforms with a socially responsible ethos.
Virtual fitness goes mainstream
Today’s busy consumers want personalised workouts they can do from the convenience of their home, without any loss in instructor/class/equipment quality when compared with visiting a gym.
Thanks to the improvement in augmented reality and virtual reality content, the proliferation of wearable technologies, the gamification of fitness and the incredible success of workout platforms, such as home-streaming bike class start-up Peloton, you can expect to see a lot of action in the virtual fitness space.
In fact, we predict a lot of Peloton-For-X venture-capital pitches.
The commodification of relaxation
Gyms are no longer all about pushing up your heart rate.
While yoga will continue to be popular all over the globe, the pursuit of relaxation will take hold in a more structured form.
Meditation gyms, group sound bathing, de-stress classes, relaxing tea ceremonies … the more digitally connected we get, the more we need help switching off.
The power of algae
Those in the know have been adding spirulina to their green smoothies for more than a decade, but 2019 is the year that algae will go MEGA.
From algae pasta to algae cooking oil to algae protein to algae, Big Food will be mining the sea-dwelling nutrient powerhouse in a big way.
Further, we gather that algae will also be a major ingredient in some plant alternatives to meat and seafood that will launch in the near future.
The veganisation of food
Our 2018 predictions featured three different vegan-based trends.
In 2019, vegan food will take over. No longer a fringe movement, vegan food will become the norm.
Plant alternatives to meat, dairy and eggs will be commonplace. Restaurants will add entire animal-free sections to their menus.
Big Food will throw serious money and research and development into vegan products. Vegan chefs will be the stars of food and beverage. All we can say is: it’s about time.
Say hello to cruelty-free fashion
The vegan revolution will create whole new industries such as vegan travel, vegan education, vegan health care – you heard it here first. But vegan fashion is also about to get seriously big.
From pineapple leather to recycled plastic “down” jackets to French luxury fashion house Chanel saying goodbye to the use of animal skins, you will be seeing a lot more designers and high-street brands follow the likes of Stella McCartney and eschew all animal products in their creations.
CBD x Wellness: a match made in relaxation
No, not central business district. CBD, aka cannabidiol – a chemical derived from the cannabis plant – is the new super ingredient (usually in oil form) making its way into beauty and wellness products everywhere.
Unlike its cousin cannabis, CBD is a non-psychoactive hemp-derived compound, meaning it will not get you high.
It will however, relax and calm you like wow. Cue its popularity in things such as tonics, chocolate, sodas, creams, oils and supplements.
Expect to see loads of new CBD brands on the shelves of shops this coming year. Oh, and it’s legal in Hong Kong, just in case you were wondering.
The power of plastic-free
The annihilation of plastic across last year’s media headlines was a boon to environmentalists everywhere.
Unless you live under a rock, you have probably cottoned on to the fact that plastic is seriously damaging to our oceans and single-use plastic was a huge miscalculation on the part of the convenience-obsessed baby boomer generation.
The plastic-free revolution (and the accompanying zero-waste lifestyle movement) will continue to make big waves.
Low to no packaging
Retailers beware: consumers will become far more demanding about how their products are packaged.
Thanks to the global plastic-free movement, they are acutely aware of the environmental cost of plastic and they will demand brands adopt higher standards of packaging.
The positive side of this? We surmise that there will be big advances in eco-friendly packaging innovation. Plus, the no-packaging crusade will gain more ground.
AI beauty: the customisation of skincare
We are all unique, especially when it comes to our skincare needs.
The future of beauty lies in tailoring product formulations to individual needs and artificial intelligence (AI) can help with that.
This has created the biggest trend in beauty: AI-powered products, from shampoo to make-up to face creams: you may never have to buy “off the shelf” again.
This article originally appeared on Green Queen .