Apr 07, 2021 | By WGSN Insider
Big data meets consumer insights, Experience WGSN.
Nov 30, 2020
As our Lifestyle & Interiors product celebrates its 10-year anniversary, we are excited to look forward and welcome the future of the home.
In recent years, sustainability has been front of mind for a growing number of concerned consumers. By 2030, it will be a given. Extending past the things we buy, the home will be a place for growing, cultivating and creating.
These sustainable pledges aren’t just from individuals. 2030 is the deadline for a number of major climate initiatives, including the European Green Deal Climate and Energy Framework, and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. In an effort to continue to drive the sustainability agenda forward, renewable energy and circular materials will become mainstream ideas. As sustainable practices become more accessible to the masses, the goal for brands won’t just be carbon-neutrality. Brands will work regeneratively by actively improving the environment with their actions.
At the moment, many home systems will move from linear, and once things have been used, they become waste. By moving to a closed-loop, little to no waste is produced. Thanks to technology, many of these circular systems go beyond recycling household waste. Other wasteful processes can be optimised for minimal strain on the environment. Domestic water recycling system Hydraloop cleans and disinfects grey water for reuse across the home, reducing water consumption and sewage emissions by 45%.
Smart and sustainable design can also help us flip our thinking on rubbish. Dutch designer Dave Hakkens’ has designed an open-source recycling system. This means users can download blueprints and instructions that enable them to manufacture their own waste plastic into new household items. This kind of local recycling changes perspective on plastic. People are able to see tangible results to recycled design, as opposed to traditional recycling processes.
As these circular systems become more common, consumers will consider the second or even third use of a product, and will factor this in when purchasing. Brands should make sure they offer value beyond the original purpose of the product to stay relevant with these customers.
Renewable power sources will be harnessed by consumers and communities in super-local grids, with energy-positivity the end goal. Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel believes that in future, “a home will be considered broken if it does not generate its own electricity”. Her PET solar panel designs recall stained glass, introducing a design-driven aesthetic to solar.
More than energy neutral, buildings will even become energy-positive. Snohetta’s new building in Norway, Powerhouse Brattørkaia, will generate twice as much energy as it consumes in its lifetime, via 3,000 sq ft of solar panels, and passive design techniques such as low-speed ventilation.
Assess the steps your brand will need to take to become circular, and build a plan. Scrutinise the details of products. For example, removing glue or creating from monomaterials so that components can be recycled effectively. Continue to invest in renewable energy sources – both to power your own production, and as products to empower consumers
GSN’s report, The Future of Home 2030, continues to unpack how we will live in the future. Download a sample of the report here.
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