Environmental issues as new luxury

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Good Old Trend

During my brief stay in London a few weeks ago, one of the sites I noticed was CarbonNeutral.com. It got me thinking, and it woke the slumbering environmentalist inside of me at the same time. My new plan is to make my company, Good Old, carbon neutral as soon as possible. I’ve signed up for a first meeting on how to do it as well, I’ll keep you posted along the way.

Apart from being a sound thing for mother nature, environmental consciousness is a major emerging trend. I have previously stated that I think that there will be an increasing consumption of services and disposable items, and also a decrease of regular items. I also believe that the classic western over-consumption is on it’s way out, and being replaced by more conscious choices. Slowly, but surely.

It follows that when you purchase fewer things, it matters more what those things actually are. The story behind the product, and the choices connected to it will create a new value in itself. This, in a way, is a new form of luxury. The luxury being the knowledge behind the choice, rather than just buying the most expensive item. (I discussed a similar issue with Kristina Dryza over dinner at Yauatcha in Soho. Kristina will be releasing a report on New Luxury over at Construct London soon, so keep your eyes open for that.) I believe that the environmental factor will be one of the most prominent in this new luxury. And perhaps I should add that I don’t mean “luxury” in the sense that it is something that we don’t need – I mean that making these choices will have a luxurious feel to them, thus making them more desirable on a regular basis.

The increased focus on environmental issues is obvious. From Al Gore´s An Inconvenient Truth, to the world´s first sustainable dance club, to the aforementioned CarbonNeutral.com. Websites like Worldchanging, Eco.PSFK and Treehugger cover these issues on a regular basis.

As with the explosion of blogs, there is a threshold that must be passed before things will start to happen. For the blogs, it was a mere technical issue. As soon as it became a two-click thing to start a blog, people did. The need for self expression was already there and waiting.

Similarly, the want and need for eco-conscious choices is here. What we need is something that lowers the threshold for people´s day to day choices and consumption. From my point of view, the critical question here isn’t technical but a matter of time. I’m looking into ways of shortening the amount of time needed to make an environmentally correct choice right now. Any ideas would be much appreciated of course.

(Thanks to Olof and Martin for inspiration)

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