22 December 2020
2020 has been a year of major disruption, challenge and change. From a pandemic halting ‘normal’ life as we knew it, the biggest economic crash in 300 years, a devastating season of North American wildfires, a global movement for racial justice, a rise in cancel culture to one of the most divisive US elections dominating world news.
But amidst a backdrop of uncertainty and instability, came a more hopeful outlook, with the rallying support for the Black Lives Matter movement, progressive conversations around gender and diversity, a revival of kindness culture and the rediscovered art of slowing down.
A Year in Review
What has become known as the ‘global awakening’, 2020 dramatically accelerated emerging behaviours and also created brand new ones. The ripple effects of these behaviours are set to shape a number of trends over the coming years.
Our team reflect on the main catalysts of 2020 and explore what this means for the future of life at home in 2021 and beyond.
Exploring Emotions, a trend originally forecast for our Baby and Kids Edit in 2021, showed clear signs of acceleration this year. In the wake of the pandemic, helping children deal with emotional upheaval became a key priority, making this one of the most important trends of the year. Toys, books and online resources that help navigate difficult and complex emotions will continue post-pandemic giving this trend longevity for the next 1-2 years.
Our Baby & Kids 2020 macro trend, New Revolution, first forecast in 2018, explored the rising force of the younger generation who are using their platform to revolutionise activism for the 21st century. We saw signs of this unfolding with children and young adults adapting TikTok trends to express social and political issues, protesting on and offline for #FridaysForFuture and #BLM, and the launch of Carlings augmented reality t-shirt emblazoned with environmentally conscious messages.
Time for Me
Fuelled by the mental health crisis and rapid rise in burnout, 2020 has signified yet another catalytic year for the quest for wellness. The rise in slow culture is just one key lifestyle trend that has been accelerated as a result. Whilst in 2019 early adopters used rituals and mindfulness in an effort to slow down, in 2020 the movement took a less ‘worthy’ turn and we saw a rapid change in attitudes towards binge watching and even the sacred lie-in. Consumers have perfected the art of unproductivity this year, becoming much more comfortable with the concept of ‘doing nothing’. Brands who continue to nurture this mindset will find their services even more in demand as the world returns to a ‘sort of normal’.
Our homes have been more in focus than ever before this year, fuelling not only a boom in home improvement and high-end furniture sales but also a growing evaluation of the functionality of the built environment. The Blurred Spaces trend, first highlighted by Trend Bible as a one to watch for 2019, explored the blurring of lines between private and public, the rise in co-living and increasing need for introverted design for householders seeking solitude. As forecast, 2020 has brought with it a turning point in attitudes towards open-plan living and facilitated a switch towards ‘broken-plan’ environments instead. These ‘broken’ or ‘blurred’ spaces provide privacy, quiet and alone time which has never been more important for anyone sharing with housemates or family. Physical and visual zoning as well as sound absorption will be high on the agenda for householders embarking on DIY renovations but also for furniture and accessories for some time to come.
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