Pandemic Lens: Guilt free materials

Guilt Free Materials | Trendbible

So far in our Pandemic Lens series looking at the Conscious Choices macro trend, we have explored Ethical Shopping and Hyper-Essentialism. In our final post on this topic, our customer research leads us to Guilt Free Materials and what that means for future consumer behaviour. 

Guilt Free Materials

Although we have seen a temporary increase in single-use plastics during the pandemic (due to hygiene concerns), zero waste and anti-plastic trends have certainly not gone away. This mindset remains ingrained in the public consciousness, with continued protesting from extinction rebellion and the release of Sir David Attenborough’s latest Netflix documentary: A life on Our Planet. 

In a push to turnaround our impact on the environment, we’re expecting strong growth in plant-based fibres, with innovative upcycling and vegan materials, creating guilt-free products. 

Leave No Trace 

Our consumer insight research suggests this will be particularly important for categories with short life-spans like fast fashion and gift and greetings. We’ll start to see consumer products that biodegrade as consumers are drawn to a ‘leave no trace’ approach. Innovating in this space is adventure-clothing brand Vollebak, who created a t-shirt from pulped eucalyptus, beech and spruce which can be composted and will fully decompose within three months.  Expect to see more focus on seaweed as a biodegradable material and ingredient in everything from packaging to consumer products as we move through 2021. 


Alongside a major resurgence in all things clean and immunity-boosting, customers will favour toxin-free natural ingredients and dyes. New York bedding company Buffy has recently tapped into this growing trend, using natural dye made from a mix of plants, spices and fruits to colour its eucalyptus fabric bed sheets. The blush tone featured above was created from turmeric, gardenia and walnut. Expect to see an increased focus on the adoption of toxin-free alternatives across the home, from naturally dyed fabrics to plant-based paint and built environment adhesives. 

Our seasonal trend books are seen as an essential tool by some of the world’s best brands and retailers, helping them make sound commercial decisions about how to respond to future change.  

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