Each decade we experience huge shifts in the way we live, work and play. And with rapid technological advances life seems to be changing at an ever-increasing pace. Browsing DVDs at Blockbuster seems like a distant memory. And that store where you bought baby’s first outfit? It shut down by the time she started kindergarten. Fads come and go each year — what products to buy, the best places to work, travel and live, and ways to improve your well-being.
But some trends seem to resonate, grow in popularity and stick around a little longer. Here are 5 lifestyle trends that are (probably) here to stay.
5. Compassionate Living: Consumers Making Ethical Choices
Consumers are making better, healthier, more compassionate and sustainable lifestyle choices, which are reflected in their purchases. They prefer cruelty-free make-up, beauty products, clothes and even interior-design materials. And in response to the public’s aversion to the cruel fur trade, big brands like Donna Karan, Jimmy Choo and Gucci have declared themselves fur-free. There is a higher demand for ethically minded brands that use natural ingredients and practice fair trade. And many more are choosing a plant-based diet or cutting down on meat consumption, and when they do buy animal products they prefer humanely raised and organic meat and dairy products.
4. Meaningful, Unique Travel: Green, Solo, Ecotourism and Foodie Tours
Travel trends are changing fast, with tourists seeking new, unique and meaningful experiences rather than the traditional package tours at popular resorts. Adventure holidays offering once-in-a-lifetime activities, ecotourism and socially conscious travel are in high demand. Rather than just lying by the pool sipping cocktails (although we’re not knocking that) travelers also want to explore and immerse themselves in the natural beauty, local culture and history of a destination. Ecological tours offer rare, environmentally conscious experiences that educate and inform. Solo travel is also trending, especially among women and millennials, as people enjoy the freedom of going at their own pace and meeting new people on their journey. And with the increasing popularity of cooking shows, foodie tours are now all the rage, from Vermont to Vietnam.
3. Minimalism: If it Doesn’t Spark Joy, Toss it Out!
Unless you’ve been living off-grid for the last few months, you’ve probably heard of Marie Kondo, the tidying-up guru who has inspired thousands to de-clutter their homes. Mass consumerism has led to the accumulation of excess stuff, clogging up our living spaces and causing stress. Some 10 percent of households rent storage units for extra belongings at an annual cost of up to $1,000. And only 15 percent of homes with garages use them to park cars — the rest are used as storerooms.
Kondo’s unique KonMari method of evaluating each item by asking “does it spark joy,” has revived the appeal of minimalism and living light. The message resonates with people who feel emancipated after their unused clutter has been tossed out (or lugged to the Goodwill). People are not only cleaning up their spaces, but are also freeing up their time — less stuff means less to tidy up and clean. Purging is great if you’re planning on moving and essential for those who want to downsize. And it’s also a blessing for thrift stores, where shelves are brimming with an unprecedented amount of treasures.
2. Online Shopping: More ‘Brick and Mortar’ Stores Will Die
We’re going to be buying even more stuff online instead of trawling the mall — whether we like it or not. Say goodbye to a tangible shopping experience and instead grab your phone. More “brick and mortar” stores have announced closures in 2019 including such iconic brands as J. Crew and Michael Kors and department stores like J.C. Penney. And if you wondered what happened to The Limited, it closed all its stores in 2017 to focus on ecommerce. Payless will also be disappearing this year and The Children’s Place will be closing hundreds of stores in the next two years as it too shifts to e-commerce. And of course many of us were shocked when Toys “R” Us closed up shop in 2018. With Amazon leading the pack of the retail revolution and so many people enjoying the better deals and convenience of e-commerce, “real” stores just can’t compete.
1. Telecommuting: Why Commute When You Can Work in Your PJs?
Telecommuting is the business wave of the future with many leaders predicting that 90 percent of companies will function this way over the next two decades. In the U.S., 43 percent of workers claim they work from home at least some of the time and many companies now operate with 100 percent remote teams. Millennials especially, are seeking the flexibility and freedom remote work offers and it’s proven that both employee and employers benefit. The greatest draw is the ability to live practically anywhere in the world; it eliminates the stress and costs of a long, frustrating commute, and there’s better work-life balance. Employers save money on office overhead and benefit from the fact that workers are happier and less stressed, meaning less turnover and sick days. And according to a Stanford study, home-based workers are 13 percent more productive than their office counterparts. With the obvious all-round benefits, demand for more remote jobs, and the advances in technology to make it all possible, working from home may soon become the norm.