January article

Miércoles, 8 de Enero de 2020

'Trends for 2020' by E. Hearle

Trends are constantly changing and experts have forecast some new ones as well as others that are set to gain even more influence in 2020. Here are some to watch out for in the year ahead.

From eco-status to eco-shame
The search for a more sustainable consumption is reaching a critical moment and sustainable alternatives are widespread, affordable and just as good or better than the legacy option, then eco-consumption becomes less about the status of opting in, and more about the shame of opting out. That’s why in 2020, millions of consumers will seek out products, services and experiences that help them alleviate rising eco-shame.

Some examples from 2019 being Tesla’s Model 3, their electric supercar, now the third best-selling car in the UK. Adidas have also made 11 million pairs of ocean sneakers, their line of trainers made from recycled ocean plastic. And Burger King’s “Rebel Whopper” is a new, plant-based burger (that “bleeds like real meat”) and is available at outlets across both the UK and Spain.

Flight shame
Increasingly widespread shame at air travel – or flygskam – is now set to diffuse across many industries this year too. This word literally translates as “flight shame” and is the name of an anti-flying movement that originated in Sweden last year, encouraging people to stop taking flights to lower carbon emissions. The idea was originally championed by Olympic athlete Bjorn Ferry and gained momentum after teenage activist Greta Thunberg’s mother, the opera singer Malena Ernman, publicly announced she would stop flying, with various Swedish celebrities following suit.

Virtual Influencers
You may have heard of Lil Miquela, the 19 year old, Brazilian-American virtual Instagram influencer, who now has over 1.8 million followers on the app. She was launched in 2016 and after months of speculation in Instagram comments and on news sites — with theories ranging from “Sims marketing stunt” to “horrifying social experiment” — the secret was revealed, it was for advertising.  Last year she even starred alongside supermodel Bella Hadid in a campaign for Calvin Klein.

Meanwhile, virtual avatars are making noise elsewhere. The Chinese state news agency Xinhau have launched their second virtual news anchor and some business insiders say you’ll see more virtual reality this year, in retail in particular. For example Volvo have created an app that allows the user to drive their XC90 SUV through the countryside, putting you in the driver’s seat of the car.

Facial recognition
Facial recognition software has become increasingly popular in the past several years. It is used everywhere from airports, venues, shopping centres and even by law enforcement. This is set to be much more widely used in the coming year and the facial recognition industry is expected to grow to $7.0 billion by 2024 in the U.S. for example. When used in law enforcement, there is a concern with the possibility of misidentifying someone and leading to wrongful convictions. Currently, the Chinese government is already using facial recognition to arrest jaywalkers and other petty crimes that cause debate amongst what is considered basic civil rights and privacy issues versus protecting the public.

Social credit systems
Have you seen Netflix’s Black mirror episode, Nosedive? Scarily accurate when we look to China whose government and state media say the social credit system project is designed to boost public confidence and fight problems like corruption and business fraud. Western critics instead see social credit as an intrusive surveillance apparatus for punishing dissidents and infringing on people’s privacy.

Hello TikTok, goodbye Instagram?
First it was Facebook, then Snapchat, Instagram and now the newest, most “on-trend” social network out there is TikTok, owned by Chinese company Bytedance. Teenagers and young people are the primary users of the app, which can loosely be described as a social network for amateur music videos (users can make their own as well as just watch everyone else’s). It was 2019’s most downloaded app with more than 1.5 billion downloads and is only set to grow more popular in the coming year which many say may be a threat to Instagram’s current global influence.

Fashion: the 60s and 70s are back!
Expect to see psychedelic prints and flared cuts from the 1960s and 1970s everywhere this year. As well as wide lapels, double-breasted styles, and flared hemlines the biggest decade-ascending trend will be bell-bottom trousers just like your parents (or even you) may remember from the first time around!

As the name may suggest, enoughism is a theory according to which there is a point where consumers possess everything they need, and by buying more it actually makes their lives worse off. It lays stress on less spending and more restraint in buying behaviour of consumers and is set to influence businesses even more this year.


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