With consumers increasingly buying quality over quantity and making conscious purchases, brands are trying to act more responsibly for the sake of the planet and future generations.
It feels like every brand out there has decided to talk about “sustainability” with many actually making significant changes.
But how does this particular trend bubble over into mainstream life?
Right now, we are witnessing a wide range of Irish brands making an effort to up their green credentials and consequently, win our hearts and you know what? We just love it!
If you are seeking options to live more consciously, I've rounded up a shortlist of sustainably-focused fashion, beauty, food and lifestyle trends.
Fasten your virtual EV (but of course!) seatbelts and get ready – there’s a new Ireland out there, folks.
Time to RE-think it
Sustainable fashion brands use materials from natural or recycled fabrics that require less chemical treatment, less water and energy. But sustainability isn’t just about materials. It’s about changing the ways of thinking and practices of design, production, communication, wearing and enjoying fashion.
Right now, many of us are seeking a longer-lasting and minimalist wardrobe that scores highly when it comes to the environment. More people are scrutinising clothing labels – check the Good On You app to see how your favourite brands are doing – looking for eco materials such as organic cotton, hemp, bamboo fibre and even algae.
Also, from 2022 onwards, a healthier business model will most likely include elements of circularity – in other words, resale and rental services are on the rise.
When it comes to buying second hand fashion, we are watching homegrown shops such as Siopaella, Studio Minti and Thriftify leading the way but options are truly endless and will include your local charity shops too, why not!
On the rental front, options are many – from traditional and well established shops like Covet Boudoir and Designer Room to new-kids-on-the-block such as Happy Days, ByBorrow and greens are good for you.
Luxury brands are also increasingly looking to capitalise on this trend, with the one and only Brown Thomas launching Rent It!, a fashion rental service at its luxurious new store at Dundrum Town Centre earlier this year.
Natural ingredients meet high-performance technology
Over the past decade or so, I’ve come across several local brands doing great work on the personal care front.
For a skincare afficionado like me who refuses to go under complex treatments, this stuff truly matters!
I’ve found myself swapping international designer labels for local, natural and extremely high quality brands.
From certified vegan and cruelty-free to refillable and plastic-free products, it truly looks like beauty is coming home!
Please note: I would need much more than one page to list all the brands out there so the ones outlined below are great examples of the work that’s being done in this beautiful green island of ours…
- Cork maverick and spa expert Peigin Crowley has created GROUND, a cleverly designed, thoughtful selection of soothing natural treats; the bath salts are divine, and refillable, and if sleeping is a challenge for you, Peigin has created a whole range focused on getting you back on track.
- I must say that Modern Botany products have truly surprised me this year. They create personal care products that are “kind to our bodies, and our planet” with a range of multi-tasking essentials that have been designed to transform our daily routine. The natural deodorant is fab!
- Beautifully presented, Seabody unlocks the power of ocean plants from the Irish Atlantic coastline, to create, oceanic based food supplement and skincare products. I’ve been taking their Immunity capsules for a while now and love it.
- I’ve recently come across Ella & Jo’s 3-in-1 Hyaluronic Skin Mist and I must say that it hasn’t left my bag – mainly on really warm days…
- Talking about warmer days, Jennifer Rock’s Skingredients Skin Shield SPF 50 PA+++ is a broad-spectrum SPF that’ll protect the skin and lightly moisturise, while imparting a dewy finish a beautiful peachy tint – oh, and did I mention you can also refill it? I am a fan!
- Lastly, Soothe Skincare have launched The Boost Mask earlier this year, an alternative to sheet masks preventing excess plastics and waste in the environment. Genius or what?
Delicious alternatives that won’t cost you the earth
Growing awareness of the environmental impact of what we consume, combined with mind-blowing innovations in foods that mimic meat and dairy, will see plant-based foods continue to grow. ‘Climatarianism’ – a diet focused on reducing your carbon footprint – will rise in popularity.
Luckily, we are seeing more options available than ever before across restaurants, takeaways and supermarkets, helping more people choose plant-based foods.
Fancy experimenting it? Here are a few of my favourites…
® Thanks Plants for vegan roasts and sausages
® fiid for the most delicious ready-made meals
® Strong Roots make frozen delights – their sweet potato fries have a legion of fans!
® Fully Free created a to-die-for cashew nut ‘brie cheese’!
Cooking isn’t your thing? Well, try Kale + Coco for nourishing açai bowls, Vegan Sandwich Co for delicious sambos or Cornucopia for the best veggie feijoada ever!
A climate-friendly, community-led approach
Lastly but absolutely not least, I suspect (and hope!) that one of the biggest trends for the remainder of this decade will be leading a waste-free life, minimising the repercussions of a very wasteful kick-off where masks and a countless amount of disposables were thrown away daily.
The idea is that we can all embrace that ‘climate-friendly’ lifestyle – a broad, mainstream approach that shifts the way we eat, shop, travel, invest and vote.
I’ve been observing – with thanks to Gen Z! – that sustainable products are one of the top sustainability trends.
With mass consumption and linear economic growth incompatible with avoiding further climate breakdown, this decade we’ll increasingly choose to buy from retailers that work within circular models – think repair, reuse and refill options. Zero waste shops will continue to be popular, and supermarkets will need to dive into the world of refill.
Also, this is the decade where we’ll see more circular-based community actions taking place – think swapping and sharing events, plus repair cafes. Community initiatives that allow people to repair and share goods will take off as we realise that not all of us need our own drill, for instance.
It’s time to rebuild our planet through rebuilding community links. We are ready.
Originally written for the Irish Tatler
For more on sustainable living, find me on Instagram @iampatkane