Sustainability has become more than just a trendy buzzword...but what does it actually mean to be sustainable? And why does it matter? More than that - why does it matter now more than ever before? Um, hello 2020, and thanks for the lessons you've taught us about being better for the world and its people.
Let's start with some basics.
While working on this article, I found a definition of sustainability that felt extra meaningful. Writer Mitchell Grant describes sustainability as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs."
Another reason we need to pay attention to sustainability is that it's a growing industry. By 2021, there are predictions that "sustainable-minded shoppers" will spend up to $150 BILLION on sustainable products. This is because more and more people are starting to understand the message that sustainability requires a massive shift from all of us.
In 2020, paying attention to sustainability across every industry is critical. Here's why:
We're in the middle of an urgent and time-sensitive crisis. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly shown us this. If we fail to act responsibly now, we'll pay the price with severe consequences for future generations. Climate change impacts include the rising sea level, stronger and more intense hurricanes, more frequent droughts and heatwaves, and unstoppable wildfires like we've seen in California and Colorado. Even beyond that, there is much more. It's on us to take responsibility and do our part to commit to sustainable practices - for the sake of the earth and our future.
(Side note: Want to learn more? You can learn more about climate change from NASA here.)
Another reason we need to pay attention to sustainability is that it's a growing industry. By 2021, there are predictions that "sustainable-minded shoppers" will spend more than ever before. (Source) Um, hello 2020, and thanks for the lessons you've taught us about being better for the world and its people. Sustainability requires a massive shift from all of us. It just makes sense - financially, ethically, and morally!
Additionally, consumers are willing to pay the price for sustainable products. In North America and Europe, nearly 1 out of every 2 people will pay more for socially responsible products. This just goes to show that consumers want to buy ethically and environmentally conscious. Also, listening to what consumers want builds consumer loyalty!
Sustainability matters to more than just consumers; sustainability matters to board members too! In fact, 60 percent of investment firm board members are willing to divest from companies with poor sustainability performance.
It's clear that sustainability really does matter and that we cannot fail to act any longer.
PS. Check out part #2 of my interview with Runway Kit; we discuss a range of topics that are current and critical in fashion startups. Find out my approach to facing a crisis situation like the Covid-19 pandemic, going green and staying sustainable, raising capital, and much more. And in case you’re curious, you can also read Part 1 of this interview here.