2 May 2023
A lot of things have changed since the pandemic, the desire for a slower and more sustainable way of living has been one of these changes accelerated by a growing awareness of the impact of consumerism on the ecosystem. And unlike many of the trends that came and went, (banana bread, crocheting and watching Bob Ross reruns every evening) this one has stuck. So what is the slow living revolution?
The slow living revolution is a lifestyle which adopts sustainable practices and encourages individuals to literally live a little bit slower. It began in Italy with the slow food movement, a reaction to the growing culture of convenience after McDonalds announced it was opening a store in the heart of Rome during the 1980’s.
So, how has the slow living movement impacted the packaging industry?
It’s not going to shock anyone if we say that the sustainable movement has changed consumerism far more than anyone thought it would. Not only are customers more aware of the ethical impacts of their purchases, they are also actively holding brands accountable for unsustainable choices. And that includes the choices which they make in their packaging.
The slow living revolution subscribes to materials which are grown naturally, harvested ethically and responsibly jettisoned. Moving from auto-pilot to making conscious choices, the slow living movement walks hand in hand with the sustainable movement. And both ask brands to be more aware of the materials they use. If you’re looking for material alternatives to the unsustainable ones you’re currently using, check out the article on the BPAK blog Name And Shame: Non-Biodegradable Materials
This doesn’t just apply to brands who align themselves with the slow living principles, it’s something that all brands can incorporate into their business – not only will it save money, it will also create a brand that is about longevity. Considering the concern that younger generations have about the impact of their purchases, it will also mean that companies are setting themselves up for future customers who will have not only more economic power at a younger age, (Gen Z have an estimated spending power of spending power of $23 to $143 billion) they will also be more capable of holding brands to account.
Incorporating a slow living ethos into your packaging is not for every brand, there are businesses whose customers want to buy into a fast lane lifestyle – and there are brands who need to continue that legacy. But for brands that can adopt a more sustainable way of producing their packaging – here’s a list of things to consider:
The Origins Of The Material
Every material no matter what it looks like at the end, comes from a natural origin…except of course plastics. The origins of the material are just as important as how biodegradable it is at the end, part of the slow living ethos is knowing where your materials come from and how they’re harvested.
The Certification Of The Packaging
A lot of the sustainable materials out there are certified by international standards that not only give your packaging legitimacy but also an edge over competitors. The more certifications you can achieve, the more likely your customers are to trust your product and buy into your brand. Some of these certifications include:
Your sustainability is only as good as your consumer…so understanding your consumer is necessary to creating a closed loop cycle or just a more sustainable process. Unfortunately as we say in the article New Groove: Sustainable Packaging
‘Although 30% of consumers claim to have strong interest in sustainable alternatives this does not translate into buying behavior. 11.5% of consumers are not willing to pay extra for sustainably produced packaging and 78% believe that big businesses should be doing more to make consumerism more sustainable. COVID has had a huge impact on consumer behavior surrounding sustainability, 85% say that since the pandemic they have been more conscious about making more sustainable choices. This means that if companies are willing to invest and make their prices competitive with plastic packaged products, consumer purchasing behavior will change. In North America only 40% of consumers are willing to accept higher prices for products from socially responsible companies, this leaves a huge 60% majority that aren’t willing to pay more’
To attract customers who are happy to spend a bit more all you have to do is market your brand authentically so that the right customers find you. To do this you can become part of slow living directories across the world, network with other sustainable businesses and attend events where you can connect with potential customers who hold the same ethics and are looking for a brand they believe in.
Want to know more about how to make your packaging aligned with a slow living brand? Take a look at our sustainable material options and get in touch with the BPAK team.