Green Pressure: From status to shame

In a world that is constantly changing and evolving, it is essential to keep up to date with key trends, especially in the social and digital arena. Change can throw brands and people off balance and require a counteraction.

This theme is constantly explored by and we thought to share these latest insights into a big trend that is expected to disrupt the market place in 2020.

What is a trend?

Trends emerge when any change results in a new way to meet a basic human need.

“Green Pressure” From Status to Shame

Concerns about the environment are at an all time high in most Western countries, with most people becoming more environmentally conscious by the day.

A few years or even months ago, eco-consumption was a status play. Showing people that you were environmentally conscious was a way to highlight and reinforce ethical and moral status.

Being environmentally aware was expensive and only available to a few people.

For example, in 2016 Adidas launched 50 pairs of shoes that were made from recycled plastic from the ocean. Due to only 50 pairs being available, people had the option to ‘bid’ for the shoes, driving the price up and making them only available to a niche group.

By contrast, in 2019 Adidas again launched a range of environmentally friendly running shoes. This time, the range was affordable and was made available to the public. This resulted in over 11 million pairs being sold worldwide.

Since eco-friendly products have been made available to the public, there has been a shift from Status play to status shame.

It is no longer status if you opt in, it is shame if you don’t.

Brands will increasingly need to adapt to ‘green pressure’. People will tend to avoid the shame of not opting in and will adopt new and radical mindsets. For brands to maintain or gain market share, they will need to make ‘Green Pressure’ a focus of their brands.

Should you be interested in other trends that are expected to disrupt the market place in 2020, please drop us a line on 011 327 6871 or email

Source:  Trend Watching Webinar : 5 trends of 2020

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