The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show

March 17–19, 2024 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show
March 17—19 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

Consumers are increasingly looking for sustainable solutions for their homes, and they’re turning to retailers and brand companies to take the lead on environmental responsibility. Though inflation may create some barriers for consumers in the short-term, environmental concerns aren’t going away and will continue to increase in importance as time goes on.

The 2023 IHA Market Watch Report found that 70% of consumers said the development of sustainable products is important to the home and housewares brands they purchase from; 66% said the same about environmental stewardship.

The 2023 Value Index from Springboard Futures and IHA’s trend expert Tom Mirabile identified an even stronger level of significance: 88% said environmental responsibility is an important consideration when selecting a home and housewares manufacturer or retailer from whom to buy; 45% said it was very or extremely important; Gen Z and Millennials ranked it even higher, 54% and 50% respectively.

Impact of Inflation

But how do those beliefs translate to the current economic environment?

A recent SAP survey found that 51% of consumers made an effort to purchase from brands that practice sustainability over the last two years—a 15% increase from February 2022. But despite increasing efforts to buy sustainably, 64% said inflation has impacted their ability to do so; 85% said they would be able to if the cost barrier was lower.

That sentiment also came to light in the IHA Market Watch Report, which found that both price and convenience can be an impediment to consumers who would like to shop greener.

That said, when given a choice between two different retailers, brands or products at a similar price point where one is understood to be environmentally friendly and the other is not, consumers will almost always pick the environmentally friendly one.

    Long-Term Outlook

    Despite the current economic environment, home and housewares retailers and brands should continue looking for new responsible solutions. This is an issue that’s only going to increase in importance as younger generations influence and educate older ones, not to mention gaining more purchasing power themselves.

    What’s more, Kate Usher of global trend forecasting agency TrendBible says 2024 will mark a dramatic shift for consumers in how they think about sustainability—the biggest one yet. That’s when people will start to look beyond sustainability to how society can move to a regenerative future where we regrow, renew or restore what has been damaged or lost.

    Usher told attendees at The Inspired Home Show 2023 she’s seeing many creative uses of biomaterials in home products, as well as companies who are finding new ways to use waste, such as sawdust to make bowls and industrial byproducts to make upscale textile dyes.

    Regenerative themes are also making their mark in the design world, which Leatrice “Lee” Eiseman, director of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training and executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, describes as “bringing new life to anything that is abused, under-used or otherwise neglected.”

     

    Audio recordings of education sessions from The Inspired Home Show 2023 can be found online.

     

    Get Ready for The Inspired Home Show 2024!

    March 17-19, 2024