Sustainability is becoming more important in home decoration and textiles
Sustainability is becoming more and more important for European consumers. In the Home Decoration and Home Textiles (HDHT) industry, 62% of business owners have noticed a growing interest in ethical products. How can you benefit from this trend?
Millennials and Gen Z are becoming the main consumer groups on the planet. These consumers care about the future of the planet and want to help create a better world through their consumption. They prefer buying from companies that share their values.
Recent research from European HDHT trade fair Maison et Objet shows that 62% of retailers have noticed growing interest from consumers in ethical products. 92% of consumers think natural materials are very important. 77% value socially responsible production practices. And 71% care about recyclable and recycled materials.
The 3 Ps of sustainable business
Sustainability in business has 3 main components, also known as the 3 Ps. They are People, Planet and Profit. Using the 3P system, you can judge and manage the sustainability of your business.
- People (social): having fair practices in place towards your workers and community.
- Planet (environmental): minimising the negative impact of your business on the environment.
- Profit (economic): creating economic value by improving your social and environmental performance.
For European buyers, sustainability is becoming important. To meet buyer’s needs, you must be able to prove that you run a sustainable business. You could get sustainability certifications, such as ISO 14001 and SA8000. Or you could join an internationally well-known initiative to prove your business meets sustainability standards. For example, BSCI, ETI or Sedex. These options are good but can be costly.
As an alternative, you can study the requirements needed for these certifications and initiatives and meet the standards where possible. You can document the sustainability of your business by using a self-assessment tool like the BSCI Producer Self-Assessment or a code of conduct such as the ETI base code.
Most importantly, you should ask your buyers what they are looking for. For example, most European fair-trade buyers simply want you to follow the World Fair Trade Organization’s fair trade principles, rather than have fair-trade certification.
European Union regulation
With the European Green Deal, the European Union (EU) strives to become climate neutral by 2050. An important part of the Deal is the Circular Economy Action Plan. With this action plan, the EU intends to launch a strategy for textiles to boost the market for sustainable and circular textiles.
The EU is also working on a new due diligence system. This system requires companies to find and fix any potential human rights violations, the environment and good governance throughout the value chain. These new rules could apply to any company that wants to access the European internal market, so it is important to stay informed.
To learn more about sustainability and how to benefit from this trend, see our new study on sustainability in HDHT.