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Positive Impact trendwatch: 5 Predictions for 2023

Positive Impact trendwatch: 5 Predictions for 2023

New Year, new trends. Our Creative Director Ben Golding takes a look at what's going to be hot in 2023.

As we enter a New Year I thought it would be helpful to look ahead and predict some of the trends we may see in the next 12 months. This is based on a variety of things: looking at the trends of tomorrow, asking the man in the street, and of course the most reliable source, my gut.

These tantalising morsels of insight may give you the upper hand in the cut and thrust of the modern day advertising market, or they may just give you a small thrill when you see something I have hinted at. The choice is yours.

So here they are, a clutch of predictions for the sustainability space in the coming year:

Floral Maximalism

A big theme I can envision coming to the fore is that of maximalism. Recently, sustainability messaging has been frugal, grey and clipped. I, for one, am growing tired of this abstemious plainness and I believe the general public are too. We need to inject energy, colour and generosity into our comms to re-engage viewers with dwindling attention spans and a proclivity to double (or triple) screen.

I can already see the green shoots of bombastic nature edging into efforts from chocolatiers Green & Blacks, and I hope they are seeing sales figures to match their boldness. Stay tuned for plenty more of that this year.

Meaningful touchpoints

This year things are going to get personal. I predict that 2023 is the year we are given relevant stories that turn lofty sustainability ambitions into meaningful, tangible narratives. Obviously companies have been trying to do this for years, but the trite parroting of reduce reuse recycle just isn't cutting it anymore. I expect audiences will have to meet some of these narratives half-way, through doing their own research or at least becoming more knowledgeable about basic sustainability tenets. But if it feels more relevant to our own lives, it won’t feel like homework.

Alternative Cheese

I’m sure you’ve ingested your bodyweight in stilton and camembert in the last month (I know I have) and hearing more about cheesy goodness is somewhat sickening, but, I reckon cheese is going to be a big deal this year. Not just any cheese though, vegan cheese. Sheese, fauxmagerie, an abomination, whatever you call it, it’s time this new staple stepped into the spotlight.

I believe this year we’re going to transition into alternatives more broadly becoming mainstream; already we’ve hit saturation point with alternative milks, so why not extend that to the whole class of dairy? Who knows what fantastical new delicacies could be uncovered by trailblazing gourmets. Pistachio yoghurt anyone?

The return of Worthiness

I can’t count the amount of pitches I’ve been in where we worry about flying too close to the ‘W’ word. Worthy of course being a byword for aggrandisement, self-importance and overreaching statements of intent. You know, all the things we have to do covertly on a pitch.

I feel like after a tough time getting through covid, people are now a bit more open and ready to be vulnerable. There’s definitely room in this world for emotional stories that remain grounded; as long as the content is based in reality and shedding light on a company's positive efforts. It’s okay to inject a sense of humility and empowerment into your purpose, as long as there is ownership and responsibility for their impact - just look at this year's John Lewis ad, could we get any more worthy?


Frankly, the recycling preoccupation is failing everyone.
Most plastics have a very limited recycling half-life, and the energy and resources required to clean, transport and process these plastics into a usable and useful material makes the entire operation fairly unsustainable in the long run. Unfortunately, for most people it’s seen as better than doing nothing.
I’ve seen trends emerging on catwalks across Europe for upcycled vintage items in the S/S 23 shows, most notably the reinvention of the denim skirt, but you’ll see upcycled garments across most couture lines. Hence, this is why I think the re-use/upcycling agenda is ready to take centre stage - it’s ready to be made cool.
Inevitably, the economic downturn we seem to be hurtling towards could remove the ability for many people to waste as much; with a little education, smart influence, and a small cultural shift, we might see the merits of the re-use agenda.