How can sustainability and colour trends coexist?

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller
how can sustainability and colour trends coexist

How can we be sustainable and still use colour trends is up there as one of the biggest challenges I hear from designers all the time.

It’s a really great question because sustainability encourages people not to buy, yet colour trends often encourage people to change things or buy new products.

So what do we do?

It’s not an easy question to answer because this problem is far bigger than what are we or aren’t we buying. This is about how do we look after our planet, our natural resources, and how we think about consumerism.

This has become a much larger issue we need to address and the reason is because there are so many designers now who want to make conscious choices in their design. They still want to deliver what their clients want in terms of spaces, products, fashion, tech gadgets and even cars, but they also want to do it in a way that isn’t detrimental to our planet.

Sustainability and colour trends is such a hot topic on the minds of designers, so I knew I had to include it in my course Everything You've Ever Want to Know About Colour Trends.

I also interviewed 12 experts and asked every one of them their views on sustainability and colour trends. Whilst they were all from varying industries and had different takes on sustainability and how we could be more sustainable, one of the things that everyone said was this is present for us right now, and is a widespread challenge we all need to address.

They all agreed, we can’t ignore it.

Trends often encourage rapid turnover and consumption of new products by promoting frequent changes in colours and styles.

And this can have implications for sustainability because the fast-paced trend cycle can lead to increased production, resource consumption, and waste generation.

Additionally, the production of certain colours may involve the use of toxic chemicals or dyes, which can harm the environment and workers' health.

These things aren’t what we want if we're trying to create or live a more sustainable world.

As designers we're kind of stuck in the middle. We work in a world where we need to consider trends, yet we also want to contribute to a sustainable world.

And if you're a designer who cares about sustainability as a part of your values then it can get really sticky when trends or your clients aren’t aligned or aware of the impact buying new can have on the environment. 

So what can we do?

Inside the course I go into several of the advancements that are being made in sustainability when it comes to colour and design.

We're talking things like trends that focus on sustainability, companies who are replicating colours found in nature without using natural resources, and organisations who specifically promote responsible and sustainable practices in the dye and pigment industry.

This is a really juicy part of the course for conscious designers who are looking to solve this common problem of how we utilise trends and work with our sustainable values.

In the course I also bring in my colour psychology perspective, because it’s really important to dive into what are our psychological drivers behind this desire to be sustainable and also what are our drivers behind colour trends.

When we understand those drivers we can find common ground and a way forward with these two approaches to co-exist that appear to be at odds with each other.

If you want to know more about how colour trends and sustainability can co-exist, I definitely recommend you check out my Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Colour Trends course where you will learn:

* How the trends industry is dealing with the consumer-led of sustainability

* Find out some of the advancements already being made in creating colour more sustainable

Here are some of the things you'll learn inside the course:

* What are colour trends, how are they created, and some of the common myths

* The psychology behind colour trends, and why it has such an impact on our desire to buy

* Discover how leading trend forecasters such as Dulux, TrendBible, Colour Marketing Group (CMG) and others come up with their seasonal trend colours and Colour of the Year

* Ways to use colour trends in your designs and how to know which one to pick when there is so much choice

* How to have conversations with your clients about colour trends

And much more…


Colourfully yours,


Photo by Joel Filipe on Unsplash.

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