Green Queen 2019 Trend Predictions: Responsible Travel, Veganisation of Food, Digital Minimalism, CBD Wellness and more

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It’s that time of the year again, when we look into our crystal ball to see what’s in store for the next twelve months in the world of eco wellness. We are more than a little proud to report that every single trend we called out last year was right on the money so we are feeling confident about this year’s forecast.

2018 was a great year for eco warriors: so many previously fringe movements went mainstream including veganism, zero waste living, conscious consumerism and plastic-free. In 2K19, they will only get stronger. But there’s also some exciting new developments to look forward to. So here goes: Green Queen’s 2019 Trend Predictions!

The Circular Economy Goes Mainstream

The term ‘circular economy’ used to elicit a major yawn from everyone except the most seasoned eco warriors. Originally associated mostly with fashion, it’s a concept rooted in responsible consumerism. Closely linked to zero waste, the idea is that whatever you create stays in use for as long as possible with a focus on re-use, repairing, refurbishing and recycling, thereby minimising waste (and landfill) as much as possible. With doomsday less than 12 years away according to many scientists, a circular economy ethos is now more important than ever and we foresee big changes in how consumers ‘consume.’ It’s never been more crucial for manufacturers to justify their supply chain.

Digital Minimalism Takes Hold

Sorry Facebook, but 2019 is going to be a bruiser! The term digital detox has gained ground for some time now, but 2018 is the year when the whole world realised how destructive, unhealthy and often malignant social media is. People are waking up to the ills of the so-called connectivity apps and we anticipate a withdrawing en masse from social apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter et al. Further, phone-free time will become more common- we all need more screen breaks and it looks like we will finally start taking them.

The Rise Of Responsible Tourism

People have never travelled more and so much. Everyone from your cousin to your colleague is booking detox getaways, cultural discovery trips and extreme adventure tours. One big change in 2019? The importance of being an environmentally responsible traveler. The destructive impact of tourism on previously pristine locales (think Bali’s plastic problem) is making travellers rethink their choices. Villas with plastic policies, safaris with wildlife-friendly credentials, resorts that uplift their local communities- this is what the new wave of Gen Z & millennial travellers are looking for. Big winners will be eco-friendly hotels, resorts with sustainability policies, carbon neutralising apps and travel platforms with a socially responsible ethos.

Virtual Fitness Goes Mass

Today’s busy consumers want personalised workouts they can do from the convenience of their home, without any loss in instructor/class/equipment quality as compared to visiting a gym. Thanks to the improvement in AR & VR content, the proliferation of wearable tech, the gamification of fitness and the incredible success of workout platforms like home-streaming bike class startup Peloton, you can expect to see a lot of action in the virtual fitness space. In fact, we predict a lot of Peloton-For-X VC pitches.

The Commodification of Relaxation

Gyms are no longer all about pushing your heart up. While yoga will continue to be popular all over the globe, the pursuit of relaxation will take hold in a more structured form. Meditation gyms, group sound bathing, de-stress classes, relaxing tea ceremonies…The more digitally connected we get, the more we need help switching off.

The Power of Algae

Those in the know have been adding spirulina to their green smoothies for over a decade, but 2019 is the year that algae will go MEGA. From algae pasta to algae cooking oil to algae protein to algae, Big Food will be mining the sea-dwelling nutrient powerhouse in a big way. Further, we gather that algae will also be a major ingredient in some plant alternatives to meat & seafood that will launch in the near future. Stay tuned.

The Veganisation of Food

Long time Green Queen readers may remember our that our 2018 predictions featured three different vegan-based trends. In 2019, vegan food will take over. No longer a fringe movement, vegan food will become the norm. Plant alternatives to meat, dairy and eggs will be commonplace. Restaurants will add entire animal-free sections to their menus. Big Food will throw serious money and R&D into vegan products. Vegan chefs will be the stars of F&B. All we can say is: it’s about time.

Say Hello to Cruelty Free Fashion

The vegan revolution will birth whole new industries such as vegan travel, vegan education, vegan healthcare- you heard it here first. But also: vegan fashion is about to get seriously big. From pineapple leather to recycled plastic ‘down’ jackets to Chanel saying goodbye to animal skin, you will be seeing a lot more designers and high street brands follow the likes of Stella McCartney and eschew ALL animal products from their creations.

CBD x Wellness: A Match Made in Relaxation

No, not Central Business District. CBD, aka cannabidiol, is the new super ingredient (usually in oil form) making its way into beauty & wellness products everywhere. Unlike its cousin cannabis, CBD is a NON-psychoactive hemp-derived compound, meaning it won’t get you high. It will however, relax and calm you like wow. Cue its popularity in tonics, chocolate, sodas, creams, oils, supplements and more. Expect to see loads of new CBD brands on shelves this coming year. Oh and it’s legal in Hong Kong, just in case you were wondering.

The Power of Plastic-Free

The annihilation of plastic across last year’s media headlines was a boon to environmentalists everywhere. Unless you live under a rock, you have probably cottoned on to the fact that plastic is seriously damaging to our oceans and single-use plastic was a huge miscalculation on the part of the convenience-obsessed baby boomer generation. The plastic-free revolution (and the accompanying zero waste lifestyle movement) will continue to make big waves.

Low to No Packaging: Consumers Demand Better

Retailers beware: consumers will become far more demanding about how their products are packaged. Thanks to the global plastic-free movement (see above), they are acutely aware of the environmental cost of plastic and they will hold brands to higher standards of packaging. The positive side of this? We surmise that there will be big advances in eco-friendly packaging innovation. Plus, the no-packaging crusade will gain more ground.

AI Beauty: The Customisation of Skincare

We are all unique, especially when it comes to our skincare needs. The future of beauty lies in tailoring product formulations to individual needs and AI can help with that. Hence the biggest trend in beauty: AI powered products from shampoo to makeup to face creams, you may never have to buy ‘off the rack’ again.

All images courtesy of Pexels except Peloton (Recode), Sound Bath (Shamanic Sound Bath) Algae Pasta (Atlantic Kitchen), Omnipork (Green Common), Not Pot (Commerce Cream) Live Zero Shop (Green Queen) and Fabric Wrapping (Ekoshiki).


  • Sonalie Figueiras

    2021 Women of Power, 2019 GEN T Honoree, V Label Global Hero, 2 x TEDx Speaker: Serial social entrepreneur & trends forecaster Sonalie Figueiras is a sustainability expert, food futurist and eco-powerhouse who has been inspiring global audiences for over a decade with practical steps on how to fight climate change. Known as the Green Queen of Asia, she is the founder and Editor in Chief of the award-winning Green Queen - the region’s first impact media platform that educates millions of readers on the connection between health, sustainability and the environment and showcases future solutions. She is also the co-founder and CEO of organic sourcing platform Ekowarehouse and climate tech SaaS Source Green, which helps consumer brands quit plastic packaging thanks to proprietary plastic reduction software. In addition, Sonalie is a global keynote speaker and an advisor to multiple mission-driven startups and NGOs, and a venture partner to several VC funds.

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