Hemp, Heme and Other Sustainable Trends Your Brand Might Be Missing

Kimberly Surico |
 09/25/19 |
4 min read

Hemp, Heme and Other Sustainable Trends Your Brand Might Be MissingSo many trends, so little time. But there are quite a few around sustainability that your brand might be missing and may not want to! They include hemp, heme and other sustainable trends that we will explore below.

Hemp Hit the Scene and Changed Things

Since hemp has become part of our national conversation for its medicinal purposes, there’s been a growing trend to explore its uses further.

Hemp is a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant species and is one of the fastest growing plants. It was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 10,000 years ago. And it can be refined into a variety of commercial items, including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed.”

CBD oil is another subset of the conversation, and of hemp! It’s a cannabis-derivative that’s touted as a cure-all for any number of maladies, most notably anxiety. So, its popularity isn’t surprising in our increasingly-anxious world:

sustainable trends for our our increasingly anxious world

And there’s a whole cannabis community organized around legalizing both for much more than “getting high.” And not just for its medicinal qualities either. It’s also attractive because it’s an exceptional material for clothing. It’s “lightweight and absorbent, with three times the tensile strength of cotton.”

And did we mention “scores high on the sustainability scale?” Because it does.

hemp as an eco friendly sustainable trend

Hemp and CBD-infused offerings from brands

The market is huge and brands are jumping on board, including:

There’s so much room left to grow in this market. It’s really not about stoner culture – or it doesn’t have to be in-so-far as your brand is concerned. If you’re a consumer product goods manufacturer, there’s likely a way to participate in the hemp/CBD conversation. And to possibly capture or create a new category for yourself too.

But that’s not the only ingestible we have to discuss here. Another conversation that’s consumed – and controversial to some – is “heme.”

Heme Makes Impossible, Possible

There are many ways to live a sustainable, ethical lifestyle – and they’re shared online:

And you’ll note #ethicalfashion is a top mention – we’ll be getting to that next! But there’s also a call for being #nontoxic, creating #zerowaste and #crueltyfree. These calls are coming from a growing population of occasional vegetarians. These folks aren’t so tied to meat that they crave it every day, and they feel a bit bad about eating it sometimes too. But they do enjoy eating it and they don’t have good options to fill in for it, so they continue to do so.

But now heme has hit the market and is apparently amazing.

Heme Replicates Taste of Meat

Heme is what makes meat taste like meat. It’s an essential molecule found in every living plant and animal — most abundantly in animals — and something we’ve been eating and craving since the dawn of humanity.” Impossible Food’s plant-based heme is “made via fermentation of genetically engineered yeast.”

And boy, is it popular.

McDonalds is set to “change everything” with its own meatless option on the horizon to counter Burger King’s Impossible Whopper. And guess who is making these quick service meatless options for both of them (or is rumored to do so once McDonald’s makes its move)? Impossible Foods.

Are there more food options on the horizon that form their basis from heme? You can count on it. The availability of Impossible Foods is spreading:

locations of impossible food productsWhere’s the controversy with that? Well, there’s also a group of folks who are #vegan and want #organic options that aren’t bioengineered in a lab. They seek #natural solutions – ideas that speak to their climate concerns as well. And this brings us back to the #ethicalfashion part of the conversation (noted above).

Climate Concerns Dominating Sustainability Conversation

Maybe it’s because there’s a growing climate strike movement happening and this is Global Climate Strike week, after all, but either way, climate concerns top the sustainability conversation of late, as can be see above. Some of its top authors are below:

climate concerns top the sustainability conversation of late

If your brand isn’t hip to who Greta Thunberg is and what she represents, it could be missing out on a huge conversation. And it’s not just for retailers targeting Gen Z, actually it’s quite the opposite! Any consumers identifying closely with climate concerns likely know who she is, as she’s actually most popular with older folks:

climate concerns top the sustainability conversation of late

CNN has compiled a list of brands participating in the climate strike, and Amazon has pledged lots of changes in support of the climate as well (and in response to its workers striking against its non-climate supporting practices).

And again, this could be because Fashion Week just happened in New York and London – and there was a Fast Fashion protest by Extinction Rebellion there – but ethical fashion ties in to climate concerns as well. And the list of things associated with the climate conversation is growing.

Do any of these trends make sense for your brand to pursue in some way? They probably do. And it’s important to understand, if so, as consumers are increasingly basing purchase decisions on whether or not a company aligns with who they are beyond the sale.

Reach out and we can show you how to pinpoint audience adjacencies that may exist here. You’ll be glad you did.

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