Is ‘eco’ still going to be big?

Wondering how the financial crisis is going to effect your business?  Well, you’re not alone. recently posed it as question #1 in their Top 15 Trend Questions (and Answers). In answering the big question, they give answers to various ‘recession’ related questions, including the eco-question on my mind: “Is ‘eco’ still going to be big?”

Their answer:

A: Why not? Sure, certain overpriced organic nice-to-haves will suffer, but we’ll most likely see a surge in what we’ve dubbed ECO-CHEAP: cash-strapped consumers going out of their way to save money on energy bills, motorized transport and other waste-prone, eco-unfriendly activities. While the environment may not be their first concern, there will be less polluting nevertheless.

So, what’s the take away for eco-entrepreneurs? To weather the current financial storm, position your products and services as providing the core consumer benefits of cost savings, waste elimination and improved efficiencies. People are looking for hip ways to save money.  Combine this with another trend cited by, NO-FRILLS CHIC: well-designed yet affordable products and services, and you can have a solid strategy for these volatile times. All said, appealing to the eco-cheap with well designed, affordable products and services makes a lot of sense.


About the Author

Jennifer Kaplan writes regularly about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for and is the author of Greening Your Small Business (November 2009, Penguin Group (USA)). She was been named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster and an MBA - find her on .
  • Totally. We have seen no slow down in eco-friendly promotional items at Especially as noted items that companies need to purchase anyway like folder, uniforms (polos & tshirts), pens, pencils, etc.

    If the green item is in the same price point as traditional items, companies are making the which.

    One reason I think is because a green giveaway etc says something about your company a traditional giveaway does not, it says you are thinking green whether your are a specifically green company or not.

    I think it is this added benefit to green promo items, and green commerce in general, that will always keep the demand for green there.

  • Thanks, John. Your green promo items are excellent examples of what we can now call no-frills eco-chic: well designed, affordable and green.

  • Do you know I think that this current economic climate may stimulate the interest in eco-friendly living. For years I have made my own beauty products from store cupboard staples. These products are just as rich and fragrant as commercially produced products, just minus the chemicals and of course a fraction of the price. Just recently I have been swamped with requests for the recipes from my friends. Making your own products also means there is NO expensive packaging to recycle. But that’s a rant for another day!! If you’d like me to share some of the recipes I can do.

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