‘Slow living’ is a new consumer trend that holds benefits for the planet as well as our own mental wellbeing

Time has become an increasingly valuable commodity. More and more products are coming onto the market that can help us cope with the unrelenting pace of our day-to-day routines, and the same can be said of services.

We’re willing to pay extra for technologies that free up any space in our days that can then be spent with family or friends, or enjoying new experiences.

But how sustainable is this hectic pace – how long is it before something has to give?

The backlash against speed can be seen all around us and ‘slow living’ – a lifestyle trend among consumers who are consciously taking their time and adopting a more considered approach – is beginning to emerge. Click To Tweet

The slow food movement actually began in the 1980s as a protest against the opening of a McDonald’s in Rome. It offers the antidote to fast food and advocates preserving regional cuisine, local farming and traditional preparation methods and it has spawned many offshoots.

Slow travel is all about taking the boat instead of the plane, taking the time to notice surroundings and incorporating walking into a holiday’s itinerary.

Slow gardening involves taking a philosophical approach to gardening that encourages people to savour everything they do.

Even slow dating, the latest way to find love online, takes the view that instead of manically swiping or opting to go to speed-dating events, a more considered approach increases the prospect of lasting love.

Trend forecaster Cécile Poignant told Trend-Monitor that she believes adopting the ‘slow’ approach comes hand-in-hand with a growing awareness of how our actions are impacting the planet.

“We’re going to have to be more aware of what we waste, so it means cooking things from scratch. Finding a new way to have energy could mean using fewer devices for things you could do by hand,” she explained.

Added to that, she believes the benefits for mental health are evident. “I think when we see the success, for instance, of mindfulness, people doing meditation and trying to appreciate the present moment, we’ll see the whole idea of ‘speed’ that we used to think was better because it was faster, smarter and so on, as something that might not be that good.”

Jomo – the Joy of Missing Out – is a trend that demonstrates how younger consumers are shifting priorities. According to a survey by VoucherCodes.co.uk, 78% of UK millennials take part in Jomo at the expense of socialising with friends and taking up new activities. Just under half of those surveyed said they were perfectly happy in their own company, and just under half said they consider time spent alone to be important to their happiness.

As the cost of living life at breakneck speed begins to make itself felt, the benefits of slowing down are clear. Today’s consumer is increasingly taking the view that less is definitely more.

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