Sustainability Moves Into the Home, From the Floor All the Way Up


Much has been made of NextGen’s preference for sustainability and eco-friendly products but unlike previous generations that may have only talked the talk, Millennials – and the emerging Gen Z consumers – are also walking the walk.

They are increasingly putting their money where their mouths are in buying home furnishings products that reflect their social beliefs, looking for better quality goods that have clear pedigrees for both sustainability and overall environment awareness.

Recent findings from noted demographics research company Nielsen shows that 73 percent of Millennials surveyed said they were willing to pay more for sustainable goods. That’s versus only 66 percent for the population as a whole. Further, Nielsen discovered that 75 percent of Millennials are eco-conscious to the point of changing their buying habits to favor environmentally friendly products.


And to those who think this entire movement is just a passing fad, real estate brokerage firm Dream Home Reality reminds clients that the eco-movement can trace its origins all the way back to the 1880s and the creation of the National Parks system and the era of Henry David Thoreau right up through Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking 1962 book Silent Spring, not to mention the first Earth Day in 1970.

So it is within the home furnishings industry, from furniture to floor coverings, where companies are increasingly addressing these emerging consumer preferences for sustainable, more eco-friendly products. Nourison, the full-line rug and floor coverings resource, has traditionally made the majority of its higher quality rugs and carpets from wool and other natural fibers.

With the growing focus on sustainability, “We’ve launched more valued price collections that are woven from wool, wool blends, cotton and recycled fibers.”


Sustainability today is not just about raw materials either. “There’s also been a focus on performance rugs which include stain-resistant and washable rugs,” Nourison says. Products need to be able to withstand the active lifestyle of today’s consumer with kids and pets that can take a toll on their area rugs.

“Performance rugs,” the company says, ”allow the consumer to easily clean up messy accidents or throw the entire rug in their home washing machine. This makes these rugs last longer and helps keep them out of landfills.”

The Harvard Business Review calls the push for sustainable products and practices nothing short of a megatrend. “Over the past ten years, environmental issues have steadily encroached on businesses’ capacity to create value for (their) customers.”

Dream Home Reality has the last word on the subject: “Although there will always be skeptics waiting to say ‘I told you so,’ each analysis shows strong support for sustainability being our collective future, not just a fad.

“Sustainability’s future is looking bright.”

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