March 29, 2019 / Consumer

Harnessing Nature

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Life in the city is evolving. With 54.5% of the global population living in cities in 2016, taking time in a day to spend around nature may not be everyone’s priority.

However, a recent study found that nature is a natural healer, and helps increase self-esteem and mental wellbeing. The charity Mind, recognised this need to incorporate nature into our lives, releasing a free doc on Ecotherapy, which encourages using nature-based programs to support mental wellbeing.

City dwellers seek out floriculture and biophilia.

Cities can seem dull compared to the potent vibrancy of nature, so it’s not surprising that consumers and brands have found fascination with floriculture. Brooklyn plant store Greenery Unlimited taps into this trend, touting itself as “The first biophilic design store”. The store is brimming with flora and sells tools and educational materials that help shoppers cultivate greenery in their cramped NYC apartments.

Nurturing this type of greenery in cramped urban apartments is also growing in popularity. Whilst also an instagram-able opportunity, google searches for ‘air purifying plants’ were up 550% from 2017, keeping plants can improve air quality in polluted cities and also reduce the risk of mental health problems.

Green developments are growing up in cities around the world, from Stefano Boeri’s Vertical Forests in Milan to Vincent Callebaut’s Tao Zhu Yin Yuan project in Taipei, to EcoWorld Ballymore’s Wardian in Canary Wharf, a biophilic development that merges modern city living with nature, in the heart of London. Inspired by explorer and botanist Nathanial Bagshaw Ward, each apartment comes with its own garden, even on the 53rd floor. 

Another innovative naturalist trend popping up in cities are urban farms. Taking root in air raid shelters and old underground stations, companies like GrowUp are turning this unused urban sprawl into high tech labs. Supplying local restaurants and supermarkets, vertical and urban farming will help to sustain population growth, cultivate urbanisation worldwide, and positively impact climate change.

"Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking."

Despite our love for Miranda Priestly, florals seem to be having a moment that will last longer than Spring. Harnessing nature is a multi-dimensional movement, tackling mental health and sustainability issues as well as influencing the omnichannel Instagram-able moment – nature is here to stay.

Key Insights

  • Whether it be a brand, store, home or workplace, nature can have a positive impact on mental health and work. Brands should be looking to weave nature into its design to benefit consumers, workers and the environment.
  • Brands should tap into consumer’s desire to find small ways to have a positive impact on their environment – especially when it’s as multi-functional as nature.
  • Trends of growing plants and nature in urban environments are thriving. With innovations in tech also advancing we wonder if micro-farming will become the next micro-brewery… a trend that will fascinate consumers and businesses alike.

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