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Study provides orientation for production of home textiles
23
Jun '12
We live global, mobile, networked lives, are very aware of quality and value and can give expression to our individuality in a wide range of ways – even in our habits as consumers. But in what directions are we going to change? What kind of lifestyle will we choose in the future? Heimtextil (9 to 12 January 2013) has confronted this issue and, in collaboration with the well-known Zukunftsinstitut, has taken a close look at five scenarios of human needs – everyday life, home, work, shopping and consumption.

The Heimtextil Management Report is entitled "Individuation and the new markets of individuality". The results of the investigation afford us a glimpse of potential developments in society.

"The aim of the study was to identify future scenarios for living and working and to point up trends which can assist in the formulation of strategies for the production, advertising and marketing of home textiles," explains Olaf Schmidt, Vice-President Textiles & Textile Technologies at Messe Frankfurt. On the basis of research into actual trends and a complementary online survey among German end-consumers, the Management Report showed, for instance, that people's attitudes towards health and well-being are changing: the trend is from 'lifestyle' to 'healthstyle'.

Consequently, these attitudes are now influencing consumer habits and account for an increased willingness to pay more for high-quality - and more specifically - sustainably produced goods. In its conclusion, the study identified five key trends in the 'markets of individuality'. These can be summarised as follows:

Third Place Living: the home-base of the future will be anywhere and everywhere

'Third places' are all those that lie between the home and the workplace; in a mobile society, where – thanks to technological aids - one can do anything from anywhere, such places are becoming significantly more important. Designs created by architects, interior designers and planners of public, commercial and private spaces are facing new requirements on the part of the users of such spaces.

In a rapidly ageing society, there is one fundamental change that underlies any look at health issues: as far as the individual is concerned, it is no longer primarily about curing illnesses but rather about not allowing them occur in the first place. Remedial medicine is giving way to a self-reliant attitude to life. The question as to how healthy our homes are thus becomes part of a larger overall picture for each individual consumer, for industry, for trade and for design.

The awareness of the interdependence of the Earth's eco-systems has long since become a central issue for society. Sustainability has become part of creating stylistic identity. In the coming years, the focus will be on finding realistic concepts which will make it possible for both individuals and companies to make improvements by reducing consumption, whilst not adversely affecting functionality.

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