inspiration2021/12/01

Three Ways Your Life Will Change for The Better in 2022 (According To A Trend Forecaster)

by Robbie Hodges

Robbie Hodges is editor and forecaster at TrendWatching

As we career into 2022, there is hope on the horizon. Okay, ‘the situation’ is unstable, but it’s impossible to not feel a crumb of optimism given how we’ve continued to innovate our way around this global crisis, like besieged but determined worker ants.

I spend a lot of time forecasting trends, which is not as mystical or “creepy” (a new one I heard recently) as you might think. It’s less crystal ball gazing, more data crunching. Every day I’m tapping curious sorts from across the globe – artists, designers, CEOs – for innovations and ideas that are making ripples on the fringes of society, before weaving those threads into tangible predictions about the future. And while I can’t foresee the next TikTok dance to make it big, or whether that quilted coat will still be ‘in’ next winter, I can safely say that 2022 won’t be all bad. Why? For these three, specific reasons.

Climatarianism
Because no, the world doesn’t revolve around you.
It’s not veganism, paleo or (god forbid) ‘yo-yo’. Increasingly, people are putting the climate first and their personal preferences second. Whether it’s picking the organic chicken skillet over avocado toast or shunning an off-the-peg sweatshirt for a solar-powered knit, fired-up climatarians are taking baby steps towards a better future – making micro movements that trigger macro changes.

Case in point? In 2021, switched-on brands introduced carbon labels to help people understand their personal footprint. If you can’t quite quantify the impact of a four-episode Friends marathon (roughly 112g CO2e, by the way) you’re not alone. Spurred by the meme-worthy outcomes of COP26, in 2022, we’ll see greater transparency from brands and more accessible information regarding climate impact. And in case you were wondering: no, being a climatarian isn’t a personality.

Get ahead of the curve: Cook à la climatarian by sourcing your recipes from Kuri. The app uses your location to suggest recipes which use local and seasonal ingredients.

Gameageddon
Next year, we’ll enter game-mode. (Yes, even you.)
Gaming has a bad rep: decades of association with angsty pubescent teens will do that to you. But in the past two years, our common definition of ‘gaming’ has become warped beyond recognition. World-building platforms like Roblox, Minecraft and Animal Crossing have soared in popularity, offering Covid-secure virtual spaces in which to kick back with friends, watch world-class musical performers, or even launch presidential campaigns.

I say “we’ll all enter game-mode,” but you’re already there. Those squidgy-faced bitmojis you send in your WhatsApp group chat? Your ostensibly effortless Zoom background? These new, mid-pandemic normalities are appetizers for tomorrow’s metaverse. They speak to the growing importance of our online selves and preempt exciting new possibilities for virtual self-expression.

Already we’ve seen luxury stalwarts like Gucci and Balenciaga launch digital merch for a fraction of the IRL retail price, while a slew of new virtual fashion houses like The Dematerialised have dropped electric new digital garments – each one selling out in minutes. Next year, prepare to slip into something more virtual.

Patriot+
Flag waving, folklore, weird fried foodstuffs. Cringe, right? Wrong.
The past 18 months of flight paralysis provided people with an excuse to explore home turf. Here in the UK, people regaled friends with tales from [insert literally any seaside town here]. And when we weren’t taking a ‘staycation’, we were ‘shopping locally’ or exchanging banana bread with our neighbours. Yes, people stepped just beyond their own backyard and found it wasn’t as bigoted or boring as they expected.

Nothing bonds people like a common enemy. As the pandemic continues to cause global supply chain issues and labour shortages, the pursuit of self-sufficiency will bring people together. This will manifest on a personal level, with crafty types turning the skills they mastered in lockdown into genuine business propositions, and on a societal level – think homegrown brands like Paul James and Norman Walsh which are fueling local economies with cash and flooding employees with pride.

And of course, this one dovetails nicely with the climatarians. For the first time in modern history, opting out of far-flung adventures will actually be seen as a progressive act – a move against the carbon-guzzling, jet-set lifestyle of yesteryear.

Get ahead of the curve: The artist Robert George Sanders revels in the inherent queerness of ancient British folklore. I caught his performance at the V&A Museum’s Friday Lates which was every bit as chaotic as it looks on Instagram.

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