By Isa Hoffman
Four lifestyle megatrends can be identified that will have an immediate impact on business in the smart textiles area.
Neo ecology. When it comes to consumer decisions, values like social responsibility, respect for the environment, respect for nature and honesty have high priority. The LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) community is steadily growing, and companies that want to be successful need to adopt this business philosophy.
Globalization. The world has become a global village; distances and borders are easy to overcome. This is not merely an economic phenomenon, but one affecting all areas of our social life: education, consumer habits and relationships.
Mobility. Investments in clean technology have dramatically increased in the last few years; experts foresee 10 million electrical cars by 2015 worldwide. Better Place is currently working with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, which will be among the first to introduce electric vehicles, and is also in discussion with major auto manufacturers around the world.
Body and health. The new body consciousness that merges leisure, fashion, health, nutrition and beauty is perhaps the most revolutionary megatrend. Society is facing a paradigm shift: work concepts, personal values and identities are being redefined. There is a boom for alternative treatments, with the new buzzword being self-management and self-healing. (Source: Zukunftsinstitut GmbH–Internationale Gesellschaft fur Zukunfts–und Trendberatung, Kelkheim, Germany)