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Behavior Change
Conscious Consumers Flocking to Pinterest for Sustainable Lifestyle Ideas

Sustainable living is the most searched term around sustainability (+69% since last year), while searches for “sustainable living for beginners” are up 265%.

More and more studies are pointing to growing consumer interest in sustainable lifestyles, particularly among Millennials and Gen Z — and now, Pinterest has found that those two generations are each twice as likely to search for sustainability ideas compared to Pinners over 38 years old1. In fact, many Pinners are inspired to get out and learn ways to live a more conscious lifestyle for the first time, with searches for “sustainable living for beginners” up by 265 percent3 since last year.

“We're seeing a rise in people searching for sustainable and eco-friendly ideas across areas like travel, food, parenting and style,” says Swasti Sarna, Consumer Insights Manager at Pinterest. “Given the state of the world environmentally and politically, Pinners — especially Millennials and Gen Zers — want to feel like they are making an impact and driving change. Even if these are small, everyday changes, it’s inspiring to see people work together to make a difference.”

Brought up in an age of recycling, conscious consumerism and diversity education, Gen Z is well aware of the social and environmental challenges the world currently faces. According to a recent Cone Communications study, 92 percent say they care about these issues and express concern for the future, and 89 percent indicate that they’re worried about the health of our planet.

Much like Millennials, Gen Z recognizes their purchasing power as an important way to support responsible companies. Approximately 98 percent say they would rather buy from a company addressing social or environmental problems than one that is not; and 92 percent say they would switch to brands associated with a good cause, given similar price and quality.

Partnerships that Create Positive Impact & Important Behavior Change

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This generation is expecting brands to use their platform for good, according to DoSomething Strategic, especially as they feel that politicians and the political system have let them down, and see companies playing a critical role in addressing these problems.

Below is a peek at how Pinners around the world are feeling inspired to take action and make an impact, from sustainable shopping and travel to using less waste at home and the office.

Sustainable home

Sustainable living (+69 percent since last year) is the most searched term around sustainability, as Pinners are looking to make small changes in their everyday lives — such as ways to eliminate plastic and have zero waste in their home and office. They are also incorporating sustainability into the kitchen (+58 percent) by choosing eco-friendly designs and utensils, in their activities with their children (+59 percent) and even in gift-giving (+126 percent)

Sustainable travel

Searches for zero-waste travel have increased 74 percent3 as Pinners look to pack lighter, reduce their carbon footprint and create less waste while on the road.

Sustainable style

There is a growing interest to discover sustainable fashion brands (+49 percent), such as those that use recycled and organic materials. Some Pinners are turning to even wiser ways of consuming clothing, such as renting their clothes or swapping them with others; a trend that is not only helping the planet but also their wallets.

Examples of brands that have benefited from Pinners’ interest include California-based sustainable clothing company prAna, maker of Fair Trade Certified™ products and clothing, which has reported a 28 percent increase in website traffic from Pinterest. The brand says the visual discovery engine is the only social platform that allows them to connect with consumers to talk about fair trade, the organic cotton used in their clothing and even mindful traveling.

And Rothy’s, the San Francisco-based maker of chic, comfortable women's flats from 100 percent recycled plastic water bottles, says it has seen a growth in traffic to its website from Pinterest. Consumers are in a mindset to discover and take action when they’re using Pinterest, which has helped Rothy’s connect with an audience looking to take action to become more sustainable in their daily lives.  

Top sustainability searches on Pinterest

  1. Sustainable living

  2. Sustainable architecture

  3. Sustainable fashion

  4. Sustainable packaging

  5. Sustainable home

  6. Sustainability in childcare

  7. Self-sustainable living

  8. Sustainable development

  9. Sustainable energy

  10. Sustainable products

1Ratio of searches on sustainability for Gen Z (defined as ages 13 to 23) and Millennials (defined as ages 24-38) each was twice as high as ratio of searches on sustainability for Pinners over 38.

2Percent increases are calculated using normalized searches form December 2017 to December 2018.

3P100 percent increases are calculated using normalized searches on each trend from January - September 2017 to January - September 2018