Monday 15 October 2007

The consumer's view

Globalisation and Climate Change
Peak Oil?
The disposables on which the nonwovens market has thrived for the last 40 years are now coming under pressure due to increasing consumer concerns revolving around concepts of sustainability, carbon footprint, renewability. They currently ignore the problems likely to arise from peak oil, maybe because in reality these are driving the sorts of change they seem to want.
We can already see consumer attitudes changing:
  • Western consumers are realising that they can’t go on buying more and more so the pattern spending is changing to “sensible consumption”.
  • Health, Wellness, Ethical, Fair-trade, Organic and Sustainable will be the watchwords of future marketing in the West. Nonwovens will be affected.
  • They believe future sustainable products should optimise the use of renewable resources and be designed for multiple use through recycling.
  • Buying eco-friendly goods is becoming fashionable and we could be about to witness a transformation of the fortunes of what to date have been “niche” eco-friendly hygiene products.
  • The use of, and need for, ecofriendly products with environmental features and claims such as organic, biodegradable and flushable continues to grow.
  • Biodegradable fibres, such a viscose, lyocell, cotton (organic) and PLA are all in short-supply and significantly more expensive than 6 months ago.
  • Protein and chitin fibres are appearing in a wipes context for the first time.
Coming Next: Future diaper raw materials?

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