News Roundup: Growing Trends in Business and Consumers

When it comes to brand ethics, autonomous cars, and reusable straws, businesses are listening to consumers. Here’s what’s going on in the news this week.

Study: Majority of teens consider a brand’s ethics when making purchasing decisions

A recent study has shown that most of today’s teenagers take a brand’s ethics into account when making purchases. This includes everything from the charities brands support to their environmental impact coming into play as they try to win over the next generation of consumers. Yet Gen Z is also a careful and sometimes skeptical generation. They are scrutinous of the truth of brands’ promises about protecting the environment and working with charity organizations, and also have a high focus on quality and product testing.

What does this mean for companies moving forward? More and more, the trends point towards organizations putting a greater consideration on how they create their products, what happens to the products after, and how brands view their responsibility to the world. Companies such as Lush and Patagonia have been praised for their environment-conscious packaging and recycled materials. Burberry recently was a subject of focus in the news as they were disposing of unsold products by burning them. The brand listened to their consumers and are now partnered with the sustainable luxury company Elvis & Kresse to ensure they are moving forward with business practices that are mindful of minimizing waste. With large companies making a shift towards change, it shows that the current pace of business is not only about working faster, but also working smarter by making decisions consciously.

Autonomous Vehicles Drive New Practice for Fisher Phillips

As Uber, Tesla, and many other companies work towards driverless vehicles, Fisher Phillips recognized the need for an autonomous cars focus in their law firm. Workplace safety, labor, unionizing, and data privacy are just a few of the topics their firm is prepared to advise on. With these vehicles becoming more widespread, having everything from safety concerns to union bargaining agreements addressed is critical for success. As these new industries and segments of business rising up, law firms such as Fisher Phillips are stepping up to the plate to ensure workers and companies alike are well protected and have the right agreements and regulations in place.

The last straw: Moving past disposable plastic spurs companies to innovate

Plastic straws have been a popular topic recently as many cities, restaurants, and major companies such as Starbucks and Alaska Airlines are moving towards eliminating them to reduce waste. While other easily-disposable plastics such as bags or water bottles are still a concern, many are arguing that reducing plastic use at any level is a start.

The innovation around this push for less plastic is significant. A foldable metal straw that fits easily on a keychain and comes with its own cleaning squeegee raised around $2 million on Kickstarter. Many restaurants are beginning to offer metal or glass alternatives, and companies are looking at creating new designs for items like juice boxes that will reduce overall waste, not have more of an impact on the environment through more packaging. As awareness and care for the environment grow, companies and municipalities alike are being creative and inventive with solutions that can work for everyone.

The environment is a large consideration for businesses today, whether it’s how their manufacturing process impacts it or how lawyers respond to these new industries. In every way, organizations are continuing to find new ways of doing business that will create happier consumers and a healthier world.