September’s 3 hot topics for home improvement marketers

SUSTAINABILITY SPECIAL EDITION: Climate change hits home, brands get their green on, and showering without shame
by The Drill Down Team on October 02, 2023

Climate change is making home construction more expensive…

The home construction industry has been facing a number of challenges this year. High interest rates are weighing on housing demand, and construction loans are harder to come by.

But the lending environment isn’t the only obstacle to home construction. Climate change is making home construction costlier, too. In states where natural disasters are becoming more common, builders are demanding more climate-resistant building materials, like steel-reinforced walls and wind-resistant glass. More here: (Source)

…And commercial real estate more unstable

It’s hard to escape the sense that the old-fashioned office is in trouble these days as employees continue to work from home. It turns out climate change may be playing a meaningful, if admittedly secondary, role further stressing the commercial real estate market.

Insurance costs for commercial real estate are rising rapidly across the country, outpacing rent increases and general inflation. An August Moody’s report suggests a link to climate change. More here: (Source) 

The S/M Take: 

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. But now that the knock-down effects of climate change are here, how do we respond? The answers are two-fold: First, as home-improvement and commercial-construction brands, we must design a higher level of climate-resilience into our products. (It will become a customer expectation imminently, so let’s get ahead of it.) Second is the long-term solution, which is sustaining the planet in our manufacturing processes. Which leads us to our next story…

From Beko to Crossville, K&B brands are building sustainability into their product mix

A renewed interest in overall health and wellness includes a rising concern for the state of the earth. Many manufacturers in the kitchen and bath segment have devoted themselves to sustainable practices, reusing waste products, creating safer work environments and reducing emissions, among other things.

Some of the ways in which sustainability is affecting the kitchen and bath industry include:

  • Cabinetry paints and finishes look to reach a O% VOC off-gassing, keeping the air quality in homes at a healthier level.
  • Water savings come in the way of high-efficiency toilets, low-flow showerheads and smart faucets.
  • Recycled content, such as ash, dust and broken glass, is showing up in all types of surfaces and tiles.
  • Recycled water bottles are showing up in all types of products, including appliances parts and interior cabinet fittings. More here: (Source)

The S/M Take: 

Sustainability is a learned behavior. Yes, all of us can (and should) live the tried-and-true reuse/recycle/reduce, but as shown here, sustainability has an even more profound impact when it becomes a brand pillar. Modern consumers – 78% of ‘em – care. It’s just good business.

Recycled shower water? Before you shudder, check the facts

Since the average eight-minute shower uses more than 16 gallons of water, according to the EPA, the shower is the ideal place to target water conservation. That’s water that touches your body for a second before it goes down the drain.

The fledgling category of circular shower systems reuses water instead, allowing people to drastically reduce their water and energy consumption while enjoying higher flow rates.

Using fresh water to start, these shower systems use micro and UV light filters to rid the water of contaminants such as dirt, hair and bacteria with each pass. More here: (Source)

The S/M Take: 

Every big idea sounded freaky once, right? But this one has real science and technology behind it. Not to mention momentum, with serious brands and retailers getting on board. This is the kind of risk and acceptance that mark the new sustainability. And The Drill Down loves it.

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