Generations and the future

According to generational research, our values are shaped between the ages of 16 and 24. It is during those years that our consumption habits and our priorities in life are largely entrenched. It is a topic that has interested researchers for years, and it interests us at Elfa too. What role does the era in which we grow up play in our lifestyle habits? And what significance will this have for the storage in our homes in the future? 

Today’s generations are commonly divided up into: Generation Z (age 16-25), Millennials (age 26-41), Generation X (age 42-57) and Boomers (age 58-76).

Digital services in the home

A relatively low percentage of people use digital services to facilitate their everyday lives at present and the same holds for services such as home delivery of groceries and restaurant meals, and collection of waste. However, there are indications that this will change in the next two decades, according to Charlotte Mattfolk, Elfa Insight member and forecasting expert.

Connected environment

The smart home has been the subject of discussion for many years and is probably going to break through in the near future. New technologies make it possible to connect devices in the home and make everything from fridges and audio systems to wardrobes and washing machines more interactive. Many of us are now investing in smarter and more efficient storage solutions to meet our growing needs. Generation Z is most active in this respect. The Millennials, Generation X and Boomers are also embracing this trend to some extent.

Increased awareness

We know we need to reduce consumption for the sake of the planet. When technology has advanced sufficiently, it will make us more aware of what we have and how we can make most efficient use of it, particularly in our homes. For example, being able to “tag up” our clothes and devices in a digital system would give us a complete picture of what we have in our wardrobes. Allowing us to start the day with a suggestion of what to wear based on what’s in our wardrobe, the weather and what activities we’ll be doing during the day.

Possibly also be given suggestions of which garments we can put up for sale on second-hand sites. It will also make us more aware of what gadgets we have and can thus participate more easily in the sharing economy. There are already quite a lot of people who buy and sell clothes and interior accessories on online auction sites, and second-hand sites and shops.

It is not totally surprising that younger people, the 16-25 year-olds of Generation Z and the 26-41 year old Millennials, are best at trading in second-hand goods and using digital services for the second-hand market. The digital transformation will continue to open many more doors and give us a better insight into how we live, guide us in making choices and decisions and make us more conscious consumers in the future.

More sustainable lifestyles for a brighter future

Our storage expert Christine Dalman offers a few simple tips here on how to embrace a sustainable lifestyle that also safeguards the future!

Have you tried renting clothes? Invest in timeless classics and essentials, and liven up your wardrobe by renting items of clothing. It will save you money, make space in your wardrobe and be good for the environment – and you’ll also have new pieces to choose from when putting together an outfit for the day.

Knitted sweaters can lose their shape on hangers. So keep them neatly folded and organised in mesh drawers with dividers.

A smart idea is to keep one shelf just for donation and recycling bags. Simple to fill and take to a charity shop or recycling bin when full!

Elfa Insights 2022

Elfa Insights is Elfa’s think tank where we investigate trends, needs and challenges related to storage. We do so by conducting consumer surveys and collecting views and insights from leading experts in the fields of architecture, sustainability, fashion, interior design and future predictions. This gives us the opportunity to delve deep into our favourite subject, storage, and inspire others to bring order, structure and harmony to their home and thus create space for important everyday things.

Anders Parment 

Generational researcher, author and social commentator. Works as a teacher and researcher at Stockholm Business School on issues relating to the future and how new generations are shaping it. As well as writing books (he will shortly be publishing one about Generation Z), Anders is a speaker and works with organisations to help them better understand the future.

Mia Erlandsson 

Architect and interior architect at White Arkitekter. Works on everything from major public projects and process management to small detailed interior solutions and design concepts. Chair of the panel of judges for the “Golden Chair” award presented by the Swedish Architects organisation for the best interior architecture in Sweden. 

Charlotte Mattfolk 

Framtidsexpert, entreprenör och strategisk rådgivare. Grundare till AI-plattformen IAMAI som matchar managementkonsulter med uppdrag och ger tillgång till ”Streaming Knowledge”. Författare till framtidsstudien 4 Scenarios for a Future Life.

Christine Dalman

Elfa’s Senior PR Specialist and Storage Expert for the past 30 years. 

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