12 Days of Trends: How our Non-binary Culture is Influencing Trends

We’re counting down to 2020 by sharing 12 days of emerging workplace trends! Learn what trends our top global contributors are most excited to see evolve in the new year. 

Trend 3 of 12: “While I write this as a forecast of what’s to come for 2020, I would not be surprised if it defines a generation” – Samantha Mason


Music and movie genres are blending. Demand for work-life balance and flexible schedules is increasing. Athleisure blurs the line between performance clothing and everyday wear. The workplace reflects elements of the home more and more each day. As the world evolves, people are freer to express themselves and their identity, (re: gender fluidity and non-binary expression). Our world is becoming less black and white, and is entering a realm of greyness.

Strongly correlated– technology is binding to all aspects of our lives. Our constant connection to the rest of the world is exhausting; for a time, it felt like we forgot who we were. In response, there is a demand for nature-inspired colors and design. A sense of hand-crafted-ness as it relates to color. It is essential so we do not lose ourselves in the shuffle. We need something to ground us and remind us we are human.

The two color groups that support these two trends are murky pastels and saturated earth tones, respectively. If you look at all of the color predictions for the upcoming year, you will see the same two themes. For murky pastels we have: Benjamin Moore’s 2020 color, First Light 2102-70, “a soft, rosy hue blooming with potential.” Behr’s 2020 color of the year, Back to Nature S340-4, is a “restorative and revitalizing green hue that engages the senses.” For saturated earth tones we have: Pantone’s 2020 color, 19-4052 Classic Blue, “highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.” PPG’s 2020 color of the year, Chinese Porcelain PPG1160-6, described as a “blend of cobalt and moody, ink blue offering escapism.” Sherwin Williams’ 2020 color of the year, Naval SW 6244, “creates a calm and grounding environment infused with quiet confidence.”

The descriptors of these colors are thematic of what we’re yearning for―harmony, duality, stability, and escapism. The murky pastels are gender neutral and can serve on their own or as backdrops for other elements and colors. No longer do pastels define femininity – they represent all. Interestingly, the trending saturated earth tones are deep shades of blue. The longing for stability (grounding) and the need for escapism (from our tech-driven lives) are captured perfectly in these hues.

While I write this as a forecast of what’s to come for 2020, I would not be surprised if it defines a generation. The world is only becoming more interconnected, non-conforming, and technology driven – and we have to continue to respond. I welcome a decade of serene colors that support both ideas of gender neutrality and duality, and our desire to reconnect with the earth. I welcome a decade of murky pastels and saturated earth tones.

More from Samantha Mason

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