05 : 03 : 21 : Weekly Debrief

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Need To Know

This week: eco-friendly wooden packaging solutions, borderless haircare prescriptions for multicultural women, inter-pandemic interfaces, Amazon crowdfunds future products, and TikTok taps into streetwear.

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5 March 2021

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Match branding by Collins, US


Woodacity by Quadpack

1. A wood-based solution for sustainable beauty packaging

Spain – Packaging supplier Quadpack has unveiled a series of wood closures intended to produce an environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic packaging.

Within the Woodacity range are three packaging caps intended to be used for skincare and fragrance products. Quadpack redesigned processes, such as the shaping and lacquering of the sustainability-sourced wood, in order for the material to mirror the functional properties of plastic. By opting for wood instead of plastic, the pack can be infinitely refillable and easier to recycle.

‘Woodacity is a new way of looking at wood innovation,’ explains Pierre-Antoine Henry, head of categories at Quadpack. ‘Our goal is to have our wood products to be either mono-material, refillable or easily disassembled’ . Looking forward, the firm hopes that this innovation will enhance the environmental profile of the beauty sector.

Discover more eco-conscious innovations in our Sustainability series.

Carra, UK

2. Carra offers educated expertise to curly-haired consumers

UK – Carra is a new membership platform offering advice and personalised care routines for people with afro, curly and textured hair.

Members are given access to their own professional hair coach, who offer advice and practical tips for managing hair. The Carra coaches carry out an initial in-depth virtual consultation to understand the needs and goals of each user, before providing a ‘prescription’. Informed by the texture, health, type, and lifestyle of each user, hair prescriptions include personalised analysis, suggested routines, and product recommendations.

Available in two package types – the Carra Starter and the Carra Bundle – both include the initial consultation and access to bespoke advice, while the latter provides additional analysis and ongoing support. ‘We are re-envisioning today’s noisy and overwhelming textured hair experience to build a truly borderless personalisation platform targeting multicultural women all across the globe,’ says Winnie Awa, founder of Carra.

Brands are exploring new ways of connecting with consumers on a deeper level, and providing educated expertise – as we identify in Feedback Frontiers – to retain circular and conversational communications.

Moving Buttons, Special Projects, UK

3. A hygienic interface for the touchscreens of tomorrow

UK – Innovation agency Special Projects has created an algorithmic concept that dramatically reduces our contact with public self-checkouts.

The concept, Moving Buttons, allows up to 50 people to use a touchscreen without ever tapping the same spot, giving customers a safer way to use shared interfaces such as self-service check-outs. The technology, which requires only a software update, works by intelligently moving the position of buttons around the screen for each new customer. The system then alerts staff when it is ready to be cleaned.

The concept hopes to provoke businesses to look to algorithms in order to combat the spread of Covid-19 and other germs, as consumers become increasingly aware of how they navigate shared environments. According to Adrian Westaway, principal of Special Projects, the agency ‘wanted to visualise how this transaction could be made safer through innovative interface design and put customers at lower risk of coming into contact with other customers.’

To find out more ways designers are reframing the visual language of social distancing, read our design direction Positive Barriers.

4. Amazon’s Build It democratises product development

US – The online retailer’s latest crowdfunding project, Build It, encourages consumers to vote on its next Alexa-enabled product.

The new venture is part of the Day 1 Editions program which seeks out consumer feedback for upcoming devices. As part of its research and development process, Amazon presents a series of concept designs to consumers. Each product has a pre-order goal to meet within 30 days, so in order for a customer to vote, they pre-order their favourite idea. The winning one then goes into production and consumers are only charged if a product meets their target.

By creating Build It, Amazon intends to directly meet consumer needs, by only making products that its user base would actually purchase. Opting for a crowdfunding approach allows the firm to save money on concepts that will not turn a profit. Current concept ideas include a smart sticky note printer, a smart nutrition scale, and a cuckoo clock.

Brands like Amazon are treating consumer interactions as a valuable opportunity to improve their offer. For more, discover Feedback Frontiers.

Amazon Build It, US
Pomelo X TikTok

5. TikTok’s fashion collection proves its influence

Thailand – Fashion brand Pomelo has collaborated with the short-form video app to create a limited-edition streetwear line.

Adorned with the TikTok logo, the 13-piece collection includes a variety of colourful womenswear garments and accessories. As part of launch, Pomelo has created the #BeBoldBeYou challenge which tasks users to create fashion styling videos, with the most inventive entry winning the entire collection. The fashion brand will also be selling the items via a shoppable livestream and on its site.

The exclusive fashion collaboration highlights the vast influence TikTok has on young consumers and the rise of fashion and beauty across the social media platform. By tapping into the creativity of its users, Pomelo can target TikTok aficionados who may not be aware of the streetwear brand.

With social media reshaping online shopping, social networks are prompting retailers to take their strategies into a new interactive territory.


To future-proof your world, visit The Future Laboratory's forecasting platform LS:N Global for daily news, opinions, trends, sector specific insights, and strategic toolkits.


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