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06 : 09 : 19 : Weekly Debrief

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6 September 2019

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Plenaire, US


This week: Eco-conscious laundry, sustainable spectacles, celebrating trade workers, a Californian coffee incubator and pre-conception products.

Le Nettoyeurs White's designed by Ivy Studio, Montreal

1. This upscale launderette promotes sustainability

Montreal – Les Nettoyeurs is looking to revolutionise the dry cleaning market with the opening of its flagship launderette White’s.

Designed by local architects Ivy Studio, the space offers a monochrome colour palette and minimal brass fittings to replicate the look of a traditional Parisian apartment. White’s proudly displays its sustainability credentials via custom-built ‘library’ shelving – complete with sliding ladder – used to proudly exhibit all of its eco-friendly cleaning products.

As Ivy Studio architect Philip Staszewski explains, White’s is hoping to elevate the dry cleaning experience and bring a new level of transparency to the market. ‘We wanted people to feel comfortable asking questions about the products or about work done by the seamstress,’ he explains. ‘We see it as a hotel's lobby – although you often spend very little time there, you should feel comfortable.’ In a bid to address the widespread use of dated and damaging laundry habits, brands are looking to educate consumers around the concept of Conscious Aftercare.

Cubitts, UK

2. Cubitts crafts glasses from everyday waste

London – The spectacles company is experimenting with sustainable materials, using human hair, potatoes and yoghurt for a new collection of frames.

The Redux concept range by Cubitts is comprised of 10 one-off styles made with different waste materials. Although the brand typically makes its frames from cellulose acetate – a semi-synthetic plastic derived from tree pulp and cotton – its notes that its manufacturing process still has an impact on the environment.

According to the brand, the upcycled materials – which include corn husks, human hair donated by Cubitts staff and their friends and turned into a bio-resin, and old CDs – offers the same versatility as cellulose acetate. In addition, each material results in a distinctive colour scheme and texture. Although the designs are currently prototypes, the brand hopes these alternative materials can be developed to produce its commercial frames.

As explored in our Material Far Futures report, innovators such as Cubitts are using design to transform environmental excess into valuable new resources for the manufacturing industry.

Timberland Pro, Always Do, Never Done. Campaign by The Martin Agency, US

3. Timberland applauds America's trade workers

US – The footwear and apparel brand's latest campaign pays tribute to its original customer base of American trade workers and builders.

Highlighting the contributions that these workers make to communities across the US, the campaign includes a new TV spot that will run across TV, video platforms, and social media. The ad, titled Rebuild, shows a construction worker rebuilding a home following a fire. While trade workers are essential to the US economy, projections estimate that more than 2.4m trade jobs will go unfulfilled by 2028.

To address this growing skills shortage, Timberland has launched a supporting online resource for people who are interested in learning about careers in the building trade. ‘Our goal with the campaign is to ensure that we continue to shine a light on the skilled trade workers who are rebuilding our communities and celebrating them as heroes,’ explains Cassie Heppner, Timberland Pro’s director of marketing.

In the US, brands must learn to speak the blue collar demographic, which has felt behind by the rise of coastal elitism. For more, read our macrotrend, The American Middle.

4. This Californian café doubles as an R&D lab

Santa Cruz – The Verve Roastery Del Sur promises an elevated coffee experience, with a café, draught coffee bar, roastery and lab under one roof.

Verve has teamed up with chef Mario Tolentino and barman Adam Weisblatt to create bold menus for the 7,000-square-feet space. Among items featured on its launch menu are porchetta and truffle cheese sandwiches, snap pea and ham fritters, and botanicals-infused cascara vermouth spritzes.

Beyond the local breakfast and lunch crowds, the space also aims to attract coffee connoisseurs. Tapping into recent shifts in the craft coffee market and a growing desire for alcohol-free indulgence, it houses a dedicated coffee bar offering non-alcoholic takes on Negronis and Old Fashioneds. Upstairs, an R&D space exists alongside a private room for barista training.

As explored in our microtrend Edible Incubators, food and drink companies are drawing inspiration from Silicon Valley with spaces that foster collaboration and creativity for new product launches.

Verve Roastery Del Sur, San Francisco
Natalist, US

5. Natalist redesigns fertility essentials

San Francisco – The women’s health start-up has launched with a bundle of products for consumers trying to get pregnant.

Natalist’s monthly Get Pregnant Bundle is a curated collection of science-backed essentials to support conception. Each bundle includes seven ovulation tests, three pregnancy tests, a one-month supply of prenatal vitamins and omega fatty acids, as well as a book about conceiving. With its sleek, evidence-based approach, the brand looks to reduce the shame and misinformation surrounding conception, while modernising outdated product offerings.

‘When I was struggling to get pregnant, I couldn’t get the answers I needed, found shopping for pre-conception products uncomfortable, and felt isolated and disconnected from my body,’ says Halle Tecco, Natalist founder and CEO. ‘Only after talking with other women, I realised this was a shared experience that needed to be reinvented for everyone.’

By demystifying fertility for consumers, Natalist joins the ranks of Life-stage Brands.


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