07 : 05 : 21 : Weekly Debrief

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Need To Know

This week: An astrology vitamin brand, fashion fixes up, Burger King’s inter-Covid confusion, Pangaia’s air pollution ink and tangible microplastics.

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7 May 2021

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Rosemary Home


Cosmos Vita, US

1. A vitamin brand harnessing the power of astrology

US – Cosmos Vita is a new multivitamin brand fostering a community around holistic healthcare and astrology.

Launching with three vegan and gluten-free multivitamins, Cosmos Vita centres around the idea of creating balance for the mind, body and spirit. Each multivitamin includes active ingredients such as elderberry, zinc and apple cider vinegar to boost overall health and immunity. Created in gummy formulations, the vitamins provide an accessible way for people to build supplements into their daily routines.

Alongside the vitamin range, Cosmos Vita is also building an astrology-focused community, providing education around the health impact of events like new moons. To bolster this element of the brand, Cosmos Vita is partnering with an astrologer and spiritual advisor to write monthly horoscopes.

As Alternative Spirituality gains momentum among Generation Z, wellness brands have an opportunity to create products and services that align spiritual beliefs with healthcare.

Fixing Fashion

2. A fashion platform for ‘make do and mend’ mindsets

The Netherlands – Fixing Fashion is providing education to empower people to keep – and maintain – their clothes for longer.

The open-source platform is organised into three categories – Care, Repair, and Upgrade – and offers an ever-growing library of information about repairing and maintaining garments and accessories, delivered as video tutorials, diagrams and detailed instructions. Each of the tutorials include techniques that are accessible and available to everyone, using resources such as household bleach, cardboard and basic sewing kits.

Alongside this, Fixing Fashion is creating community around the concept of fixing and upgrading clothing, beginning with a dedicated chat on messaging platform Discord. ‘I didn’t want to support the linear way of producing and say recycling is the answer,’ comments Alicia Minnaard, designer and co-founder of Fixing Fashion. ‘Repairing, upgrading and actually caring for clothing is what’s really missing in fashion.'

With growing awareness around sustainability in fashion, consumers are getting creative and adopting DIY Dressing behaviours to reinvent their wardrobes.

Confusing Times Campaign by Burger King, US

3. Burger King parodies post-isolation lifestyles

US – The latest campaign from fast food chain Burger King captures the collective sense of confusion and unease at returning to pre-pandemic lifestyles.

The humorous ad spot, dubbed Confusing Times, centres its narrative on several familiar scenarios as lockdown periods begin to ease in some countries. Opening with the line, ‘Joe wonders if this is working from home, or living at work?’, the advert spotlights various pandemic tropes such as taking on new hobbies or muting video calls – as well as the changes people are experiencing as their Covid-19 comfort bubbles are burst.

Burger King carries through the message of widespread confusion before ending with an introduction to its new vegan burger. ‘These are confusing times,’ comments the narrator. ‘Which is just about the right time to have the Burger King Impossible Whopper. A Whopper made without beef that tastes just like... a Whopper.’

This playful yet relatable approach to introducing a new product is likely to resonate with consumers who are navigating their re-entry to society, work and socialising in the inter-Covid period.

4. Pangaia prints textiles with extracted pollution

US – Material science and apparel company Pangaia is using carbon negative ink as an eco-friendly alternative to conventional textile printing.

Working with pollution upcycling company Graviky Labs, Pangaia is utilising the company’s Air-Ink innovation – a water-based black ink formulated using carbon-capture technology. The ink is created using an extraction process, whereby air pollution particles are transformed into different grades of inks, dispersions and coatings. Pangaia will use the Air-Ink for black lettering and graphics on its capsule collection of recycled cotton hoodies, t-shirts and trousers.

The eco-conscious nature of the collaboration is also reflected in the collection’s logo: an infinity symbol that represents circularity in fashion. For Graviky Labs, teaming up with the apparel brand means it is able to expand its reach and continue raising awareness around its carbon negative solution.

We've also discovered how pollution is being used in the luxury sector, with companies such as Aether diamonds redirecting carbon to create lab-grown diamonds.

AIR-INK Collection by PANGAIA in collaboration with Gravity Labs and Jenke Ahmed Tailly
Plastic Air by Pentagram in collaboration with Google Arts and Culture, Giorgia Lupi, Talia Cotton and Phil Cox

5. Pentagram visualises the air-polluting impact of plastic

UK – Using an interactive data visualisation, the design studio draws attention to the microplastics that invisibly pollute our air.

The visualisation, called PlasticAir, invites users to interact with free-floating particles representative of microplastics, adjusting various environmental elements such as rain, snow and urban or remote locations. Clicking on each particle allows users to view the chemical composition of the plastics, as well as household items they may originate from.

Designed in collaboration with Google Arts and Culture, the platform also provides educational and actionable ways of reducing and monitoring plastic consumption. By providing this visual platform, people can better understand the impact of non-visible pollutants. Pentagram comments: ‘The experience offers a speculative ‘window’ onto a data-driven approximation of the plastic particles that exist all around us, but remain hidden to the naked eye.’

From shrinking typefaces to offset apparel, we recently explored the range of ways that designers are responding to the climate crisis.


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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