08 : 10 : 21 : Weekly Debrief

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Need To Know

This week: Decelerating creativity with The Slow Grind, embracing immaterial play, a nod to the metaverse, raising the sustainable beauty bar and a new visual identity for Geltor.

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8 October 2021

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady


The Slow Grind: Finding Our Way Back to Creative Balance by Georgina Johnson

1. Mulberry and The Slow Grind are decelerating creativity

UK – Following a sell-out edition in 2020, the creative, environmental and social anthology The Slow Grind is teaming up with luxury fashion brand Mulberry to launch a second print run. The renewed print run will include an insert and poster foldout of Mulberry’s sustainability manifesto, Made to Last, and will be available in Mulberry stores including an in-store launch event in October 2021.

Bringing a regenerative approach to its publication, the anthology’s print run will be carbon offset through afforestation in Rio Kama, Nicaragua, in collaboration with carbon neutrality organisation Climate Partnership. Alongside its sustainability efforts, founder Georgina Johnson will be continuing her work on The Black Futures Pledge, an initiative that donates copies of the anthology to schools and initiatives that centre Black communities and people of colour. Already, companies including The Future Laboratory, Burberry, Fashion Revolution and SHOWstudio have made the pledge.

'The goal is that more brands come on board,' Johnson tells LS:N Global. 'Because ultimately this is something easy that allows them to gain an esoteric set of tools that are not often located in the corporate milieu, encouraging them in becoming socially engaged strategists and culturally aware contributors.'

Through this project, both The Slow Grind and Mulberry are demonstrating how brands can engage with de-growth and begin to shift their efforts to prioritise radical community-first models – a central tenet to protecting the future of creative industries.

The pre-walker and toddler zone of the Play Gallery. Image by Picture Plane © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

2. The Young V&A embraces immaterial play

London – Responding to the isolation that young people have faced during the pandemic, London’s V&A museum is transforming its existing Museum of Childhood into a space that fosters creativity and play. Set to open in 2023, the East London site will now be known as the Young V&A, and will host three new galleries called Play, Imagine and Design.

Each gallery space will take an unconventional and immersive approach to a children's museum – complete with an amphitheatre-style stage, a free-play construction area and a working design studio. By encouraging touch and interaction, the V&A is recognising the importance of offline activities to aid development in young people. This vital investment – working to counter the ongoing effects of Covid-19 on young people’s access to creative education, collaborative play and artistic inspiration – is more urgent than ever,’ explains Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A.

To discover how future generations will navigate the offline world, and become known as IRL inhabitants rather than digital natives, join us for our Youth and Media Futures online event on 2 December.

It’s A New World of Cocktails by Crown Royal, New York

3. This whisky campaign is a nod to the metaverse

Canada – Whisky brand Crown Royal is targeting younger audiences with a metaverse-inspired ad campaign promoting its ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails. The video campaign, It’s A New World of Cocktails, presents an immersive fictional world, which the brand has created using 3D printing technology. In it, 3D models enjoy Crown Royal RTD cocktails while gaming with friends, playing basketball and socialising at a rooftop party.

According to Crown Royal, the campaign will be supported by a ‘fully immersive platform’. By using these marketing techniques, the brand is tapping into the aesthetic associated with gaming audiences who will already be socialising in metaverse playgrounds, and introducing them to the traditional world of whisky.

As a sector more commonly associated with heritage and provenance, whisky brands are rapidly modernising; showcasing the ways in which the spirit can be made more accessible and fun for younger audiences.

4. Emma Lewisham raises the sustainable beauty bar

New Zealand – The natural beauty brand is pushing industry standards with the announcement of its fully circular product range and carbon-positive status. Showcasing a holistic approach to the environment, the brand is introducing refillable packaging and a convenient take-back scheme in partnership with waste management company TerraCycle.

Together with environmental certification agency Toitū Envirocare, Emma Lewisham is also measuring and positively offsetting emissions throughout its entire supply chain – including the harvesting of raw ingredients, transport, product packaging and end-of-life for each product. The brand is recognising the importance of providing open-source sustainability for the wider industry to learn from, by publishing its circularity guidelines. If we are to ensure packaging is recycled, brands must take ownership of their materials and work with customers to take back all packaging globally to be recycled through specialised recycling partners who ensure this happens,’ explains Lewisham.

Through this fully circular and sustainable approach, the beauty brand is setting a positive example to similar businesses that are contributing to the rise of Bio-positive Beauty.

Emma Lewisham, New Zealand
Geltor identity by &Walsh, New York

5. Geltor visualises its bio-positive ingredient process

US – Alternative protein brand Geltor is elevating the communication of its biodesigned products with an updated visual identity. Capturing its motive of offering ‘ingredients as a service’, the updated branding centers around a series of vibrant 3D orbs – each detailing the unique components of ingredients used in its solutions.

These engaging visuals, by creative agency &Walsh, allow Geltor to simplify the communication of its complex process of creating solutions for beauty, nutrition, food and drinks. ‘Geltor doesn't just replicate existing proteins from nature or animals, it can improve on them to develop proteins that are more effective than what's in nature, and produce proteins that would otherwise be impossible to source,’ explains Jessica Walsh, founder of &Walsh. ‘So we dialled everything up in terms of colour, saturation and sharpness in our visuals to show this idea of the enhancements that can be made from life through biodesign.’

We’ve been tracking the evolution of Geltor – and other companies using biodesign – as part of our research into Nature+ Beauty.



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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