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12 June 2020

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Amangiri, US

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This week: sleek eco-logistics, Estée Lauder's WhatsApp service, a rewilded car park, Glossier's support for black-owned beauty brands, and a homely staycation collection.

Bscly, US

1. Bscly packages premium clothing in sugar cane

US – The new direct-to-consumer clothing brand packages its premium basics in compostable sugar cane boxes.

In addition to meeting high production standards, the products are ethically manufactured in Los Angeles and Portugal using quality fabrics. ‘We created Bscly to simplify your day, creating a system of sustainably made, universally designed pieces,’ says the brand.

To combat the overuse of single-use plastic that is either difficult or impossible to recycle, Bscly ships its apparel in compostable or recyclable materials. At the centre of its sustainable packaging strategy is a box made from 100% moulded sugar cane fibre, which can be composted at home. The rest of the packaging is also sustainable, from the outer mailer bag to the acid-free tissue paper used inside the box.

In this way, the brand is embracing a new age of Eco-logistics as it seeks to reduce the growing environmental impact of e-commerce.

Liv by Estée Lauder and Rehab

2. Estée Lauder brings AI skin advisory to WhatsApp

London – The beauty brand is the first major company to launch a skincare experience on WhatsApp.

Working with creative technology agency Rehab, the experience allows consumers to speak to Liv – an AI-based chatbot – through WhatsApp, with Liv helping users to build and stick to a personalised skincare routine. Launching during the Covid-19 lockdown, Liv aims to educate and support consumers at a time when beauty counter advice is not possible.

‘The forward-thinking nature of this digital experience goes beyond traditional communication to provide personalised one-to-one beauty advice in a natural conversational way,’ says Emmanuelle Noyer, vice-president and general manager at Estée Lauder UK. Through this combination of WhatsApp and machine learning, Estée Lauder is able to offer round-the-clock beauty advice, while utilising a new channel for the brand to interact with and learn from consumers.

For more on how beauty brands are forging new interactions with customers during the inter-Covid era, book your place at our Beauty & Wellness Futures Virtual Forum event on 25 June.

Infield by Linda Tegg, Stockholm

3. A car park rewilded as a biodiverse meadow

Stockholm – Artist Linda Tegg has rewilded a car park outside ArkDes, Sweden's national centre for architecture and design.

The large-scale installation – Infield – comprises more than 60 plant species native to Sweden, and is intended to attract birds and insects to the site over its three-month duration.

‘[Sweden’s national architecture and design] policy aims to make Swedish cities more sustainable and equitable, through better architecture, art and design,’ explains Kieran Long, director of ArkDes. ‘Infield adds to this debate by asking questions about what the public spaces of the future might look like, whether we work with nature instead of against it, making space for non-human species and sharing the city with them.’

As we explore in our Enlightened States macrotrend, urban architecture is evolving to promote wellbeing through intuitive design and sustainable materials, while also encouraging greater synergy with the natural world.

4. Glossier responds to Black Lives Matter movement

US – Glossier has pledged £785,430 ($1m, €881,240) in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and black-owned beauty businesses.

Marking one of the first corporate donations of its kind, the company announced last week via Instagram that it would be donating £392,590 ($500,000, €440,555) to 'organisations combating racial injustice', and a further $500,000 to support black-owned businesses within its sector. The social media post detailed its decision to support organisations including Black Lives Matter, The Equal Justice Initiative and We Are The Protestors, among others.

Speaking about its decision to distribute some of its wealth among black-owned beauty brands, Glossier said: ‘In an effort to make an impact within our own industry, we will be allocating an additional $500,000 in the form of grants to black-owned beauty businesses – more details to come on this initiative in June.’

In our Civic Brands macrotrend, we explore other ways brands from the private and public sectors can collaborate to promote and work towards social good.

Glossier
West Elm and REI

5. REI and West Elm take home comforts outside

US – Homeware retailer West Elm and outdoor gear specialist REI Co-op have co-created a range of homely camping gear.

The 35-piece collection combines REI’s outdoor-gear expertise with West Elm’s design aesthetic for staycation-suitable products. In addition to folding chairs, re-usable tableware and patterned cushions, the two brands have also co-produced a special Camp Monsters podcast episode for families and kids to listen to during their outdoor adventures.

‘We designed this modern collection of colourful everyday entertaining essentials and sustainably sourced outdoor textiles to complement REI Co-op’s high-performing recreational gear,’ says Jeffrey Hannoosh, senior vice-president of design for West Elm. ‘[The] collaboration inspires families to bring the comforts of home to the great outdoors – from week nights dining al fresco to relaxing summer weekends in the back yard.’

Amid a resurgence in domestic travel and high-end staycations, brands and retailers are embracing the burgeoning trend for the Elevated Outdoors.

 

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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