15 : 11 : 19 : Weekly Debrief

need to know
sector - food & drink
type - need to know
Need To Know
category - digital
category - sustainability
sector - fashion

This week: Carbon-negative vodka, co-working in a mall, Tommy Hilfiger digitises design, a British chip shop in china and data-led Christmas gifting.

Powered by:

15 November 2019

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: The Wait by Six N. Five


Air Company, US

1. This carbon-negative vodka converts air into alcohol

New York – A new brand of premium vodka is made by turning captured carbon into alcohol.

Instead of grains and yeast, Air Co.’s vodka is made from captured C02. Using a process ‘inspired by photosynthesis in nature’, the start-up’s patented system uses electricity to turn carbon from the air into pure ethanol. While a typical bottle of vodka produces up to 13 pounds of greenhouse gases, each bottle of Air Co.’s vodka removes a pound of C02, making it carbon-negative.

‘Our technology uses carbon dioxide and water along with electricity to create alcohol,’ says Stafford Sheehan, an electrochemist and cofounder of Air Co., which makes covetable products that capture excess carbon from the air. Its vodka, which retails for $65 a bottle, is launching in select restaurants and retailers, including Michelin-star restaurant Eleven Madison Park and online platform Drizly.

With its carbon-negative vodka, Air Co. is propelling the trend for Climate-positive Foods forward.

Samyan Co-op, Bangkok

2. A free co-working space invigorates this Thai mall

Bangkok – Open day and night, the Samyan Co-op is a non-profit co-working space housed within a commercial mall.

Located on the second floor of the Samyan Mirtown mall, the flexible space boasts 500 seats, which can be booked and used free of charge, 24 hours a day. Thai architectural firm Onion conceived Samyan Co-op as a library without books, aiming to foster a sense of community in a typically commercial setting. Visitors are invited to circulate throughout as their working day evolves.

To begin the project, Onion studied existing places with similar characteristics to Samyan Co-op, such as libraries, co-working spaces, learning centres, cafés and public areas in university buildings. Drawing on these insights, the resulting space comprises five separate zones – including a focus zone and an open reading zone – to cater for different working habits and needs. Alongside a café next to the entrance, it also houses a space for events.

Free to use and with multiple levels and use cases, the Samyan Co-op is evidence of how malls must deploy new strategies to keep shoppers engaged.

3D fashion design by Tommy Hilfiger

3. Tommy Hilfiger commits to 100% digital design

Amsterdam – The brand has announced plans to digitise its entire design process.

By 2021, 3D design technology will be incorporated into all global apparel design teams at Tommy Hilfiger’s headquarters in Amsterdam. To enable a fully digital design workflow, the brand has developed an eco-system of tools, including a digital fabric, pattern and colour asset library, digital 3D presentation tools and rendering technology. Together, these will transform all design and sample production steps into virtual processes.

‘The potential of 3D design is limitless, allowing us to meet consumer needs faster and in a more sustainable way,’ says Daniel Grieder, CEO of Tommy Hilfiger Global and its parent company PVH Europe. ‘The technology has become a fundamental tool in our collection design and has the potential to significantly accelerate our speed to market.’

As we explore in our Immaterial Fashion macrotrend, digitisation offers brands an opportunity to streamline their production processes and curb overconsumption.

4. A 3D-scanned British chip shop lands in China

Chengdu – Design studio Unknown Works has 3D scanned a series of British fish and chip shops, transplanting their interior details to create a new, modern chip shop in China.

The Chengdu edition of Scotts fish and chips shop pays homage to its namesake British road-side restaurant – a popular dining destination for coach-riding Chinese tourists visiting the city of York. The unfolding façade of the new 33m² space uses white glass reinforced plastic, with integrated tables that fold out for patrons, framing the view of other diners.

Unknown Works used 3D scans of Scotts and other UK chip shops to capture details such as wallpaper textures, cornicing, salt shakers and other oddities. Tapping into the notion of ‘shanzai’ – the imitation brands or products often found for sale in China – the restaurant questions how cultures, dialogue and trade can be represented between the two nations.

As recently explored, such themed experiences are capturing the attention of Chinese consumers, with destinations like Scotts in Chengdu using Discovery Dining to serve a British experience to local customers.

Scotts Fish & Chips, designed by Unknown Works, Chengdu
Bootiques by Boots, UK

5. Boots turns data into curated gift edits

UK – Health and beauty retailer Boots has launched a series of curated gift edits called Bootiques as part of its Christmas campaign.

The Gift Like You Get Them campaign, which debuted with a 90-second film, is the result of research that shows UK consumers want to give fewer but better gifts this festive season. Inspired by different consumer lifestyles and today’s ‘multitude of new trends and tribes’, the Bootiques will appear online, in Boots stores, across social media and experiential channels.

The concept draws on data from the retailer’s Advantage Card loyalty scheme, tapping into what Adam Zavalis, Boots’ director of brand and communications, has called ‘mass personalisation’. Launching with six Bootiques online, shoppers can also use the ‘Build Your Own Bootique’ tool to create and share their online wish lists.

‘People’s ever-changing passions and interests can make it tough to buy for them at Christmas,’ says Helen Normoyle, marketing director for Boots UK and Ireland. ‘We have used that challenge as a source of creative inspiration.’ To learn more about how brands are looking to personalisation, read our Loyalty Market.


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.


Want to read more?
Become a member today!

Sign up to one of our subscribtion packages and get unlimited access to a hive of insights - from microtrends and macro trends to market reports, daily news, research across eight industry sectors and much more.

Discover our memberships

Already a member? Click here to login