Canada – As notions of self-care increasingly encompass intimate pleasure, sexual wellness brand We-Vibe is introducing a multi-purpose massage tool.
The tool, called Touch X, can be used as a sex toy, a body massager and as part of skincare routines. Offering eight intensity levels, the tool allows users to adjust the vibrations according to their self-care rituals. To assert its use cases beyond sexual pleasure, We-Vibe is working with the beauty influencer community to highlight its effectiveness in applying products such as serum, moisturiser and foundation.
In this way, the brand seeks to normalise sensuality by spotlighting the versatility of its sex toys. ‘The topics of beauty and sex have more in common than you might think,’ says Johanna Rief, head of sexual empowerment at We-Vibe. ‘Positioning a vibrator as a beauty product also helps circumvent the strict and often arbitrary rules of social media, which are conspicuously often applied to images of female bodies and sexual wellness products.’
By reframing a tool ordinarily reserved for intimate acts, We-Vibe plays into the idea of Synchronised Care – with brands beginning to champion Pleasure Health as a vital element of self-care.
Brazil – To ensure period inclusivity for everyone who menstruates, absorbent underwear brand Pantys has launched its first transgender and non-binary collection of underwear. The Boxer line has been designed to bring greater visibility, comfort and functionality to the menstrual cycles of trans men and those who identify as non-binary.
In development for more than a year, the Boxer line aims to make the conversation around periods more inclusive while catering to the underserved needs of the trans+ and non-binary communities. ‘Today, the menstrual products available on the market are made for women and reinforce the communication designed for a female audience,’ explains Maria Eduarda Camargo, co-founder of Pantys. ‘But this is also a serious issue for men who menstruate.’
While we have previously noted the rise in trans-positive beauty and wellness campaigns, Pantys is taking this further by working with members of the trans community throughout the manufacturing process to develop the product – from material and design to colour and testing.
Norway – The big-box retailer’s Trash Collection comprises reclaimed furniture that has been salvaged from the street and will be sold in a new second-hand store. Accompanied by a striking campaign created by Oslo-based agency Try, the adverts feature discarded Ikea items among piles of rubbish across Norway.
In addition to continuing Ikea’s efforts to become more sustainable, the campaign and its stark, anti-aspirational imagery are designed to raise awareness of the three million pieces of furniture thrown away each year in Norway. ‘Too much of our furniture end in the trash, and with this campaign we wanted to show how it doesn’t need to,’ says Tobias Lien, marketing communications manager at Ikea.
As such, the upcycled collection firmly establishes Ikea among a new generation of Second-hand Brands. By prompting consumers to think differently about the products they own and their lifecycle, the brand is demonstrating longer-term value of its homewares and promoting circularity.
Copenhagen – Leaning into consumers’ growing interest in at-home cooking, cult restaurant Noma is diversifying its offering by selling in-house culinary creations as consumer packaged goods. Known as Noma Projects, the two umami-rich, fermented sauces are developed from the ancient tradition of garums.
The two garums capture the culinary expertise of Noma, which developed unique recipes through a process of trial and error to achieve optimum fermentation. While garums are typically made with fish, Noma's creations avoid animal protein to offer a vegan and vegetarian take ‘on a thousand-year-old culinary tradition that we’ve been developing over the past two decades.’ By making these available direct-to-consumer, Noma is echoing the ideas we explore in Anti-intuitive Cooking – cooking gourmet meals at home is now more accessible than ever.
With many restaurants having faced an economic hit during Covid-19, such products also provide an alternative way of reaching consumers to boost revenue and maintain loyalty. The launch also recognises the changing behaviours of Noma's customers, who are likely to continue with experimental cooking post-pandemic.
US – With affluent consumers increasingly seeking life-changing travel experiences, space travel company Space Perspective will begin offering luxury balloon rides that take guests up to 20 miles above the Earth. Accommodating up to eight guests, the balloons include reclining seats and a fully-stocked bar. Each ride costs £90k ($125k, €105k) and will last six hours.
While space tourism is conventionally considered an extreme pursuit, Space Perspective is positioning the balloon rides as a more leisurely and comfortable experience. The company explains: ‘The space curious who would have considered it either too risky – or expensive – now have the opportunity to experience the exhilaration of traveling to space.’ Following on from the mindsets we explore in our Untethered Luxurians report, the new service appeals to the luxury consumer's mindset of self-fulfillment over material investments.
Although space travel has previously been reserved for the mega-rich, this tourism experience suggests a future in which beyond-Earth voyages will become more accessible for a wider range of luxury consumers.
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