21 : 05 : 21 : Weekly Debrief

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Need To Know

This week: Gucci's Roblox garden, eco-conscious mindsets among children, Nike’s celebration of failing, postable beauty samples and Hanni’s sustainable shaving products.

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21 May 2021

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Digital Village by Evelyn Mora


Gucci Garden Archetypes on Roblox

1. Gucci’s Roblox garden makes art accessible to all

Global – Luxury house Gucci is opening its virtual doors to all with the creation of a digital garden experience on metaverse play platform Roblox.

The Gucci Garden is a virtual complement the brand’s real-life Gucci Garden Archetypes multimedia exhibition, hosted in the city of Florence, Italy. Positioned as an interactive gallery with various rooms inspired by Gucci’s advertising campaigns, visitors to the Gucci Garden take form as ageless, gender-neutral digital ‘mannequins’ which, as they navigate the space, transform into digital artworks in their own right.

Virtual visitors will also be able to shop for limited-edition digital Gucci items for their avatar, created solely for the experience within the Roblox space. ‘While fashion and art may feel out of reach, the metaverse is bringing them closer and making them more accessible for millions of people, building on Gucci’s quest to empower individuals and expanding self-expression to new virtual territories,’ reads a Roblox statement.

As explored in our macrotrend Omnilux Lifestyles, Gucci is showing how brands are developing digital experiences to become as central to their storytelling as physical spaces and events.

Playback Mattel Program

2. Mattel’s PlayBack makes plastic toys circular

Europe – Toymaker Mattel is responding to the growth in eco-conscious mindsets among children and parents with a plastic toy upcycling scheme.

PlayBack is launching initially in the UK, Germany and France, allowing parents and carers to return outgrown, broken or worn-out Mattel toys for upcycling into new materials. After selecting the toys they want to return – be it Barbie dolls, Matchbox cars or MEGA Bloks – a free shipping label is generated, which families can print out before packaging up.

Once received, Mattel is working with TerraCycle to separate the toys by material, clean them if necessary, and then extrude the materials into plastic pellets to make new recycled products and toys. ‘By keeping Mattel toys out of landfills and reusing the materials in them or appropriately converting from waste to energy where recycling is not an option, we are taking a big step to build a waste-free future for our products and packaging,’ reads a brand statement.

In our Conscious Play microtrend, we further examine the toy brands and schemes supporting parents and carers in their quest to make play more environmentally friendly.

Play New campaign by Nike

3. Nike celebrates trying and failing at sports

Global – The sports brand is encouraging people to embrace failure and find joy in discovering new sports.

Its Play New campaign spotlights a series of elite athletes having a go at a different sport. The ad by Wieden+Kennedy features personalities such as basketball player Sabrina Ionescu, sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, and Paralympian track and fielder Blake Leeper. Each is shown attempting a new activity – from golf to baseball – and enjoying it despite being a novice. In this way, Nike is challenging people to get out of their comfort zones through sport, and overcome the fear of not being good at something.

Melanie Auguste, vice-president of global brand marketing at Nike, comments: ‘The reason we are encouraging people to ‘play new’ is to celebrate that notion of getting back to the joy of discovering and trying something for the first time – the joy of letting loose a little bit.’

With many consumers shunning the pursuit of perfection, brands are taking the opportunity to find Fortitude in Failure – and in this case, pushing their audiences to do the same.

4. Postable beauty samples for safer brand discovery

US – Clean cosmetics brand Kosas is launching accessibly-priced, postable samples of its products allowing curious consumers to try before they buy.

Tapping into the rise of beauty e-commerce over the last year and people wanting to experience brands from the comfort of their own homesKosas Try Outs are samples of lipsticks, foundations, highlighters and mascaras priced at £3 and £5 ($3, $5 or €2.45, €4).

The brand is offering 10 different types of Try Outs, presented as sample cards or miniature products. Encouraging shoppers to give its products a go, Kosas also offers ‘site credits’ for each sample purchased – for example, a spend of £3 equals £3 towards future products, which can be redeemed online against full-size versions of its cosmetics.

As explored in our beauty and wellness macrotrend Recuperative Living, brands are finding new ways to engage beauty shoppers cautious about touch or product sample contamination but still wanting to experience the brand. In this way, Kosas has created a simple solution to engage shoppers safely and drive future sales.

Kosas Tryouts, US
Hanni, US

5. Razor brand Hanni makes close shaves sustainable

US – Beauty brand Hanni’s re-usable razor includes a waterless shaving cream, offering a more sustainable alternative to disposable shaving products.

The brand’s plastic-free, weighted razor is designed to last a lifetime, with a clasp mechanism allowing users to continually replace blades after use. With no use of plastic whatsoever, the razor inserts are made with sugar cane pulp and come in an aluminium storage bin that can be recycled at the end of its life.

Extending this eco-conscious approach to the rest of its product line, Hanni’s shave pillow offers a water-free alternative to shaving creams. It comes in the form of a moisturising gel stick that can be applied on the go to protect and nourish skin pre-shave.

If we can get women to understand how much better a shave it is, and also do something good for the planet and end up spending less money, we can start a movement,’ says Leslie Tessler, founder of Hanni.

By opting for waterless and plastic-free product design, along with a refillable element, Hanni is promoting sustainable design thinking from the ground up.


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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