22 : 01 : 21 : Weekly Debrief

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Need To Know

This week: A biohacking community, activewear that eases exercise anxiety during menstruation, e-waste furniture, Closed’s biodegradable denim and nutritional instant ramen

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22 January 2021

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Photography by Amy Holt @peasthankyou


BioHacker’s Residence by Superficium, US

1. A regenerative desert escape for biohackers

US ­– Architecture practice Superficium Studio has conceptualised a modifiable commune for the biohacker community.

The speculative BioHacker’s Residence is envisaged for Utah’s Red Rock desert. The remote shared space is designed to offer privacy for visiting biohackers to explore and self-administer processes to enhance and advance their physical beings, such as 3D organic printing and gene editing technology.

Superficium Studio in turn speculates that the architecture itself will be organic and regenerative, with components that can be repurposed or replaced with bio-integrated materials grown by the residents.

Recognising that gene editing 'lies on the cusps of legality and morality', the space would offer visitors comfort by being programmable to suit their needs, while its communal areas and living spaces are designed to physically unite residents to discuss and explore their desire for self-improvement.

In a similar vein, our macrotrend Enlightened States explores how future consumers will seek to re-engineer their intelligence by hacking their emotive states to better deal with life’s challenges.

Period-proof activewear by Thinx

2. Thinx activewear promotes period exercise

UK – Period underwear brand Thinx is moving into the activewear space with a new range of workout apparel.

Part of the brand’s premium collection, the range includes leggings, cycling shorts, training shorts and a leotard. Much like Thinx’s original underwear offering for people with periods, the activewear integrates fabric that wearers can bleed directly into – mitigating the need for disposable sanitary products. Through its range, Thinx is both destigmatising menstruation and encouraging people to apply their sustainable values to period wear.

Maria Molland, CEO of Thinx, refers to the experience of spending more time at home as being beneficial to the activewear launch. 'There’s been a lot of reticence [in the past] to try something new, especially with the public embarrassment of something like a leak,' she says. 'So now is an opportunity for people to try it; sitting at home on their couch, working from home, they realise the product really works.’

In this way, the brand is empowering people with periods to maintain their daily activities without their natural cycles becoming a hindrance. Explore more case studies via our Female Futures vertical.

The Evolve Chair by Tom Robinson, London

3. This chair is made from unwanted laptops

London – Designer Tom Robinson has collaborated with material manufacturing firm The Good Plastic Company to create a flatpack chair made of recycled hardware.

The Evolve chair is the first release of a larger collection of eco-friendly plastic furniture. The material is made from crushed and granulated e-waste that is then fused into five plastic panels that make up the chair. This process acts as an alternative to the carbon-intense production of virgin plastics as it eliminates carbon emissions. Also, it allows the finished material to resemble a more natural looking wood which gives the chair its artisanal look.

‘Evolve's design was born from a need to present recycled plastic in a way that people could actually want to have it in their homes – whether it be in a flat or farmhouse kitchen,’ explains Robinson. He continues: ‘Plastic, by its very nature, is considered industrial, machine-made and artificial – it feels quite fitting and important to show recycled plastic as something that can appear more natural, crafted and synonymous with the interior landscapes of today.’

Explore more on designers shifting the narrative around plastic in our interview with Jimmy Macdonald, founder of London Design Fair.

4. Closed’s biodegradable denim stretches sustainability

Germany and Italy – Apparel brand Closed has introduced its first fully biodegradable stretch denim collection.

Created in partnership with denim supplier Candiani, the biodegradable fabric – dubbed Coreva – is the result of a five-year internal research and development process. Coreva will be used for Closed's new sustainable garment line, A Better Blue, with the brand also exploring biodegradable buttons, yarns and labels.

As part of this development, Closed hopes to replace metal buttons and studs with vegetable corozo alternatives dyed with natural indigo, while the brand’s logo will be lasered on to its jeans in place of a leather patch. Simon Giuliani, Candiani’s global marketing director, explains: ‘There’s no plastics involved, no heavy metals, no toxicity and there’s composability, which means that we’re also testing to use the scraps to grow new cotton in order to really close the loop.’

Looking ahead, fashion brands will continue to explore materials that allow garments to be disposed of with little environmental impact. For more, look out for our fashion article exploring new directions for bio-positive materials.

Coreva biodegradable denim by Closed
Ramen noodles by Immi

5. Immi re-invents ramen with nutritional benefits

US – Food start-up Immi has transformed instant ramen into a nutrient-dense food for health-conscious consumers.

Aiming to differentiate from traditional instant ramen packs that are high in salt, carbohydrates and MSG, Immi's plant-based instant noodles are high in protein, can be incorporated into a Keto diet and contain only 9g of carbohydrates.

Described as 'surprisingly healthy,' flavours borrow from traditional Asian dishes but are 100% plant-based, including black garlic ‘chicken’, tom yum ‘shrimp’ and spicy ‘beef'. With a growing awareness of health conditions born from poor diets, the brand’s founders used their own family as inspiration for its products. ‘There are many people who grew up loving ramen but have stopped eating it entirely because it’s unhealthy,’ explains Kevin Lee, co-founder of Immi.

For more on how Asian food culture is being elevated, read our interview with the founders of Omsom, a Vietnamese-American food brand aiming to bring authenticity to supermarket shelves.


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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