Poland – Graduate student Roza Janusz has developed a biological alternative to plastic packaging, developed from the natural yeast and bacteria disc used in the fermentation process of kombucha.
With similar properties to the animal tissue used as a casing for cured meats such as chorizo or salami, Janusz has re-imagined the material – known as a scoby – as a natural wrap for food produce, that can later be cooked with or dissolved. The initial taste of the scoby resembles that of kombucha, but as it absorbs the flavour of the food content, a different taste is formed. The longevity of the packaging also varies depending on what it is wrapping. For food products such as nuts, which have a more acidic pH value, Janusz predicts a longer scoby shelf life.
The UK government’s environmental strategy to reduce plastic waste over the next 25 years highlights the need for brands to reconsider the use of plastic as a packaging material, something Marin Kurian also addressed in a recent project that involved re-engineering ecological materials such as rice starch to create alternatives to plastic.
Global – Creative agency Superimpose Studio’s latest concept project, Emoticash, envisages how alternative data currencies will be used to reward consumers for providing real-time brand feedback.
The project uses emotional detection and recognition (EDR) technology to record and interpret users’ emotional responses to a brand’s products or services, offering participants something tangible in exchange for the raw data relating to their emotional feedback. Users can spend their Emoticash on wellbeing activities such as yoga sessions and gong baths.
‘Emoticash raises interesting questions about the intersections of effect and consumption. As audience responses and engagement become increasingly vital to brands in the digital age, Emoticash poses the question of how much a brand would be willing to pay in exchange for unfiltered insight into how they are perceived,’ Superimpose Studio said in a statement.
As explored in The Emotional Economy, people are increasingly obsessed with how everything makes them feel. Although emotions are difficult to quantify, measuring feelings opens up new possibilities for brands to create products and experiences personalised to customers.
Las Vegas – Palms Casino Resort has announced the opening of its newly renovated venue with the launch of the From Dust to Gold campaign.
Accompanying the campaign’s microsite is a short film that playfully evokes the destruction of the old Palms hotel, leaving behind its traditional heritage, while revealing its fresh identity. Highlighting a new era of Las Vegas tourism, the hotel is targeting younger, culture-driven customers with bold interiors and original works from artists including Damien Hirst and Adam Parker Smith.
‘More and more guests are looking for a 360-degree experience. They want to be impressed visually and experientially. We are in a hyper-visual society that has created even more interest in art. The [art] collection is created for this Millennial generation,’ the resort’s creative director Tal Cooperman said in a statement.
Alongside its remodelled casino, the hotel’s latest iteration will include casual and fine dining options, and renovated entertainment spaces such as the soon-to-open APEX Social Club and Camden Cocktail Lounge.
Geneva – Luxury goods group Richemont has launched Baume, a new luxury watch label, incorporating sustainability and accessible prices as USPs.
While maintaining the luxury appeal of its parent label Baume & Mercier, sister brand Baume will offer collections priced between £482 ($560, €552) and £742 ($1,000, €850). Catering for younger individuals that appreciate good craftsmanship but seek meaningful contributions from luxury purchases, each timepiece will be produced from sustainable materials, avoiding the use of any precious metals. The straps, meanwhile, will be made from recovered plastics, through a partnership with Waste Free Oceans.
‘Our goal is to fulfil the utmost standards of quality and craftsmanship, while committing to the power of collaboration within a circular economy,’ says Marie Chassot, Baume brand leader.
New York – Furniture brand Kamarq has launched a subscription service for people seeking flexibility from their furniture and home décor.
Users can subscribe to a selection of packages that last between six and 12 months, and range in price from £3.70 ($5, €4.26) to £13.40 ($18, €15.30) per month. This entitles customers to order new furniture in line with their subscription period that they can later exchange when they want to refresh the colour or style. While allowing customers to quickly update their interiors with bold and versatile designs, Kamarq is also acknowledging the importance of the circular economy, repairing and reviving worn pieces before putting them back into the rental programme rather than making new designs.
Despite its recent launch with a campaign created by fashion designer Nicola Formichetti and Belgian creative PJ Mattan,the company faced plagiarism accusations relating to a number of table designs that echoed pieces by designer Ana Kras for furniture gallery and manufacturer Matter. The collection was removed from Kamarq’s offer.
At a time when consumers are openly sharing and renting products, it is crucial for brands to create systems that provide high-quality and value-driven experiences for customers. For more, see our macrotrend The New Value Economy.