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27 September 2019

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Pastel LAB by Florian Sommet

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This week: Reebok treks with Generation Z, modern sex education, luxury jewellery with a hidden message, lighting made from vegetables, and anti-masculine motoring.

Reebok autumn/winter 2019 Trail Collection

1. Reebok kits out Generation Z for the great outdoors

US – The sports brand is tapping into the trend for outdoor activities with a collection of trainers and apparel for trekking.

Combining functionality with retro street style, the Reebok Classic Trail Pack includes unisex apparel such as jackets, hoodies and leggings. The line is accompanied by a campaign shot against a series of surrealistic backdrops and terrain, combining Generation Z’s digital aesthetic with the tactility of nature.

The brand has also put a spin on its classic trainers, updating a number of styles into hiking boots for the urban explorer. The new footwear range includes the runner Aztrek ’96 Adventure and aerodynamic Daytona DMX II, which uses cushioning technology to provide more comfortable hikes.

Tapping into our microtrend The Elevated Outdoors, Reebok is showing how Generation Z consumers are increasingly attracted to the primitive nature of activities such as hiking.

Puberty Do-Over by Blume

2. Blume offers better sex education

US – Blume has launched a Puberty Do-Over campaign aimed at combatting issues concerning skincare, periods and poor sex education in the US.

The wellness brand has created its The States of Sex-Ed curriculum, which comprises presentations, reading materials and a quiz, all of which are approved by sex-educators and are culturally and LGBT+ inclusive. The guides provide an in-depth examination of a variety of topics, from healthy relationships and pregnancy to STIs and safe sex practices, and often link to external resources offering support. Sexual health educator Dee Stacey has also developed a handbook that is geared towards training teachers how to field questions in the classroom, including tips on tone. Furthermore, the site also includes a Take Action button, which allows users to email their state representatives about sex education.

As a rebuttal of the inadequate sex education provided by public institutions, Generation Z have turned to social media in order to re-educate themselves about sex.

The Rayy

3. Jewellery that uses sunlight to reflect emotions

Switzerland – The Rayy is a new fine jewellery label that uses science and sunlight to create personal, emotive keepsakes.

While its collection of rings are simple in design, their surfaces have been meticulously finished to feature hidden messages that are only revealed when the designs catch the light. Crafted in solid gold, they were developed by Rayform, a company that combines materials and light ‘to tell branded stories’, in collaboration with the scientists at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

While Rayform’s technology is typically used as a method of authenticating goods such as watches or secure documents, in this instance it has been re-applied to create jewellery that can be personalised with consumers’ own messages. Tapping into the increasingly conscious mindset of modern luxury consumers, the rings are made with responsibly sourced gold and can be set with laboratory-grown diamonds.

As computational technology advances and physical goods become programmable, brands’ ability to craft products that interact with their surrounding environment will become increasingly prevalent.

4. A lighting collection made from vegetables

London – A product design studio has collaborated with India-based designer Vaidehi Thakkar on a collection of lamps with shades made from red cabbage.

In a unique use of the vegetable, Veggie Lights is a sustainable lighting collection designed by Studio Nir Meiri, with materials developed by Thakkar. The process of transforming red cabbage leaves into a malleable new material begins with separating the leaves and soaking them in water-based adhesives, before treating them so that they obtain anti-fungal properties. The treated leaves are then moulded into shape and left to dry.

‘I think that unconsciously we want to be surrounded by nature, which is why we appreciate design that mimics nature,’ explains Nir Meiri. ‘Vegetables are an endless source of colours, geometrics and compositions, and this is what design is all about.’

As we explore in our Vegan Home Market, consumers are turning to animal-free homewares and services to ensure every aspect of their plant-based lifestyles are aligned with their ethics.

Veggie Lights by Studio Nir Meiri
Sunday magazine

5. Sunday is a gender-agnostic car magazine

UK – The publication is designed to be an antidote to the testosterone-fuelled nature of traditional motoring magazines.

Founded by car enthusiast and creative director Mark Thompson, Sunday takes an alternative look at car ownership. The pilot issue of the magazine includes articles such as Trunk Oddity, a series about the strange items people have transported, and an exploration into the fear of driving.

With the title, Thompson hopes to counteract the automotive industry’s male-oriented narrative and ‘tribalistic’ culture. ‘I can’t stand that whole testosterone-driven, ‘be the best you can be’ narrative,’ he tells Creative Review. To achieve this, Sunday is taking a more artistic and design-led approach to car journalism, employing the skills of female photographers such as Sarah Pannell.

To see how the luxury automotive industry is shifting away from masculinity and towards arts and culture, read our microtrend Supercar Clubs.

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