Futures 100 Innovators : August

category - fashion
sector - food & drink
sector - beauty
category - design
category - society
sector - media & technology
type - futures 100 innovators awards
Futures 100 Innovators Awards
This month, we uncover the next 10 names to watch as part of our Futures 100 Innovators Awards, highlighting the brands, businesses and people innovating for change – and a better, more resilient future.

In the eighth longlist of our 2023 Futures 100 Innovators, we reveal The Future Laboratory’s chosen innovators and change-makers who are set to disrupt the lifestyle categories in 2023 and beyond.

Each month, we profile 10 brands, businesses and people that our team of researchers and analysts have identified as driving forward innovation across multiple industries, ranging from luxury, fashion and beauty to food & drink, travel & hospitality, retail and more.

In October 2023, our complete Futures 100 Innovators list will be presented to a panel of industry judges who will select and award their 10 leading innovators.

August’s future shapers bring community to the forefront and are innovators responsible for a family-friendly LGBTQ+ travel agency, a women-led outdoor collective and an affordable, high-quality rent-a-wig service.

You can nominate your own innovators via: futures100innovators@thefuturelaboratory.com


Published by:

31 August 2023

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: The Future Laboratory


Left: Endah Tche, founder of Rent-A-Wig, London Right: Bethann Hardison, co-founder of Invisible Beauty, US

Beauty: Endah Tche, Rent-A-Wig

At age 22, Endah Tche has already established herself as a dynamic entrepreneur and the driving force behind London-based Rent-A-Wig. Having founded E.T Wigs, a journey that began with her revamping and selling bespoke handmade coloured hair pieces, she came across a common hurdle – the prohibitive cost of high-quality wigs available at scale.

This realisation led to Rent-A-Wig, an innovative service that seamlessly integrates wigs into the sharing economy. Tche provides individuals with the unique opportunity to experiment with various hairstyles for work, events or photoshoots without bearing the traditional financial burden associated with wigs. Her audience ranges from students to working women who enjoy a variety of hair options but don’t want to commit to purchasing multiple wigs. ‘At the moment, clothes are entering the circular economy rapidly,’ she tells LS:N Global. ‘Hair completes the look, and I would like to pioneer this shift.’

Tche is keen to commit to her business full-time, which she founded while pursuing her studies, but now that she has successfully graduated, she’s excited to launch the next stage of her rental line with more natural colour wigs and a pop-up shop.

Fashion: Bethann Hardison, Invisible Beauty

Ex-model and fashion advocate Bethann Hardison has built a career spanning over five decades and has gone from working in NYC’s Garment District to founding her own namesake agency in 1984. It was the first of its kind to be run by a Black woman – especially during an era when the fashion industry was tone-deaf to conversations around race. She launched a diversity movement, Black Girls Coalition, in the late 80s and received the CDFA Eleanor Lambert Founder’s Award in 2014 for the decades of her work championing diversity and inclusion across the industry.

It is no surprise then that her new film Invisible Beauty is a tell-all; it looks back at her journey as a pioneering black model, agent and activist. Hardison knew that value of black beauty before ‘black is beautiful’ became a slogan and her film allows us insight into her rebellious and ambitious spirit while recording her greatest accomplishments, eventually paving the way for those to come, including supermodels like Naomi Campbell. ‘I didn’t even think I had a story, I just always thought it was important to do the best you can in your life and be conscious of it,’ she tells LS:N Global. ‘My hope is that the industry remains open to diversify the backside of the moon, meaning giving real opportunities behind the scene.’

Olivia Jankowska and Zaineb Abelque, co-founders of Athene Club, London

Youth: Athene Club

The seed for Athene Club was sowed amid the pandemic by two London-based photographers, Olivia Jankowska and Zaineb Abelque, who were craving nature and outdoor spaces but agreed that it often felt unsafe and unfriendly to explore as women. Driven to overcome this, they set out on their first hike, eventually paving the way Athene Club, a women-led collective rooted in a love for the outdoors.

Athene club considers its activities a sport, but slow burning ones. It is a club through which one can not only reap the rewards of movement and nature but can also expect to build friendships, experiences and a close-knit community. With most hikes capped between four to five hours, Athene Club hopes to inspire those women that might be discouraged from entering a space predominantly dominated by middle-class white men. Athene Club’s community elevates hiking into an unforgettable experience filled with swims, skinny dips and a lot of laughter.

Health & Wellness: Dr William Kapp, Fountain Life

William Kapp, MD, is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon in the US and an expert in diagnosing and treating conditions impacting muscles, bones and joints, as well as sports injuries. Dr Kapp’s passion is finding new technologies and processes that can expedite healthcare from reactive to proactive. This explains his endeavours into multiple businesses including Fountain Life, which he co-founded with his partners with the mission of remaining ahead of the latest trends in health care.

Fountain Life continually evaluates new technologies to help members diagnose illness early – ultimately hoping to reverse the clocks on aging. It delivers the most advanced diagnostics and therapeutics to those who seek a longer, healthier and more vital life. ‘Currently, you only pay a doctor to take care of you after you’re broken, but we don’t pay a doctor to keep you healthy,’ Kapp tells LS:N Global. Fountain Life wants to reverse this by employing a root-cause analysis based on functional medicine to determine solutions that can optimise health.

‘My hope is that the industry remains open to diversify the backside of the moon, meaning giving real opportunities behind the scene.’
Bethann Hardison, Invisible Beauty athene
Left: Lifted, UK. Right: Gean Guilherme Santos Lopes, founder and CEO of 2050 Futures Project, Rio De Janiero

Food & Drink Tony Robinson, Lifted

Birmingham, UK-based Tony Robinson noticed a gap in the market for a great-tasting lager that also had value-added functional benefits. Wanting to ensure that sports enthusiasts and athletes can have a cold beverage option at the end of their work out that doesn’t undo the benefits of their physical activity, he created Lifted, a canned lager that contains 10g of protein per serving.

Lifted’s sports recovery lager is an alcohol-free option, enriched with pea-protein, weighing in at only 83 calories per 330ml can. Creating this protein lager took months of formulating, brewing, and tasting until Robinson was satisfied with the end product. Now, he’s on a mission to bring Lifted into the world of fitness, because ‘you shouldn’t have to compromise when you finish a gym session and want to kick back with a cold one,’ he tells LS:N Global.

Media & Tech: Gean Guilherme Santos Lopes, 2050 Futures Project

At 22, Gean Guilherme Santos Lopes is not only a talented digital creator but also the founder and CEO of 2050 Futures Project. Born and raised in Morro Santo Amaro, a favela located in the south zone of Rio de Janeiro, Santos Lopes developed a social Crypto art project that makes use of NFT technology, directing funds and offering support for the development of social impact projects across the favela.

2050 is a laboratory of innovation, art and technology that resides within Morro Santo Amaro, with the aim of thinking about the future of society and the peripheries of the country. It works on interdisciplinary solutions to the challenges faced by the favela. This includes projects related to education and culture and involves the local community. It also investigates how favelas themselves can be a source of innovation and creativity – specifically with the appropriate wielding of technological solutions.

Juha Salmela and Janne Poranen, co-founders of Spinnova, Finland

Luxury: Gérosine Henriot, Heristoria

Armoured by her experience working for the Grande Épicerie de Paris and French fashion house Bulgari, Gérosine Henriot proposed an initiative through LVMH’s DARE platform at the end of 2020 that looked at the enhancement of contextualised premium pieces from the luxury giant’s archive. This gave birth to Heristoria, a new digital sales platform launched with the backing of LVMH that sells not only a unique archive item but also an experience and story around style and craftsmanship.

Each item sold on the platform -whether that is wine, jewellery, fashion or more - will be accompanied by a handover-process at a meeting organised in a location of the chosen brand. In the world of LVMH this could mean a meeting in an haute couture workshop or a private visit to a Grand Cru cellar, followed by a private tasting. Henriot’s innovative, entrepreneurial solution offers luxury collectors the opportunity to engage with archive items in a more meaningful manner, delving not only into history but the luxe nostalgia that makes these items appealing in the first place.

Design: Juha Salmela & Janne Poranen, Spinnova

Spinnova is the brainchild of Juha Salmela and Janne Poranen, who met back when they worked in micro cellulose research at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. It was through their investigation into whether wood fibre could be spun into a textile fibre bearing the same strength as a spider’s web, that paved the way for the creation of Spinnova.

Today, Spinnova is a leading innovator solving the environmental challenges of the textile industry with its patented sustainable textile fibre. It is created without harmful chemicals, pollution or waste. It has previously partnered with brands including Adidas, The North Face, H&M Group, Ecco and more, aiming to cement the role of sustainable textiles in the future of the fashion industry.


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Save Your Wardrobe

Travel & Hospitality: Elle Pinkard, Destination Rainbow

As an LGBTQ+ mother of three, Elle Pinkard has first-hand understanding of the challenges faced by queer families when planning holidays, especially the stress of finding a safe and welcoming hotel environment. Keeping this in mind, Pinkard launched Destination Rainbow, a UK-based independent travel agency specialising in LGBTQ+ family holidays.

Destination Rainbow makes it a point to reach out to the best resorts, communicate with the staff working there and verify through guest testimony that the recommendations they make are truly top-class when it comes to offering a comfortable environment for LGBTQ+ families. It was created with an in-built understanding of the fears and concerns that go into planning a family holiday, which is why it reassures its clientele through in-person coffee chats, video or phone calls. Personal service, trust and building a lasting relationship are the key pillars Destination Rainbow considers essential in creating a genuine and long-lasting business.

Retail: Hasna Kourda, Save Your Wardrobe

UK-based Hasna Kourda was inspired by her Tunisian upbringing when developing her vision for fashion circularity and zero waste. With a background in economics and corporate strategy, she founded Save Your Wardrobe, a repair and care infrastructure platform for brands that enables seamless booking and management of aftercare at scale, both in-store and online.

Currently, most brands and retailers send minor repairs to centralised warehouses or ateliers abroad with little to no transparency for the customer about the location of the item or duration of the service. Save Your Wardrobe resolves these issues by featuring integrated automated logistics, live tracking, operational management, fluid customer communication and live data reporting – making it a highly efficient digital infrastructure platform for aftersales. The platform is also customisable to each service type or item category, including the complex repair processes of watches and jewellery too.

Save Your Wardrobe was the winner of the LVMH innovation award and will soon be beginning its program at LVMH’s group incubator, La Maison des Startups –– in September, where it will be deep-diving into the work needed for industry-specific requirements.


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