As our homes take on this new position as wellness sanctuary, brands are responding with new digital tools and services. "Phygital escapism is taking on a new meaning," confirms the Future Forecast 2021 report by The Future Laboratory. "From phygital spas to virtual hot springs, traditional wellness spaces are being rethought to combine ancient wellbeing practices with digital advancements," they say. ASMR has been utilised by brands as a sensory tool to induce calm and ease anxiety via millennial and Gen Z heartlands like Instagram and TikTok. Milk Makeup's ASMR audio-video clips of product swatches have gone viral.
"Tech innovations are also emerging that enable people to virtually experience the benefits of far-flung spa destinations. Arima Onsen in Japan has launched a virtual reality tour that carries viewers into its calming surroundings – even if they are soaking in their own bathtub wearing a VR headset," says the Future Forecast. Read the full article in Glamour.
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Looking further ahead to the future of fashion, clothing itself could become a part-digital concept.
“The fashion industry of the future will take a hybrid approach between both physical and digital experiences,” argues Abi Buller, foresight writer at future consultancy The Future Laboratory. “We could see brands launching a digital twin of physical products.
"We know that consumers shop to buy new outfits that they can share on social media, but they don’t necessarily have to buy a physical garment to do that. They could buy digital versions of clothing products that could be added into photos and get the same experience. Virtual fashion is already a growing trend – many brands have launched digital versions of products for avatars in Animal Crossing.”
Designers Marc Jacobs and Valentino both launched digital collections to be worn in the virtual world of online game Animal Crossing in 2020. Sportswear giant Nike also previously unveiled a digital version of its popular Air Jordan sneakers for video game Fortnite in 2019. Read the full article in Draper's.
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For Victoria Buchanan, senior futures analyst at strategic research company The Future Laboratory, the CBD trend is driven by undeniable statistics. Established and emerging brands alike have been responding to the interests of modern consumers in exploring the possible benefits of unorthodox ingredients such as CBD. “Interest in CBD as a search term is now four times higher than it is for THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), according to Google Trends,” Buchanan notes. “As cannabidiol and hemp oil grow in popularity as skincare ingredients and in wellness treatments, brands are adopting a more sophisticated and nuanced aesthetic that is more closely aligned with the luxury market.”
As we move into the new year, it might be time to try something different. But what is CBD, and are there any side effects to using it? Is there actual scientific evidence that it’s beneficial for your health? Read the full article on Vogue.
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Doomscrolling coincides with our obsession with 2020 negativity, according to Holly Friend, a senior foresight writer at The Future Laboratory, a UK-based company that provides future insight to consumer brands.
“You only need to look at Instagram and TikTok to see the barrage of memes that epitomises this sense of mass existentialism – for the last few years Millennials and Gen Z have become defined by their melancholic, half-sarcastic approach to living.”
According to Friend, this year a collective negative attitude has been accelerated by the global chaos of the pandemic and for this reason, it’s only natural that people are actively seeking out bad news in a time when everything feels overwhelming. “We want to validate and justify our anxieties.” Read the full article on Stylist.
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Samsung's research has been conducted with the London-based firm The Future Laboratory as part of a broader investigation into our listening habits in 2030. According to their findings, almost a quarter of millennials listening to an extra five hours a day this year, due in part to lockdown. 'Compared to 2019, almost a quarter are listening to over five hours more of music a day and over a third (34 per cent) admit to their favourite playlists keeping them enthused through a tough 2020, highlighting how many are relying on music more than ever before,' Samsung said.
Its other predictions include a new era of 'hyper-experiential' and immersive music videos via virtual reality (VR) that 'transport audiences to different worlds'. By 2030, music fans will be able to 'touch' their favourite tracks, have their dogs singing along and create chart-worthy albums straight from their smartphones. The full article can be read here on Daily Mail.
The term ‘clean beauty’ slid into our vernacular after the eruption of the clean-eating trend almost two decades ago, when books such as 2007’s The Eat-Clean Diet by Tosca Renolds sent everyone scurrying for green juices. Before long, as often happens with food trends (hello, superfoods and probiotics), beauty adopted the ethos wholeheartedly, led by Hollywood’s elite. Paltrow’s health-fad-loving Goop opened an e-shop in 2012, promoting clean eating and non-toxic beauty, while Jessica Alba launched Honest Beauty in 2015. Victoria Buchanan, senior futures analyst at The Future Laboratory, says the trend is driven by distrust: “Due to secretive supply chains and unregulated terminology, the beauty sector is facing a backlash from consumers who are seeking honesty, efficacy and simplicity. So as the consumer continues to scrutinise what’s in the products they put on their skin, clean beauty has become a new standard in the industry.” Read the full article on Glamour.
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