Sustainability Debrief

need to know
sector - food & drink
type - need to know
Need To Know
category - mobility
category - sustainability
sector - health & wellness
sector - youth

Need To Know: Ocean-friendly beauty, edible festival cups, celebrating water as a luxury, a fast fashion confessional hotline, and coffins with environmental benefits

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16 September 2022

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: DeepMind, UK


The Biotherm Blue Beauty Lab. Design by Universal Design Studio, Monaco

1. L’Oréal educates consumers about ocean-friendly beauty

Monaco – To highlight its commitment to ocean preservation, L’Oréal is opening a retail concept lab that showcases how the brand’s products are sustainably produced and water-efficient. Located in the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco, the Biotherm Beauty Lab aims to educate consumers and brand ambassadors about the company’s Blue Beauty philosophy.

The store is divided into two sections; the first is a lab where guests can observe the cultivation of live plankton, an ingredient in skincare products. In the second room, visitors can learn about product formulations through an immersive digital environment that includes floor-to-ceiling screens and graphics designed by Superbien and AC3 Studio.

According to L'Oréal's Blue Beauty philosophy, 'beauty comes from the water', so it should also give back to it. As water scarcity becomes an urgent issue across the globe, this retail lab is raising awareness about ocean-friendly alternatives.

Haeckels Partners With Red Bull for an Edible Cup

2. Haeckels’ edible cup combats plastic waste at festivals

UK – The Margate-based skincare and fragrance brand is teaming up with Red Bull to launch an edible cup that tackles single-use plastic waste at festivals. Created using a new algae-based biomaterial, if not eaten the cup begins to compost within 48 hours, returning its benefits to the soil.

With an estimated 100m plastic cups used at festivals around the world every year, according to the brand, the partnership with Red Bull was an experiment to see if anything could be done to stop the problem. The cup is made of a gut-friendly material flavoured with ginger, spirulina and blueberry, and will be launched at We Out Here Festival in Cambridgeshire. The launch aligns with Haeckels’ ethos to prioritise an innovative approach to sustainability and follows the launch of its three-week microbiome-boosting programme, Gut Health.

As eco-anxious partygoers inspire clubs and festivals to adopt more sustainable practices, brands can tap into receptive audiences at these events and inspire early adopters with solutions that push the sustainability narrative forward.

Ice-cube necklace by Golem and Laila El Mehelmy, Paris

3. This ice-cube necklace celebrates water as a luxury

Paris – Inspired by the unprecedented heatwave across Europe this summer, design studio Golem’s OoOoooOoooOh la l’ice necklace features seven ice cubes on a chain of silver beads that melt in half an hour. It comes with a customised silicon tray that allows owners to refreeze the necklace.

With temperatures rising worldwide, the piece is designed to celebrate water as a precious commodity, with the idea coming about during a party in Berlin where partygoers rubbed each other with ice from the freezer to escape the searing heat, according to Ariel Claudet, Golem’s founder. ‘At a time when water sources are being privatised and water scarcity is striking all countries across the globe, water is turning from an overlooked commodity into one of the most sought-after luxury goods,’ he says.

With water security a growing global concern, companies are finding new ways to spark conversation and expand awarenessFor more, read our viewpoint on why the future of beauty requires cleaner water.

4. ThredUp launches fast fashion confessional hotline

US – Online resale platform ThredUp has partnered with Stranger Things actor Priah Ferguson to launch its Fast Fashion Confessional Hotline. Callers who dial the number can confess their shopping habits and hear Ferguson’s voice sharing her own confessions, encouraging them to abandon their basket and providing information on more sustainable ways to buy.

The launch comes in the wake of a new study from ThredUp which found that a third of Gen Z feel addicted to fast fashion, while almost half of college students say it’s hard to resist the temptation it offers. Despite Gen Z’s environmental leanings, the lure of cheap new on-trend clothes is strong, and ThredUp’s hotline is helping to break the cycle by presenting second-hand as a viable and affordable alternative. ‘I hope this hotline inspires people to change their shopping habits and think about thrifting. Even small changes can make a big difference for our future,’ says Ferguson.

As the second-hand clothing market continues to grow, young consumers are embracing Eco-motional Fashion that takes a more positive and human-centric approach to sustainability.

Fast Fashion Confessional Hotline by thredUP and Priah Ferguson, US
Loop Living Cocoon, The Netherlands

5. Mycelium coffins are now available via mainstream insurers

The Netherlands – First used in a burial two years ago, the innovative Living Cocoon mycelium coffin is now covered by Dela, the largest burial insurer in The Netherlands. Developed by Dutch start-up Loop Biotech, the coffins take just a week to grow using local waste products and are absorbed back into nature in 30–45 days.

As well as being quicker to break down, mycelium also brings other environmental benefits, converting toxic substances found in the human body including metals and microplastics back into nutrients, improving the quality of the soil. ‘The Living Cocoon enables people to become at one with nature again and to enrich the soil, instead of polluting it,’ says Bob Hendrikx, Loop’s founder.

The process of developing the Living Cocoon was informed by extensive talks with funeral directors, who were able to advise on putting the innovation into practice, considering family choices and creating more sustainable funeral services.

As we explored in the Death Positivity Market, companies in this space are bringing more positive approaches and factoring in consumers’ sustainability concerns to end-of-life planning.


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