News 14.09.2022

Need To Know

A self-cleaning storage unit for rare sneakers, Maybelline locks on to casual Gen Z gamers, and clean energy jobs outnumber those in fossil fuels.

​LG unveils its self-cleaning sneaker storage unit

LG Styler ShoeCase and ShoeCare at IFA 2022
LG Styler ShoeCase and ShoeCare at IFA 2022
LG Styler™ ShoeCase and ShoeCare at IFA 2022

Seoul – With sneakerhead culture rising among Gen Z and Millennial consumers, consumer electronics company LG has released a storage solution to help dedicated sneaker fans care for their footwear. The LG Styler ShoeCase allows owners to show off their shoes while providing optimal care.

Each compartment creates ideal conditions for storing the shoes, protecting them against humidity and UV light, which can lead to discolouration. Transparent panels on the front of the cabinet and rotating turntables inside allow users to show off their footwear collection, while the unit’s modular design allows for easy stacking. The company’s built-in TrueSteam technology goes a step further, actively helping to refresh shoes by absorbing moisture and removing unpleasant odours. The unit can refresh four pairs of shoes in just 37 minutes, according to LG.

The launch taps into the burgeoning Sneaker Hubs Market via high-tech homeware, offering a unique and elevated way to care for and display rare shoes, treating them truly as collectibles worthy of the investment that went into them.

Strategic opportunity

Homewares and electronics companies should explore options for storage and display of collectible items, tapping into lifestyle choices via homeware products

Nike’s innovative new material slashes carbon footprint

Nike Forward, US Nike Forward, US
Nike Forward, US Nike Forward, US

US – Following five years of research and development, the sportswear brand is unveiling a new fabric innovation that it believes will drastically reduce the carbon footprint of its apparel. Nike Forward is an innovative new type of fleece that will be used to create premium, sustainable products.

Instead of a traditional knit or weave, Nike uses needle-punching machines to turn fibres directly into fabric. By reducing the number of stages in the manufacturing process, the new material reduces energy consumption by up to 75% compared with traditional fleece. The material’s inaugural product will be a grey hooded sweatshirt, made without embellishments such as zips or aglets, or dyes, to keep its carbon footprint to a minimum.

‘This is the biggest Nike apparel innovation since Dri-Fit 30 years ago and has huge potential to transform the industry in the way that Air and Flyknit did for Nike footwear,’ says Aaron Heiser, vice-president for global apparel product merchandising at Nike.

The launch sees Nike looking to Material Far Futures, re-imagining its processes with innovative new techniques that will benefit customers and the environment.

Strategic opportunity

Explore whether manufacturing processes usually used in different industries could help develop new materials, reduce carbon emissions and keep costs down

Maybelline targets hyper-casual Gen Z gamers

US – The cosmetics giant is partnering with video game developer Zynga to launch in-app mobile games for casual players. The mobile mini games will feature three mascaras by the brand, and playing them will allow users to earn points to keep them going in other Zynga games.

The games function as a kind of interactive shoppable ad. Users that successfully join three icons together reveal a mascara and are led to an Ulta Beauty landing page.Gaming is a unique opportunity for beauty brands, in particular, to reach their target audiences in a new space where they are spending time every day, engaging directly with the content,’ says Gabrielle Heyman, head of global brand partnerships for Zynga.

While we’ve previously seen beauty brands tap into gaming by sponsoring eSports tournaments and partnering with Twitch streamers, the initiative is looking to engage with a broader audience of casual mobile gamers. Zynga has an audience of some 40m active daily users and a total of 209m players over its 100 titles, many of them aligned with the themes identified in Mundane Gaming.

Maybelline and Zynga partnership

Strategic opportunity

Create interactive and shoppable ads that can engage with Gen Z during the moments of downtime they spend playing mobile games

Stat: Clean energy now employs more people than fossil fuels

Some 40m people worldwide work in jobs related to the clean energy business, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency. The number accounts for 56% of all energy sector jobs, which means that clean energy now employs more people than the production, transport and burning of fossil fuels.

The majority shift occurred during the pandemic, according to the report. Back in 2019, clean energy made up just under half of related jobs. Since then, the sector has been responsible for virtually all employment growth, with solar and electric vehicle manufacturing being a major driver, particularly in China.

Despite the difficulties created by rising prices of raw materials and trade disruption, clean energy is projected to create a further 13m new employment opportunities by 2030, comfortably offsetting the number lost from the fossil fuels industry. Gender equity remains an issue in the overall energy business, however, with women accounting for only 16% of employment.

This watershed moment illustrates how the Renewable Energy Market is becoming the standard as governments and companies steadily phase out fossil fuels.

Strategic opportunity

Continue to invest in electric and look to phase out parts of your supply chain still reliant on fossil fuels, from manufacturing to transport

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