News 29.11.2022

Need to Know

WASP proposes a new eco-sustainable housing model, Vestiaire Collective bans fast fashion and US adults are too stressed to function

A decentralised living model inspired by space

Itaca by WASP, Italy
Itaca by WASP, Italy
Itaca by WASP, Italy

Italy – 3D printing specialist WASP, most recently known for its work on Christian Dior’s Dubai pop-up store, is furthering its reputation with the launch of a new housing eco-system.

The project, Itaca, comprises a selection of technical solutions and eco-conscious materials that work cooperatively to create a circular micro-economy. While the first house is yet to be built on a plot of land near Bologna, the proposed model will accommodate up to four people, and enable them to live without electricity, water and gas connections. The alternative system utilises a photovoltaic solar system for energy, geothermal HVAC for cooling in summer or heating in winter, and is capable of harvesting rain water for irrigation and drinking water.

The company hopes the project will be ‘a solution to the social, energy, climate and mass migration crisis’, and uses space as inspiration for resilient architecture. ‘Getting a place as harsh as the Moon to be inhabited is hard to imagine, but science says it can be done. Why don’t we apply the same technologies here on Earth, to get even the most extreme environments to be hospitable?,’ says Massimo Moretti, founder of WASP.

Strategic opportunity

The infrastructure of cities and habitable spaces must be able to accommodate the future needs of our communities and planet. Decentralised housing models could provide food, energy and economic independence while maintaining environmental balance.

Resale platform Vestiaire Collective bans fast fashion

Global – As the resale fashion market experiences a boost, one platform is saying a hard no to fast fashion brands. Paris-based Vestiaire Collective has issued a list of banned fast fashion brands that it believes jar with its certified B Corp status.

Brands on the banned list include Asos, Boohoo, Burton, Coast, Dorothy Perkins, Karen Millen, Miss Selfridge, Missguided, Nasty Gal, Oasis, Pretty Little Thing, Shein, Tezenis, Topman, Topshop (and collaborations) and Warehouse. These are all brands, according to the company, that meet fast fashion criteria of low product quality, poor working conditions for garment workers and significant carbon footprint.

The decision was prompted by a team visit to Kantamanto market in Ghana – the largest for second-hand clothing in West Africa – led by the Or Foundation – which demonstrated how most of the garments are of such poor quality that they are sent to landfill. The decision marks a growing push-back against the wastefulness of fast fashion and towards driving more circular models of fashion consumption, as we detail in Resale Redux.

Vestiaire Collective, France

Strategic opportunity

Brands must create more personalised relationships with consumers through repair or reconsignment messaging, especially when built into e-commerce eco-systems that focus on circularity. Future consumers will demand no less.

More than a quarter of US adults are too stressed to function

Rebranding Mental Health for Refinery29. Photography by Flora Maclean Rebranding Mental Health for Refinery29. Photography by Flora Maclean

US – A poll from the American Psychological Association shows that the average US citizen is facing uncontrollable stressors, with 27% reporting that most days they are so stressed they cannot function.

Conducted by The Harris Poll, the nationwide survey also reveals that big-picture issues such as racial tension and political climate are weighing heavily on citizens. A majority of adults cited inflation (83%), violence and crime (75%), the current political climate (66%) and the racial climate (62%) as significant sources of stress.

There is significant pessimism – and distress – revealed throughout the poll’s results. In particular, 72% of the members of the LGBTQ+ community reported feeling that their rights are under attack, which is a higher proportion than non-LGBTQ+ adults (64%). Younger adult women (aged 18–34) were more likely to report that most days their stress is completely overwhelming than older women (62% versus 48% of 35–44s; 27% among 45–64s; 9% of those aged 65+). Some 75% of Black adults said that the racial climate in the US is a significant source of stress.

Strategic opportunity

There are opportunities for businesses to bridge the healthcare gap and step further into the mental wellness sector through physical locations; for example, as detailed in Retail Therapy. In the Guilded Luxury macrotrend we foresee luxury brands moving further into the medical care field as wellbeing becomes a luxury aspiration.

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