Need to Know
28 : 02 : 19

The Faroe Islands launch an anti-tourism campaign, Diesel promotes peer-to-peer social media selling and UK consumers are hungry for clean colour cosmetics.

MedMen unveils world’s first consumer cannabis ad

The New Normal ad for MedMen

Los Angeles – The ad, directed by Spike Jonze, charts the journey of cannabis from counter-culture to suburban homesteads.

In its continuing efforts to destigmatise cannabis consumption, specialist retailer MedMen has enlisted film-maker Spike Jonze to direct its first consumer-focused campaign, The New Normal. The two-minute film rewinds to pre-prohibition era America, beginning with George Washington’s hemp farm, winding through history to military veterans who use cannabis to treat PTSD.

While the ad takes viewers on a journey, shedding light on the injustices associated with the plant, it hints at a hopeful future in which legalised marijuana has lost its link with counter-culture and is enjoyed by all. ‘Cannabis is part of our country’s history. We’ve moved away from the propaganda of the past and into a world where cannabis is the new normal,’ says Adam Bierman, co-founder of MedMen.

Global attitudes to marijuana have come a long way since we identified the Cannabusiness trend in 2015, in which start-ups were first beginning to challenge perceptions about the drug.

The Shellworks turns seafood waste into bioplastic

The Shellworks, UK The Shellworks, UK
The Shellworks, UK The Shellworks, UK

London – Four designers have developed new manufacturing processes to transform seafood waste into biodegradable and recyclable bioplastic.

For their project, The Shellworks, Ed Jones, Amir Afshar, Insiya Jafferjee and Andrew Edwards have built a series of machines that extract, form and recycle chitin, a natural biopolymer found in the shells of crustaceans, which they believe could be used as an alternative to various single-use plastics. Conventional methods for extracting the key component, chitosan, are expensive and time-consuming, but The Shellworks aims to lower the barriers to entry and allow for greater experimentation with the bioplastic.

From anti-bacterial blister packaging and food-safe carrier bags to self-fertilising plant pots, the project uses three customised techniques to prototype potential applications of the material. ‘By designing scalable manufacturing processes, applications tailored to the material and eco-positive waste streams, we believe we can demonstrate how chitosan bioplastic could become a viable alternative for many of the plastic products we use today,’ explain the designers.

Discover more material innovations in our Material Far Futures report.

The Faroe Islands close to tourists, open to volunteers

Faroe Islands – For two days, the archipelago is urging tourists not to visit but to volunteer for local improvement projects instead.

In order to keep its ‘unspoiled, unexplored, unbelievable’ motto a reality, Visit Faroe Islands has launched an initiative that will close the islands to visitors on 26–27 April . However, on the same days it is inviting 100 volunteers to come and work with local residents on projects that will protect the islands’ natural habitat.

The islands, located between Iceland and Scotland, launched the campaign to avoid the pitfalls of overtourism, an epidemic that has hit its neighbouring Iceland. ‘We could see that more tourists affect nature, which is very vulnerable here,’ says Guðrið Højgaard, director at Visit Faroe Islands. While the islands have not yet been overwhelmed by tourists, the country welcomed an estimated 110,000 visitors in 2018, while being home to just 50,000 residents.

To discover how destinations can protect heritage sites and beat over-tourism, read our round-up of the steps governments are taking.

Faroe Islands, Denmark Faroe Islands, Denmark

Diesel’s Side:Biz allows consumers to sell its designs

Side:Biz by Diesel Side:Biz by Diesel
Side:Biz by Diesel Side:Biz by Diesel

Italy – The brand’s new e-commerce initiative enables Diesel followers to open their own digital shops selling Diesel products.

As an extension of Diesel’s recent Be a Follower campaign, the Side:Biz programme lets consumers become brand ambassadors. Anyone can sign up to receive a unique e-commerce link to share with their social followers. Every time someone shops using this link, Side:Biz owners earn rewards such as discounts, free products or one-of-a-kind experiences. In this way, Diesel hopes to empower its fans and followers with the same status and benefits typically afforded to influencers.

According to the brand, ‘Side:Biz is Diesel’s way of celebrating its followers, putting them first, and unleashing their full social media potential by equipping them with the tools needed to live successfully on their own terms.’ By using the power of peer-to-peer networks, Diesel joins the ranks of Storr, a new digital marketplace that allows anyone to open an online store and sell brand-name goods to friends and followers.

Stat: UK consumers drive demand for clean colour cosmetics

New research from Mintel positions the UK as the European leader for clean colour cosmetics. Accounting for nearly a quarter of toxin-free colour cosmetics launches globally in 2018, the UK was Europe’s leading market for this fast-growing beauty category – and second globally after the US.

‘The clean beauty movement started out in skincare and is now quickly moving into colour cosmetics, with the UK leading the way,’ says Jane Henderson, global president of Mintel’s beauty and personal care division. Valued at an estimated £2.1bn ($2.8bn, €2.5bn) in 2018, Mintel also reveals that the UK is the fourth biggest colour cosmetics market globally, with an average per capita spend of £32 ($42, €37) per year among British consumers.

For more, read our two-part Sensitised Living market, which explores global consumer concerns about pollutants, diet and ingredients and their impact on skin.

Thought-starter: Get ready for smart clothing

Aman Advani, CEO and co-founder of Ministry of Supply, explains why smart garments have previously failed, and how his science-backed fashion brand is creating truly smart connected clothing.

Ministry of Supply was born out of MIT as a way to bring the same functionality of gym clothing to professional apparel. ‘To us, it’s not about innovation for innovation’s sake; it’s about designing connected apparel in a way that seamlessly integrates into people’s day-to-day lives, and solves everyday wardrobe problems,’ says Advani.

Its product, the Mercury jacket, is powered by AI. ‘The Mercury jacket solves the clothing challenge of dressing for transitional environments, such as a commute where you go from stepping outside into the cold, walking quickly to a subway, and then being inside a warm subway car,’ he continues. ‘We wanted to design a jacket that would adjust automatically to the wearer’s environment, without adding layers or unzipping coats. Think of it like a personal Nest thermostat.’

‘The jacket is also Alexa-enabled, so consumers can say ‘Alexa, turn on my jacket’ before heading out of the door. To us, venturing into connected apparel, or wearables, seemed like a natural extension of our human-centred design ethos.’

Read the full Q&A here.

Mercury Jacket by Ministry of Supply, US Mercury Jacket by Ministry of Supply, US
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