News 02.10.2019

Need to Know

Patagonia’s new café is an entry point for budding activists, Mattel unveils gender-inclusive dolls, and consumers are hungry for foreign flavours.

Pattern fulfils the unmet needs of curly hair

Pattern

US – Actress and director Tracee Ellis Ross is behind the beauty brand, which is designed specifically for type 3b to 4c hair.

After 10 years in the making, Pattern has launched with a comprehensive range of products for curly, coily and tight-textured hair. The collection includes a hydration shampoo, three targeted conditioners – which come in larger bottles than the shampoo – and two hair serums to reduce scalp itchiness. The brand is also offering haircare accessories such as a rubber shower brush, microfibre towel and hair clips.

According to Ross, Pattern has been developed to embrace the diverse hair needs of those who have long been snubbed by the mainstream beauty industry. ‘Beauty can be an aesthetics conversation, but the truth is for people of colour… beauty and how we express it can be political as well,’ she tells WWD.

Young black women are turning away from chemical relaxers and embracing their natural textured hair, meaning the beauty industry must step up to offer dedicated products for unruly hair.

Patagonia fights climate change over coffee

Patagonia Action Works cafe, London Patagonia Action Works cafe, London
Patagonia Action Works cafe, London Patagonia Action Works cafe, London

London – A cafe run by Patagonia marks the Europe-wide launch of its Action Works platform, aimed at giving everyday people the tools to fight the climate emergency.

The brand's Action Works café, located on East London's Broadway Market, provides an accessible entry point for first-time activists to learn and network with like-minded individuals. Visitors can borrow inspirational books, attend workshops, or discover opportunities where they can volunteer their skills. The information within the café covers everything from becoming more carbon literate to generating effective environmental campaigns. All proceeds from sales at the café will be donated to UK environmental NGOs and charities.

'The urgency of the climate crisis means it’s everyone’s responsibility to act now’ explains Ryan Gellert, general manager EMEA at Patagonia. ‘Businesses have the money, power and voice to play a major role in saving our home planet – as well as in ensuring that they are not making our environmental problems worse.’

Young activists are key to brands wanting to promote sustainability initiatives, as this influential demographic wield the ability to impact change in the world through new media and community-oriented action.

Mattel’s gender-inclusive doll line challenges norms

Mattel Creatable World

California – The toymaker has unveiled a collection of customisable, gender-inclusive dolls.

The Creatable World range consists of six different doll kits available in a variety of skin tones. Inviting children to create their own characters, every kit includes one doll, two hairstyle options and a range of clothing that has portrays both feminine and masculine traits. In this way, young consumers are encouraged to experiment with how they want their doll to look and dress.

‘Toys are a reflection of culture and as the world continues to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we felt it was time to create a doll line free of labels,’ says Kim Culmone, senior vice president of Mattel’s doll design. ‘Through research, we heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms.’

By encouraging consumers to think more broadly about how kids can benefit from doll play, Mattel is tapping into a shift towards toys that inspire emotional intelligence. For more, read our EQ Toys for Boys microtrend.

Stat: Multicultural communities inspire consumer palates

US – A new report has found that more than two thirds (69%) of US consumers try globally inspired foods or flavours each month.

The research by Frito Lay also found that 76% of respondents like to try food from cultures other than their own. Some 44% of consumers’ flavour preferences were driven by the places they had travelled in the world, while 38% actively tried new flavours because they had seen them locally. In particular, Generation Z noted that their flavour preferences were influenced by where they lived, demonstrating how exposure to a range of flavour profiles and cultures can affect consumer palates.

Dr Christine Cioffe, senior vice-president of research and development at PepsiCo, explains: ‘What Americans choose to eat has become a complex mishmash of cultures and spices well beyond ethnic or traditional silos.'

Consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of their food supply chains, providing the perfect opportunity for brands to introduce sustainable food practices through novel ingredients and flavours.

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