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Electric driverless freight, a skincare applicator promoting touchless beauty, and British consumers accelerate online retail spending amid Covid-19.

Einride’s autonomous eco-trucks disrupt haulage

The next-generation Pod by Einride, Sweden

Sweden – Start-up Einride wants to transform urban and long-haul freight with a series of eco-conscious driverless trucks.

The Autonomous Electric Transport (AET) vehicles – also known as Pods – are said to be the first fully electric, totally autonomous transport vehicles to operate on public roads. With four models ranging from small city truck to haulage lorry, each boasts cameras and radar technology to provide 360-degree remote monitoring at all times.

With a focus on cutting costs and environmental footprints for companies, Einride's AETs aim to reduce carbon emissions by 90% in comparison with diesel trucks. It's also transparent with its pricing, stating that Pods can cut fuel costs for companies by 70%. 'The Pod is just one piece of a much larger transport system that we are developing to make the transition to sustainable freight,’ clarifies Robert Falck, co-founder of Einride.

While we have recently explored mobility innovations in urban settings, Einride is thinking bigger, wanting to overhaul and future-proof long-haul transport systems.

Highsnobiety tunes into philanthropy with Jazz TV

Jazz TV by Highsnobiety, US Jazz TV by Highsnobiety, US
Jazz TV by Highsnobiety, US Jazz TV by Highsnobiety, US

Global – Lifestyle platform Highsnobiety and Newport Jazz Festival have teamed up for a digital event to support musicians hit by Covid-19.

Described as a 'three-day content experience’, Jazz TV took over Highsnobiety's platforms, transforming it into a tv station dedicated to jazz, with global performances, DJ sets and panels featuring Virgil Abloh, Alex Da Kid, Tremaine Emory and Ali Shaheed Muhammad.

Adding a charitable aspect, Highsnobiety is selling branded Jazz TV merchandise, including t-shirts, hoodies and tote bags, with a portion of proceeds going to the Newport Festival Musician Relief Fund. ‘The aim was to give back even just a tiny fraction of that void we feel without having live music in the world,' says Thom Bettridge, Highsnobiety’s editor-in-chief. 'Especially at such a politically charged time… we wanted Jazz TV to create a global living room where the creative community could enjoy and share the music that inspires us.’

The combination of live-streaming entertainment and retail opportunities presents a larger shift to multi-channel brands, especially in the luxury sector. Find out more in our forthcoming microtrend Luxtainment.

This device offers touchless skincare application

Réduit, Switzerland Réduit, Switzerland

Switzerland and UK – Beauty technology brand Réduit is tapping into touchless beauty with a hand-held device that delivers targeted skincare.

Aiming to deliver ‘maximum results and minimum waste', the Spa device uses ultrasonic magnetic misting to achieve a hydrated complexion or to target specific concerns such as pollution and ageing. Consumers attach a recyclable ‘skinpod’ to the Réduit Spa, and the tool will diffuse the product evenly aiming to reduce product waste.

‘We developed a whole new way to apply skincare – one that will enable people to get the most out of the ingredients and reduce product waste… we managed to condense our formulations to 5ml while getting the same amount of applications out of it as a traditional 100ml skincare product,’ explains Paul Peros, CEO of Réduit.

Peros emphasises that the device is ‘removing the need for people to touch their face, making an altogether more hygienic and effective way to apply skincare products’.

We examine potential new directions for touchless beauty in the Recuperative Living macrotrend.

Stat: Pre-orders bolster UK department store spending

Harrods beauty hall, London Harrods beauty hall, London

According to data by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), department stores have experienced a boost thanks to shoppers heading online.

In September 2020, online sales in the UK rose by 53% year on year, yet department stores – which have struggled to retain footfall both pre- and inter-Covid – have enjoyed a boost in online sales. In particular, the ONS reports that, in February 2020, department stores accounted for 16.6% of online sales in the UK, rising to 30.8% in September.

Potentially due to pre-orders of gaming consoles ahead of the holiday period – September was the month pre-orders opened for the PlayStation 5 and XBox Series X – this has led to an 88% boost in department stores’ online sales in September year on year, compared to 2019.

Owing to the pandemic, many British consumers are opting to shop online. To remain relevant, however, amid this upswing in online spending, bricks-and-mortar stores will need to innovate the in-store experience to draw customers in.

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