Need to Know
02 : 12 : 20

Vollebak’s remote desert retail destination, smart road junctions that utilise AI and British Boomers are becoming the greenest generation.

A remote desert store is Vollebak’s first stockist

Vollebak stocked in Tjukayirla Roadhouse in Australia’s Great Victoria Desert

Australia – Experimental clothing brand Vollebak is beginning to stock its collections in physical stores – albeit in the world’s most remote locations.

Its first stockist, the Tjukayirla Roadhouse in Australia’s Great Victoria Desert, is considered possibly the most remote store on earth. Run by an Australian couple, the site’s nearest neighbours are 264km away. A supporting campaign film about the launch further explains the reason for choosing this extremely remote, desert-based store.

As a brand known for its conceptual approach to materials and design focused on resilience and longevity, the decision to partner with a series of remote stores reflects its adventure-focused ideals. A blog post on the Vollebak website reads: ‘Our gear is made for anywhere on the planet, from the hottest deserts and densest jungles to the polar ice caps. So it seems right that the last outposts in the wilderness carry our kit.’

While many retailers are making waves in digital spaces, Vollebak’s decision to have a presence in remote physical stores reflects the ideas we explore in Storefront Salvation.

Superbloom connects womxn with chronic illnesses

Superbloom, US Superbloom, US
Superbloom, US Superbloom, US

US – The digital wellness hub unites those with chronic illnesses, offering a support network of womxn with similar symptoms.

Once signed up, users can create a personal profile to track their wellbeing journey, providing a space to share their personal stories for others to read. Superbloom also offers search tools based on symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, so members can find commonalities and discuss this on the site’s forum pages.

Born out of the founder Erin Berman’s own struggles with chronic illness, this social network solution wants to address the biases women experience among health professionals during examinations. ‘Superbloom was born out of being failed by the medical system at a time when I needed it most,’ says Berman. By creating this virtual share-space for womxn with Lyme Disease, PCOS, Reynaud's and other health concerns, Superbloom aims to eradicate the shame some womxn feel related to their conditions.

A series of young people are empowering the next generation of womxn with practical tools that improve their wellbeing. For more, read the rise of young female health-preneurs.

AI-driven smart junctions that prioritise people

Manchester, UK – Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is collaborating with artificial intelligence (AI) firm Vivacity Labs to roll out 20 smart junctions across the city of Manchester.

The scheme aims to promote active travel modes such as cycling and walking through the use of sensors that detect different types of road user. Recognising the increase in people travelling by foot or bike as a result of Covid-19, the scheme aims to provide better protection and prioritisation for people navigating the city.

The smart junctions will form part of a wider AI-led project to optimise traffic networks across the UK. ‘Since the pandemic, commuter trends and traffic hotspots have changed completely, and cities need AI to help protect people no matter what mode of transport they take,' says Mark Nicholson, CEO of Vivacity Labs. ‘Our vision is to help cities implement critical policies addressing safety, air quality, sustainable travel and congestion at a hyper-local level.’

With vehicle-first transport systems being reconsidered amid the pandemic, Urban Mobility is being restructured and refined to future-proof cities.

Transport for Greater Manchester in collaboration with Vivacity Labs 

Stat: British Boomers more likely to exhibit green behaviour

The Klarna Future Shopping Lab, Sweden The Klarna Future Shopping Lab, Sweden

The recent People & Power Report 2020 conducted by Opinium for renewable energy supplier Pure Planet reveals generational discrepancies in day-to-day eco-conscious behaviour.

According to the research, 50% of consumers aged 55 and over shop locally, compared with only 25% of 18–34-year olds. In terms of clothing, almost half (49%) of Boomers buy fewer long-lasting items, compared with 24% of 18–34-year olds. A majority of both age groups – 69% of 18–34-year-olds and 80% of over-55s – say they share overall responsibility to prevent climate change.

Younger people, however, are thinking bigger with their green lifestyles. The report says 25% of its younger respondents are planning to move to an eco-friendly house in the next year, compared with just 3% of over-55s.

For brands, there continues to be ample opportunity to encourage positive behaviour that aligns with consumers' own morals and values. For more, read our interview with Dr Daniel Benkendorf, professor of psychology at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

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