Covid-19

In a time of global chaos, we outline the steps businesses can take to imagine new scenarios and build future-fit strategies to turn uncertainty into action.

Need to Know
04 : 05 : 21

Pangaia innovates with carbon-negative textile ink, Mastercard offers real-time salary access and Gen Z struggle to adapt to remote working.

Pangaia prints textiles with extracted pollution

Air-Ink Collection by Pangaia in collaboration with Gravity Labs and Jenke Ahmed Tailly

US – Material science and apparel company Pangaia is using carbon-negative ink as an eco-friendly alternative to conventional textile printing.

Working with pollution upcycling company Graviky Labs, Pangaia is using the company’s Air-Ink innovation – a water-based black ink formulated using carbon-capture technology. The ink is created using an extraction process, whereby air pollution particles are transformed into different grades of inks, dispersions and coatings. Pangaia will use the Air-Ink for black lettering and graphics on its capsule collection of recycled cotton hoodies, t-shirts and trousers.

The eco-conscious nature of the collaboration is also reflected in the collection’s logo: an infinity symbol that represents circularity in fashion. For Graviky Labs, teaming up with the apparel brand means it is able to expand its reach and continue raising awareness of its carbon-negative solution.

We've also discovered how pollution is being used in the luxury sector, with companies such as Aether diamonds redirecting carbon to create lab-grown diamonds.

Freda is de-gendering period products

Cycle by Freda, UK Cycle by Freda, UK
Cycle by Freda, UK Cycle by Freda, UK

UK – Period care brand Freda is drawing attention to the importance of period inclusivity, with its new range of de-gendered period products.

Its latest product line, Cycle, caters for a gap in the market for period care that is free from gender-normative associations. Featuring a range of pads and tampons, Cycle features neutral branding as opposed to feminine cues, to communicate the idea that it is designed for everyone. An accompanying campaign video features transgender and non-binary activists and influencers including Kenny Ethan Jones, Jamie Raines and Siufung Law.

Freda’s launch of Cycle is in line with the brand's findings that almost half (47%) of UK adults who have ever menstruated admit to experiencing a lack of period inclusivity. Affi Parvizi-Wayne, the founder of Freda, comments: ‘At Freda we want to raise awareness about the importance of period inclusivity, and the positive impact it can have on society, culture, and mental and physical wellbeing.’

In our Trans-positive beauty and wellness list, we identify the innovators and brands that are leading important conversations in this area.

Mastercard makes salaries accessible in real time

US – The bank has teamed up with fintech startup Hi55 to offer a salary access card, enabling people to receive their pay as they earn it.

The card, which operates in a similar way to a debit card, offers users the chance to access their pay in real time, with a limit set in line with their earnings. Available to employees of companies who have signed up to Hi55’s business finance platform, employees are entitled to increased financial freedom and flexibility – something that Mastercard and Hi55 hope will reduce reliance on high-rate borrowing.

‘With the easy-to-use card, managed through the Hi app, employees can more easily see and access their salary any time they’ve earned,’ says David Brown, founder and CEO of Hi55. ‘This not only helps employees with better budgeting or meeting unexpected shortfalls, it also helps companies to secure the financial health and wellbeing of their workforce.’

As the importance of maintaining financial wellness becomes widespread in the wake of Covid-19, employers have an opportunity to support their workforce through initiatives that put financial health first.

Mastercard Hi Mastercard Hi

Stat: Young remote workers experience poor wellbeing

Human-centred Workplace by Wilkhahn in collaboration with 1zu33 Human-centred Workplace by Wilkhahn in collaboration with 1zu33

Young people in remote-based jobs are disproportionately affected by the emotional effects of working from home during the pandemic, according to new research by Microsoft.

The study found that 16% of Generation Z are struggling to feel engaged or excited about work, compared with just 12% of Boomers. The same percentage (16%) also note that they struggle to get a word in during meetings, while just 12% of Millennials, 11% of Generation X and 9% of Boomers experience this.

This presents an opportunity for employers to focus on the needs of the younger generation, and find ways to boost productivity and wellbeing as they enter a future of remote working. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, says: ‘Employee expectations are changing, and we will need to define productivity much more broadly – inclusive of collaboration, learning and wellbeing, to drive career advancement for every worker.’

To find out more about how to cater for a new, yet jaded, generation of employees, look out for our forthcoming Youth microtrend, Out-of-work Networks.

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