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21 : 09 : 22

Nike’s inclusive wild swimming hub, a protest art collection made with gay men’s blood, and record numbers of older people are still in employment

Nike and Trippin partner on open-source wild swimming guide

Open Waters by Trippin in collaboration with Nike Swim, UK

Global – With more people looking to spend time in the great outdoors since the pandemic, wild swimming is increasingly popular. Nike Swim has partnered with travel platform Trippin to create a crowdsourced resource to help everyone get involved and navigate the water.

Despite the range of health benefits it brings, wild swimming can be daunting and dangerous for the inexperienced, so the new platform pulls together safety information and location recommendations from a global network of contributors to help people feel confident when they take the plunge outside. Contributors include Swim Dem Crew, Orienteer magazine, ESEA Sisters and Queer Bruk.

‘We’ve charted the people and places making waves across our seas, lakes, oceans and lidos – the ones that push further and dive deeper, revealing a whole world of experience beneath the surface,’ explains Trippin. This is about helping people to engage with the water in a meaningful way, no matter what their background or ability.

With the elevated outdoors attracting people from all backgrounds, the platform serves as a great example of an educational hub that gives back to diverse audiences by sharing stories and knowledge.

Strategic opportunity

With interest in the outdoors growing fast, partner with communities and creators to build educational hubs and resources geared around previously niche sports and activities

The Gay Blood collection hits back at homophobic policies

Blood is Blood by Mother and Stuart Semple, US Blood is Blood by Mother and Stuart Semple, US
Blood is Blood by Mother and Stuart Semple, US Blood is Blood by Mother and Stuart Semple, US

US – For the start of New York Fashion Week, creative company Mother launched a limited-edition collection of protest art tools made with the blood of gay men to protest against the US Food & Drug Administration’s effective ban on gay men from donating blood.

Created in collaboration with artist and activist Stuart Semple, the launch comes as the US experiences a national shortage of blood and looks to draw attention to the discriminatory ban. Items include acrylic paint, a fountain pen, screen printing ink, paint pens and spray paint. ‘With these tools, others can help make some bloody noise on this issue – whether it’s shirts, murals or protest signs to fight back against the FDA’s homophobic policies,’ explains Mother.

All items can be purchased individually, with 100% of proceeds from sales going to LGBTQ-focused healthcare provider Callen-Lorde. Mother will also be partnering with LGBTQ+ creators and collaborators in the coming months to create pieces using the new collection and auctioning off the results on its website.

Go to our Intersectionality series for more examples of campaigns and brands championing purposeful action across progressive causes.

Strategic opportunity

Champion progressive causes with radical campaigns that draw attention to problems that urgently need fixing, working alongside experts and activists

Starbucks launches accessible Web3 community

USAs it looks to level up digital engagement and develop its loyalty programme, the coffee chain is launching a Web3 experience for its Starbucks Rewards members. Starbucks Odyssey will enable members to collect and purchase digital assets to gain access to benefits and immersive coffee experiences. Rewards will range from virtual espresso martini cocktail-making classes to merchandise, or even a trip to a coffee farm in Costa Rica.

In an extension of its existing loyalty programme, members will be able to play games and enter coffee-themed challenges to earn journey stamps – digital collectibles, or non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Each stamp will be assigned a rarity, and can be bought from or sold to other users through a marketplace, with ownership secured via blockchain technology by Polygon. The platform won’t require cryptocurrency or a crypto wallet to participate, making Web3 technology more accessible to ordinary users.

The launch of the platform shows Starbucks exploring how NFTs could elevate brand loyalty, providing a practical and accessible way for customers to earn rewards and engage more closely with the brand, and even earn a stake in the company.

Starbucks Odyssey, US

Strategic opportunity

Explore how brand NFTs could give your customers a more long-term stake in your business, expanding loyalty and developing a stronger community

Stat: Record numbers of over-65s are still working

Photography by Cottonbro Photography by Cottonbro

As the cost of living continues to rise, increasing numbers of older people in the UK are putting off retirement and staying in work, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Between April and June 2022, the number of over-65s in work rose by 173,000, bringing the total to a record 1.47m.

As the inflation rate hit a 40-year high in summer 2022, and with the Consumer Price Index expected to peak at rises of 13% throughout Q3 and Q4, many people are struggling to keep up with the soaring cost of living. The figures reveal that uptake of part-time work (under 30 hours a week) is largely responsible for the increased employment rates among the over-65s. While many people opted to bring forward retirement plans during the pandemic when savings were high, increased living costs have forced many to return to work to make ends meet.

With ageing populations around the world being affected by the rising cost of living, expect to see people working longer and returning to the workplace in the coming years.

Strategic opportunity

Retailers and hospitality providers will need to consider how to create more equitable employment opportunities for older generations. How can their years of experience help your business thrive?

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