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18 : 05 : 21

SK-II unveils a virtual city for brand experiences, Mattel launches free toy upcycling and which sectors are happiest working from home.

SK-II invites shoppers into a branded virtual city

SK-II City SK-II City Immersive Website
SK-II City Immersive Website SK-II City Immersive Website
SK-II City Immersive Website SK-II City Immersive Website
SK-II City Immersive Website SK-II City Immersive Website

Singapore – The prestige skincare company has created a Tokyo-inspired digital city filled with branded experiences.

The SK-II City allows visitors to navigate a bustling intersection based on the iconic Shibuya Crossing. There, they can enter a virtual cinema and be immersed in six ‘VS’ Series films created by SK-II, each of which explore different societal pressures faced by women. Visitors can also cross the street and enter the SK-II Studio for behind-the-scenes footage from the film series.

The city marks a new milestone in how the skincare brand is transforming the beauty retail experience into a playful virtual alternative. ‘In these times of the pandemic, as international travel is still restricted, we want to be able to provide our consumers a gamified experience that she can gain inspiration and shop in a safe yet entertaining and meaningful way.

Brands such as SK-II are taking inspiration from the experimental nature of the Metaverse an interconnected series of virtual realms, creating new routes for customer interactions.

Mattel’s PlayBack makes plastic toys circular

Playback Mattel Program Playback Mattel Program
Playback Mattel Program Playback Mattel Program

Europe – Toymaker Mattel is responding to the growth in eco-conscious mindsets among children and parents with a plastic toy upcycling scheme.

PlayBack is launching initially in the UK, Germany and France, allowing parents and carers to return outgrown, broken or worn-out Mattel toys for upcycling into new materials. After selecting the toys they want to return – be it Barbie dolls, Matchbox cars or MEGA Bloks – a free shipping label is generated, which families can print out before packaging up.

Once received, Mattel is working with TerraCycle to separate the toys by material, clean them if necessary, and then extrude the materials into plastic pellets to make new recycled products and toys. ‘By keeping Mattel toys out of landfills and reusing the materials in them or appropriately converting from waste to energy where recycling is not an option, we are taking a big step to build a waste-free future for our products and packaging,’ reads a brand statement.

In our Conscious Play microtrend, we further examine the toy brands and schemes supporting parents and carers in their quest to make play more environmentally friendly.

Tiffany & Co debuts engagement rings for men

New York – The Charles Tiffany Setting ring intends to pave the way for new traditions in modern marriage.

Named after founder Charles Lewis Tiffany – who introduced the women’s solitaire diamond engagement ring back in 1886 – the men’s version also includes a bold solitaire diamond, along with a signet silhouette in either a titanium or platinum setting, marking a contemporary departure from the traditional wedding band.

Available at its flagship stores from May 2021, the ring showcases a larger shift away from gender norms and traditions for Tiffany & Co. ‘The Charles Tiffany Setting honours the jeweller’s long-standing legacy in love and inclusivity, paving the way for new traditions to celebrate our unique love stories and honour our most cherished commitments to one another,’ explains the brand in a press release.

The fine jewellery and wedding industries – both steeped in tradition – are recognising the changing notions of gender in today’s fluid world and diversifying the way they approach New Masculinity.

Engagement rings for men by Tiffany & Co, New York Engagement rings for men by Tiffany & Co, New York

Stat: WFH happiness could be sector-dependent

UV Light by Frank Chou, China UV Light by Frank Chou, China

A survey of 3,500 people working from home (WFH) in the UK reveals vast differences in their happiness – with their sector potentially shaping their level of satisfaction. Data from a poll by insolvency firm Hudson Weir shows that, overall, the average employee in the UK rates their happiness working from home at 6.6/10.

A closer look shows that IT and tech workers are happiest working from home, scoring 7/10, which Hudson Weir links to possible familiarity with remote working before the pandemic. media workers rate their WFH happiness at 6.8/10, dropping to 5.9/10 for those in advertising. For roles where human interaction is essential, workers tend to have the lowest happiness scores: lawyers are among the least happy at 4.9/10, while charity workers scored 4.3/10.

The survey also highlights that 54% of people take fewer breaks during the day than they would if they were in the office, while 85% of employees say they have taken fewer sick days while WFH.

With some businesses embedding remote working into their operations, employees are seeking interiors and home furnishings that place wellbeing at the fore. For case studies, explore Fulfilment Furnishings.

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