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10.11.2017 Wellness : Retail : Luxury

In today’s daily digest: GF Smith upcycles coffee cups, tea as a beauty product at The Botanical Store, how offline is a new luxury signifier, and other stories.

1. Hims’ visual identity offers modern take on hair loss prevention

Hims, US Hims, US
Hims, US Hims, US
Hims, US Hims, US

US – Hair loss prevention products typically feature clinical branding and medical terminology, but men’s wellness start-up Hims takes a design-led approach to offer a fresh perspective on baldness, which affects most men at some point in their life. According to The Belgravia Centre, 40% of men will have noticeable hair loss by age 35.

The e-commerce brand, which plans to launch a series of wellness products aimed at men, including items to improve skin health and sexual performance, is part of a wave of pharmaceutical start-ups that are moving away from the pharmacy model and embracing online platforms. While the brand adopts a minimal style for its packaging, it takes a transparent approach to its ingredients, offering a detailed explanation of each one’s properties on its website.

2. Partnership sets new standard in disposable coffee cup recycling

Extract by GF Smith and CupCycling, UK Extract by GF Smith and CupCycling, UK

UK – Paper-maker GF Smith has launched a new paper made from disposable coffee cups lined with plastic. The brand worked with CupCycling to remove and recycle the polyethylene lining that makes the cups waterproof, and upcycle the leftover paper fibres.

Up to 7m disposable coffee cups are thrown away each day in the UK, and less than 1% of these are recycled, according to The Guardian. While Extract is unlikely to completely solve the issue, it is designed to raise awareness of the scale of the problem. ‘We want to do our little bit to alert the world to the awful mess we are in,’ John Haslam, joint managing director of GF Smith, told It’s Nice That.

For more examples of brands adopting a more eco-conscious mindset, read our Whole-system Thinking macrotrend.

3. ASOS trials new features to encourage brand loyalty

Global – E-commerce retailer ASOS is launching a variety of new online features in a bid to ensure it remains relevant in a rapidly changing sector. The brand is trialling a Facebook chatbot in the UK and France over Christmas, with the bot suggesting potential gift ideas based on the answers shoppers give to a series of questions such as ‘What item would be most likely to fall out of their bag?’

Following in the footsteps of rival Amazon, which introduced its Amazon Prime Wardrobe earlier this year, ASOS will now let customers try before they buy, with items only charged to their account if they decide to keep them. To offer this service, the brand has worked with Swedish payments provider and newly licensed bank Klarna.

When implemented badly, chatbots often come across as gimmicky, but in taking a more considered approach to creating these artificially intelligent assistants, brands can add real value to their service offer. See our Listicle for a guide to the best examples.

ASOS ASOS

4. The Botanical Store offers an internal and external glow

The Botanical Store, Melbourne The Botanical Store, Melbourne
The Botanical Store, Melbourne The Botanical Store, Melbourne
The Botanical Store, Melbourne The Botanical Store, Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia – The Botanical Store is tapping into a growing desire among consumers for beauty products designed for the body as a whole, both inside and out. The newly opened space in the heart of Melbourne will hold a series of workshops focusing on natural skincare, essential oil-blending and the health properties of tea, a topic that LS:N Global will explore in greater depth in our forthcoming Food and Drink Futures report.

Founded by Kim Stark, who is trained in remedial massage and reiki, and Hannah Dupree, owner of specialist tea company Storm in a Teacup, The Botanical Store subscribes to the idea that ‘what we put on our bodies, consume and ultimately put back into the system should all be an act of equilibrium’.

Read more on the rise of inside-out beauty in our Total Beauty Market Part 2.

5. Brexit blamed for fall in UK independent restaurant openings

Uncertainty about the UK’s future after Brexit is cited as one of the reasons for a fall in the number of newly opened independent restaurants in London during the past year. ‘I can see no positives and only negatives in the impact of Brexit,’ Peter Harden, co-founder of Harden’s dining guide, told Bloomberg. ‘Every chef you talk to is worried by increasing food costs and the difficulty in recruiting staff. Many refer to it as a crisis in the industry.’ Another report by accountancy firm Moore Stephens predicted that 20% of restaurants, or 14,800 outlets, are vulnerable to closure. Download our forthcoming Food and Drink Futures report for more insight on the global food and drink market.

6. Thought-starter: Is being offline the new luxury?

As brands continue to mine consumers for their data, Ana Andjelic, global strategy director at Havas Media Lux Hub, examines why the ability to withhold information is increasingly the preserve of luxurians.

In the direct line from digital detox camps to wellness festivals to mindfulness apps and meditation retreats we have developed an impressive taste for experiences that have nothing to do with our internet-driven lives. In fact, they are the opposite of the internet.

Our craving for the pre-electricity lifestyle of silence and privacy, unplugging and disconnecting can be seen as a side effect of lives that are too fast, too connected, too distracted and too global, forcing us to seek basic joys that are the opposite of all that. Disconnecting is the new luxury.

We once took it for granted, but today it comes at a hefty price, or is occasionally mandated by law. In this always-connected, zero-privacy context, being able to ‘go Amish’ is reserved only for those who can afford to use technology at will, and not as a necessity.

Read the full Opinion here.

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