London – A new hairdressing salon has opened in Soho that taps into the idea of social beauty. Designed by JaK Studio, the space was designed to encourage interaction between clients, with people sitting around a central table rather than in a line facing a mirror, as is customary in most salons. Each customer is also provided with a bespoke jewellery box where they can keep jewellery safe and charge their personal devices.
‘Salon 64 reinvigorates the salon world by taking a classic concept and combining it with modern materials, acknowledging that we socialise through shared experiences,’ says Jacob Low, founding partner of JaK Studio. ‘The design is tailored around this concept.’
Brands such as Salon 64 and Wah Nails demonstrate the importance of community to beauty consumers by creating spaces that nurture social interaction.
US – Ember Technologies has launched a ceramic mug that enables users to control the temperature of the liquid inside.
The product is linked to a smartphone app with a temperature-control feature that enables users to change the temperature manually or select a predetermined setting. The mug uses temperature sensors and a microprocessor-controlled dual-band heating system to keep the liquid at a consistent temperature.
‘Temperature affects taste, and our mission is to empower people to discover that connection, bringing a new dimension to the coffee industry,’ says Ember Technologies founder Clay Alexander.
As LS:N Global explored in our Countertop Connoisseurs microtrend, consumers are looking for products that help them to explore and develop their palate.
US – As exemplified by the launch of Gossamer and Broccoli magazines, the image of cannabis consumption is being given an overhaul as brands become increasingly aware that they should be catering for a more erudite consumer. Editor-in-chief Anja Charbonneau, the former art director of independent slow lifestyle magazine Kinfolk, explains that Broccoli is about ‘normalising cannabis use, especially for women’.
As more and more US states legalise cannabis, and marijuana-focused products become more commonplace, Charbonneau felt that there was a gap in the market for a female-led publication that appealed to female smokers in a way that related to them. ‘No one was speaking to this massive group of women who are creative, driven, intelligent and have a lot of interests outside of weed,’ Charbonneau told Vogue.
Global – In line with our Sensitised Living Market, the branding for Unilever’s new ApotheCARE Essentials highlights the non-toxic rather than natural nature of the ingredients that feature in the range.
The body wash uses a coconut-derived surfactant rather than sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), and also features rosemary and sage extracts, which have antimicrobial properties. The range’s shampoos and conditioners are silicone-, paraben- and dye-free.
‘We saw an opportunity to create a new paradigm in beauty that is inspired by nature, but with a dedication to continuous advancements in science,’ Piyush Jain, general manger at Unilever, told Well+Good. Brands are beginning to recognise that ‘all-natural‘ does not always mean sustainable, and that synthetic ingredients can be less harmful than their natural counterparts. Contact us to find out more and book our Sustainability Futures presentation.
Food is now being used not only as a way to embrace other cultures, but also as a means of resistance against a backdrop of political unrest, argues art director Hannah Robinson.
The dining table has always been a place for discussion, planning and debate, and now restaurateurs are using it to foster cross-cultural empathy and civic action too.
In an uncertain world, the profoundly political nature of food is being brought to the fore. ‘Every single thing we eat and the way we share it has political implications, from who grew the ingredients to how they were distributed. This gives us so much power as individuals to effect change,’ says Julia Turshen, author of cookbook Feed the Resistance. Published in October 2017, the cookbook features an intersectional collection of recipes, essays and ideas that examine the political nature of what and where we eat.
Read the full microtrend here.