Need to Know
14 : 02 : 18

14.02.2018 Beauty : Childrenswear : Architecture

Equinox helps gym-goers enhance their workout, Warby Parker has kids in its sight, beauty makes up large proportion of Chinese Millennials’ luxury spending.

1. Start-up offers instant pour-over coffee

Dripkit, US Dripkit, US
Dripkit, US Dripkit, US
Dripkit, US Dripkit, US

San Francisco – Dripkit aims to merge the convenience of instant coffee with the craft of pour-over.

The company, which was funded through Kickstarter in 2017, has created a portable pour-over kit that includes a paper filter that can sit on top of any coffee cup and a pre-packaged perfect measure of ground coffee. Pour-over, one of the many methods of making coffee that has become popular over the years, is a fine science in terms of the type of grind needed for the beans as well as weight. Dripkit hopes to simplify this need for precision: ‘By eliminating all of these extra variables when you create your own coffee, we can give you a coffee-shop quality [cup],’ Kara Cohen, Dripkit co-founder, told Fast Company. ‘But you can make it yourself.’

While the Dripkit filter reduces waste since it has a smaller carbon footprint than takeaway coffee cups, the company is still trying to figure out how to make its one-use packaging more sustainable – a need that coffee consumers increasingly care about.

2. Warby Parker launches kids’ range

Warby Parker for kids Warby Parker for kids
Warby Parker for kids Warby Parker for kids

US – Prescription glasses and sunglasses retailer Warby Parker has extended its service to cater for children. A scaled down version of the adult model, which includes eye testing, prescriptions, frames and shipping, the service will cost £68 ($95, €77), allowing parents to buy the same quality of product for their children as they would for themselves – an idea explored in our Childrenswear Market.

It is being soft launched in New York as part of a three-month pilot programme to collect data and insights that will inform the brand’s inventory when the service is extended nationwide and online later in the year.

‘We really want to understand how the kids and adults are engaging with our frames since this is a different customer that we’re going after,’ co-founder and CEO Dave Gilboa told Glossier.

3. Equinox brings biohacking headphones to its personal training

US – The boutique gym chain is introducing Halo Sport headphones to its Tier X PT programme. The headphones, which were initially launched for athletes before being rolled out to the wider consumer market, use neuropriming to enhance workouts.

Users wear the headphones before a personal training session in order to increase the plasticity of their brain. With an induced state of hyperplasticity, Halo asserts that the brain will be able to learn new skills and train quicker.

Equinox trainers will offer clients the opportunity to wear the headphones while stretching and during low-impact exercise. The collaboration brings Pro-formance Training, once reserved for elite athletes, into the gym setting for the first time.

Halo Sport, San Francisco Halo Sport, San Francisco

4. Snøhetta shows plans for world’s first energy-positive hotel

Svart hotel by Snøhetta Svart hotel by Snøhetta

Norway – The Norwegian architecture studio unveiled plans for the Svart Hotel, a sustainable hotel located in the Arctic Circle that was commissioned by Arctic Adventure of Norway.

Solar panels sit on top of the structure, which is circular in shape to allow for the maximum amount of sun rays to hit it throughout the day. The hotel is lined with floor-to-ceiling windows to amplify the thermal energy from the sun during winter months. The structure is made from low-energy materials such as wood as opposed to energy-intensive steel and concrete. Compared to traditional hotels, Svart will reduce its annual energy consumption by 85%.

The project is part of Snøhetta’s Powerhouse collective, which aims to create buildings that will generate more renewable energy than the total amount of energy they need for daily operations.

5. Chinese Millennials buy into luxury beauty

Millennials – aged between 20 and 34 – are fuelling the luxury market in China, which grew by a fifth in 2017. A significant proportion of spending is occurring in the luxury beauty sector, with sales of high-end cosmetics, perfume and personal care products having grown more than jewellery (27%) and women's clothing (24%). See our Emerging Youth Market for more on how China's youth are spending their money.

6. Thought-starter: How to address autonomous retail in China

Following the launch by Suning Commerce Group's White Paper revealing the Future of Smart Retail, we spoke to the brand‘s executive vice-president of R&D, Joshua Xiang, about why automated stores are big in Asia.

The brand began by launching four unmanned sports stores in November last year, which garnered a lot of attention from sports fans. ‘The store generated a lot of interest, especially among young customers – the majority are under the age of 30,’ Xiang tells LS:N Global. Given the cost associated with the technology, the brand chose higher-priced and high-margin products, such as sports goods, which it forecasts will probably ensure a profit within in a year.

‘We have two football teams [Suning has a majority stake in Inter Milan and Jiangsu Suning Football Club] and we have sports stores, so we want to promote that image,’ explains Xiang. ’The sports goods are also our higher-priced items, so it’s natural for us to choose the sports shop as our first autonomous store.’

Read the full Q&A for more on the future of automated stores in China.

Autonomous store, Suning Commerce Group Autonomous store, Suning Commerce Group