Billie destigmatises female body hair
US – Start-up shaving brand Billie is putting female body hair at the centre of its latest campaign.
In a backlash against traditional razor advertisements that feature smooth, airbrushed legs and armpits, the brand debuted a short film featuring women embracing their body hair, choosing to shave or style it however they wish. ‘The campaign is making a broader statement on how women are portrayed in the razor category,’ says Georgina Gooley, co-founder of Billie. ‘The intent of this campaign is to normalise that women have body hair. It’s unrealistic to see women with perfectly shaved legs [shaving them]’.
The company has also launched a microsite to crowdsource photos from women of their body hair, with plans to donate free images to the stock photo site Unsplash has part of its normalisation campaign.
In our Bare It All Branding microtrend, we explore how underwear brands are moving away from overly-sexualised imagery to depict women in more honest ways. Billie is recognising its responsibility as a female-focused brand to challenge traditional portrayals of women shaving.
ASOS launches clothing for wheelchair users
UK – As it continues to promote physical inclusivity, fashion e-tailer ASOS has collaborated with UK Paralympic athlete Chloe Ball-Hopkins to create wheelchair-friendly clothing.
Launching with a waterproof tie-dye jumpsuit, the design was inspired by the athlete’s own experiences at festivals, and her frustration at the lack of festival fashion suitable for disabled consumers. ‘There are a lot of people like myself who, in a chair, get cold very easily and water and rain definitely doesn’t help that. You have got a lap that can get wet too, I think people forget that’, says Chloe Ball-Hopkins.
While brands such as Missguided and Les Girls Les Boys have run campaigns that highlight scarring and body diversity, questions have been raised as to whether the movement towards inclusivity has become tokenistic in fashion. For brands wanting to promote inclusivity, ASOS demonstrates how to incorporate it into a business model in a way that extends from who they employ, to who they design for and with.
A vegan alcoholic drink made with hemp milk
US – BOMBOM, best known for its indulgent dessert-inspired alcohol, has launched the first beverage made with hemp milk.
The new flavour, named Fully Baked, combines a blend of chocolate chip cookie and brownie flavours with Caribbean rum and hemp milk. While offering an alternative for non-dairy consumers that also taps into the rise of veganism, the drink still boasts 14.2% ABV – a higher alcohol content than Almande, Bailey’s dairy-free almond drink.
The emergence of hemp-based alcohol follows similar developments in the ready-to-drink market. Drinks start-up VYBES launched its CBD-infused beverage collection in late 2017, tapping into the contemporary cannabis market with a range of drinks that embrace the healing powers of CBD.
K11 Musea brings culture and retail to Hong Kong’s millennials
Hong Kong – With the lines between retail and cultural spaces becoming increasingly blurred, developers in Hong Kong are set to open a new high-end shopping complex that doubles as a cultural destination.
Designed with content-driven global millennials in mind, the K11 Musea will host an extensive number of flagship stores, alongside art, cultural and dining experiences. Visitors will be greeted by large living walls, with over 50,000 square foot of greenery within the space, as well as a roster of museum-inspired art exhibitions. The complex also features a giant LED screen above the amphitheatre space, for the airing of performances and other cultural events.
Such retail developments highlight the need for cities and towns to create destinations that focus as much on community and socialising as retail. For more on what the high street could learn from such malls, read our recent opinion piece.
Indian consumers crave time away from tech
In an age of non-stop digital distraction, consumers are beginning to recognise the need for tech-free time to relieve the mental fatigue brought on by devices. A new survey released by American Express and market research firm Morning Consult found that 38% of Indian workers blame technology for the increasing amount of time they spend at work. ‘There is growing interconnectedness around the world [between] personal and work life as well as real and virtual interactions’ the study notes.
Surprisingly, the research highlights that younger Indian consumers longed for mobile-free time more than older respondents.
As devices demand more of our attention, brands are exploring ways to ease the impact of technology in our daily lives. For more on the future developments in this field, explore our Focus Filter macro trend.
Thought-starter: Could apps protect us from debt?
Spurred on by consumers’ economic insecurity, fintech firms are creating new financial tools that help people become more astute spenders and savers.
Already tackling the issue of accruing wealth, automatic savings app Digit is now diversifying its offer to help consumers combat the increasingly pertinent topic of credit card debt. A new feature in the Digit app, Digit Pay, enables users to set up a personal credit card debt goal, with a finance bot that calculates how much can be withdrawn from the user’s current account without compromising his or her budget.
Another brand addressing the problem of overspending is Curve. The brand’s card and app takes a novel approach by allowing consumers to retrospectively switch the account that payments are made from up to two weeks after the purchase date to avoid moving money over manually or incurring costly overdraft fees.
With debit cards and credit cards still the most widely used method for completing digital payments, plastic is due an update. Following the launch in 2017 of a similar product, Fuze, the connected Wallet Card from Dynamics Inc and Visa, enables consumers to hold multiple cards – from debit to pre-paid and loyalty cards – in one place.
Read the full microtrend here.