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14 : 09 : 18

Whirli wants kids to share toys, Line launches a free crypto-loyalty program and Teen Vogue embraces disability.

Depop spotlights its most unique sellers

Depop campaign by DesignStudio, London Depop campaign by DesignStudio, London
Depop campaign by DesignStudio, London Depop campaign by DesignStudio, London

London – In its first ever global campaign, the online marketplace is drawing on the app biographies of its most creative users for advertising copy.

The campaign celebrates the app’s diverse, entrepreneurial community by featuring real sellers, the bios from their shops and their account handles. Produced by creative agency DesignStudio, who rebranded Depop last year, the series of advertisements feature the casual language used by sellers, leaning towards the youth demographic. According to the brand, 80% of its sellers are under the age of 25.

The campaign will appear on London’s underground system, New York’s subway and around Los Angeles, the latter two cities being home to Depop’s first physical community spaces. ‘The entire purpose of this campaign is to highlight our community – the different styles, different subcultures and vast creative expressions across our platform,’ says Maria Raga, Depop’s CEO.

The market for Fashion Recommerce is booming, as reselling not only solidifies its position as a bona fide side-hustle, but a tool for young people to express individuality.

The sharing economy now includes toys

Whirli branding by Ragged Edge, UK Whirli branding by Ragged Edge, UK
Whirli branding by Ragged Edge, UK Whirli branding by Ragged Edge, UK

UK – Whirli is a subscription-based toy library that makes children’s playtime more sustainable.

For a fixed monthly price, parents can curate their ideal toybox from an online collection before getting it delivered to their home. Although children can keep the toys for as long as they want, if they happen to get bored of a particular toy, parents can return it to Whirli, where the toy will be sanitised and made available for other children. Once a toy has been used for over 9 months, Whirli officially passes its ownership to the user.

With children receiving approximately £350 worth of toys each year, Whirli hopes that a sharing model will lessen the waste generated by the toy industry, one that is renowned for its use of plastics. ‘By swapping and not shopping, a Whirli subscription provides parents much more for their money, reduces clutter, and is environmentally-friendly,’ founder Nigel Phan told It’s Nice That.

Toy brands are having to reconsider their sustainable credentials in order to appeal to eco-conscious Millennial parents. Earlier this year, Lego pledged to design its entire range using plant-based bioplastic by 2030.

Line launches its own cryptocurrency

Japan – Messaging app Line is rolling out Link, a digital token that will incentivise users to re-engage with its platform.

Rather than monetising Link through an initial coin offering (ICO), 800 million tokens will be given away for free as part of a rewards system for using the app. They can then be used to buy stickers, webtoons and other Line services.

In its home country of Japan, Line is waiting for approval from authorities to roll out the digital currency. However, Link will be launched this month in other global markets.

Facing competition from major players such as WhatsApp, WeChat and Facebook Messenger, the number of active Line users has fallen in four of its biggest markets. By integrating Crypto-loyalty, the app is hoping to reinvigorate user engagement.

Honoka Tamura using Line as part of LS:N Global's IM Crowd Tribe, Tokyo Honoka Tamura using Line as part of LS:N Global's IM Crowd tribe

A September issue that sheds light on disability

The New Faces of Fashion by Teen Vogue, US The New Faces of Fashion by Teen Vogue, US
The New Faces of Fashion by Teen Vogue, US The New Faces of Fashion by Teen Vogue, US

US – Amid growing inclusivity in the fashion industry, Teen Vogue has dedicated its September issue covers to three disabled models.

Authored by Keah Brown, a writer and disability advocate with cerebral palsy, the issue’s in-depth lead article calls out the fashion industry for its exclusion of disabled models. As well as drawing attention to the brands that have made steps towards inclusivity, such as Aerie and Tommy Hilfiger, Brown talks to three disabled models about their personal experiences in the industry.

‘There wasn't anyone who looked like me in any magazines or mainstream media, TV, or anything. It was definitely confusing because I knew my worth in the world,’ says Jillian Mercado, a model with spastic muscular dystrophy. ‘I knew that there are [so many] people out there like me, but we are never included in any conversations.’

Alongside fashion brands, UK model agency Zebedee Management is working to increase the representation of people with disabilities in campaigns and in the media. However, brands are being challenged to ensure that inclusivity is wholly integrated into their business, so it does not become tokenistic.

Stat: How many Chinese children are digital natives?

According to a new report released by Chinese authorities, the number of young children going online is rising dramatically. Drawing on data from 2017, the publication shows that 72% of children in China began accessing the internet before the age of 10 – a rise of 16% since 2010 – while at the end of 2017, more than 98% of Chinese youth had used the internet.

In addition, the report revealed changing behaviours around media and entertainment. For the first time, WeChat surpassed television to become the primary source of news. At present, 84% of the country’s young people using WeChat, while the proportion of those watching tv has fallen to below 50%.

For more on how youth in China and other emerging markets are redefining traditional customs, book tickets to our Future of Youth presentation.

Thought-starter: Is social capitalism idealistic?

Plastic Bank Plastic Bank

The Future Laboratory attended the Me Convention in Stockholm last week, where discussions ranged how we can manage our relationship with technology, Silicon Valley’s negative effects and why social impact isn’t a passing fad.

At SXSW’s main event in Austin, Texas, inclusivity is often a topic of debate, with many panels on how to achieve gender parity and racial inclusion in Silicon Valley’s heterogeneous bro culture. The Me Convention, a collaboration between the ideas festival and Mercedes-Benz, was no different.

Speakers such Tracy Chou, co-founder of Project Include, talked about the need to be more inclusive in staff recruitment practices. While Renata Avila, senior digital rights advisor for the World Wide Web Foundation, spoke about the nefarious nature of digital colonialism, with Big Tech such as Google and Facebook entering markets such as Africa under the guise of philanthropy.

Several talks also addressed the subject of social impact, and how creating products that do social good are not the antithesis of capitalism. For instance, Shaun Frankson, co-founder of Plastic Bank, presented his company’s work with IBM to create a new commodity around what it calls ‘social plastic’.

For more on the biggest ideas to come out of Me Convention, read our round-up here.