Need to Know
08 : 10 : 18

Creating furniture for disabilities, a data-informed Amazon store and the rise of belief-driven buyers.

Collusion spotlights British youth culture

For The Coming Age, Collusion by ASOS

UK – The new fashion brand by ASOS has launched a national campaign featuring 100 young people from around the UK.

Collusion worked with director Dan Emmerson to ask 100 18-year-olds from Birmingham, Brighton, Glasgow and London the question: ‘what do you wish for, in the year you come of age?’. The result is a campaign that acts as a modern census of British youth, honing in on the intimate details of the teenagers’ day-to-day lives.

By questioning such a large number of young people, including those from outside the capital, Collusion presents a diverse range of opinions. The campaign features Nadia Ahmed, a DJ from Manchester who discusses the importance of voting, and Shay Thomas, a non-binary person with Thai heritage raised in Glasgow.

The campaign highlights the small acts of activism that Generation Z are taking part in as they come of age. For more on this mindset, watch out for our Youth macrotrend The Anxiety Rebellion.

Furniture designed for disabilities

Be A Part Of by Ella Westlund Be A Part Of by Ella Westlund

Stockholm – Product designer Ella Westlund has created a set of furniture that fosters interaction between a disabled person and their family.

The sofa set, entitled Be a Part of, features two seats, which are separated by a space designed to fit a wheelchair. The idea is that the disabled person can sit between their family members, rather than at their side. Westlund was inspired by a trip to a Korallen, a Swedish centre for mental stimulation for children with functional disabilities, after she found that the rooms did not have dedicated spaces for children in wheelchairs.

‘My sister has Down’s syndrome so I know how important it is to be able to exchange experiences with other people,’ Westlund says. ‘The wheelchair user should be able to enter a room and make sure there is a place for them.’

In our design direction Implicit Inclusivity, we explore how designers can create assistive products that can be aesthetically pleasing, not just practical.

Amazon opens a store for 4-star products

New York – The e-commerce giant has opened a physical location for items that are rated four stars or above, from a top seller or trending online.

The store, which is located in New York’s SoHo retail district, is a place where shoppers can discover a more curated selection of products from Amazon’s online library of over 500m items. The site’s top products include consumer electronics, kitchen and home accessories, toys, books and games.

The in-store signage also borrows from the language Amazon uses online, such as ‘most-wished-for’, ‘trending around NYC’ and ‘frequently bought together’. Star ratings and quotes from real customers add the practical elements of shopping online to the physical store experience.

Amazon tested a similar concept for its physical bookstores last year, which also draw on online language and digital reviews in order to augment bricks-and-mortar book shopping.

Amazon Store, New York Amazon Store, New York

World’s first museum dedicated to sustainable fashion opens

Fashion for Good designed by Local Projects, Amsterdam Fashion for Good designed by Local Projects, Amsterdam
Fashion for Good designed by Local Projects, Amsterdam Fashion for Good designed by Local Projects, Amsterdam

Amsterdam – The Fashion for Good museum aims to educate and inspire visitors to address their own environmentally damaging fashion habits, as well as highlight innovations at industry level.

Through a series of interactive exhibits and activations, the digitally-enabled space designed by Local Projects, showcases over fifty concepts that are set to make fashion more sustainable.

On entering the museum, visitors are provided with a connected bracelet made from recycled plastic. As they discover tangible solutions to some of fashions environmental problems, they are asked to make a pledge such as ‘Not buy any garments for 30 days,’ or ‘Run at least one wash cycle a week on cold’ and commit to these by tapping their bracelet on a corresponding symbol.

At the end of the exhibition, each person checks out with their bracelet and receives a personalised Good Fashion Action Plan which outlines practical tips to implement their commitments in their daily lives.

The museum also houses a start-up incubator dedicated to fostering new future-facing technological solutions, funded by The C&A Foundation. As discussed in our Fashion Futures 2017 report, brands who work with and invest in start-ups have the power to bring a fresh perspective to fashions biggest problems.

Stat: Consumers are buying on belief

Edelman’s Earned Brand 2018 study has found that consumers around the world would prefer to spend their money on brands that take a stand on a social or political issue. These ‘belief-driven buyers’ are the majority in every market, age group and income level surveyed by Edelman.

Rather than just supporting brands that align with their own values, these consumers are also boycotting brands that shy away from controversy. The study found that 65% would not buy from a brand because it stayed silent on an issue that it had an obligation to address.

Nike recently enlisted American football player Colin Kaepernick, who has protested against racial injustice by refusing to salute the US flag, to star in one of its campaigns. Elevating its status as a Backlash Brand, Nike actually saw sales rise following the controversial ad.

Thought-starter: Is it time to bring fitness into the home?

Deputy foresight editor Kathryn Bishop investigates the new equipment making at-home fitness more immersive, efficient and effective.

According to a recent study by the World Health Organization, high-income Western countries displayed the greatest increase in people taking insufficient exercise, rising from 31.6% in 2001 to 36.8% in 2016.

The main driving force of this sedentary living has been the change in people’s daily lives. ‘One of the biggest barriers [is] our environment – physical activity has been engineered out of life, with desk-based jobs replacing labour jobs, lifts replacing stairs, cars replacing active travel,’ says Dr Melody Ding, a senior research fellow at The University of Sydney’s School of Public Health.

A new wave of technology-driven, at-home devices are emerging to counteract the impact of modern living on our health and wellbeing. With a design that mimics a wall-mounted flat-screen tv, Tonal is a strength training device that uses an electromagnetic engine to create resistance akin to traditional elliptical and pull-down weights machines.

Discover the At-home Fitness microtrend here.

Tonal, US Tonal, US