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Society offers affordable non-toxic home goods, Bumble comes to India and how brands can visualise their CSR.

Gender-neutral fashion designed by children

Everybody.World by Akira

US – Sustainable clothing brand Everybody.World has made its first foray into childrenswear, with a collection designed by a four-year-old.

The designer, Akira, is the son of Sue-Ling Braun, a director at production company Durable Goods who also directed the collection’s surrealist campaign video. The three-piece gender-neutral line is designed for children aged between two and six, and features deep ‘treasure pockets’ for children to store their miscellaneous possessions.

Following the ethical nature of Everybody.World’s adult collection, the pieces are made in the US from 100% recycled cotton and French Terry fabric. As with all of the brand’s designers, Akira will also receive 10% of the sales.

The Childrenswear Market is being transformed by Millennial parents who are placing fashion choices in the hands of their offspring, while driving a movement towards genderless clothing.

The brand democratising natural home cleaning

Society Society
Society Society

Los Angeles – Start-up brand Society is offering premium, natural cleaning products at a discounted rate, available through a dedicated membership scheme.

Society's lines include soaps, a stain remover and multi-surface spray that are all non-toxic, and devoid of ingredients such as artificial dyes, synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, ammonia and bleach. While the branding for green cleaning products tends to be nature-inspired, Society has teamed with FAY Design to instead produce brightly-coloured, patterned packaging with the ambition that consumers won’t hide the products under the sink.

Operating a membership model, Society invites customers to pay a yearly fee of $99 (£75.81, €86.28) in order to purchase the products at cost price, for example a non-toxic counter spray at $4.99 (£3.82, €4.35). ‘We think of ourselves as a mashup of Trader Joe’s and Costco, but online,’ says cofounder Nandeet Mehta.

In order to drive awareness of the brand, Society has launched an Indiegogo campaign offering lifetime membership and starter packages. The brand is championing the concept of Accessible Premium by bringing natural, more considered products to the masses.

Bumble wants to empower India's women

India – The dating app is making its Indian debut with a version that both empowers and protects the nation's women.

Bumble, which launched in 2014 as an antidote to the male-dominated nature of dating apps, has enlisted actress and philanthropist Priyanka Chopra as an investor and brand advisor in order to reach more young Indian women.

Owing to cultural stigma, the nation's women have so far been reluctant to experiment with dating apps, meaning that Indian men using dating apps far outnumber women. As a female-driven app in which women are in control to make first contact, Bumble hopes to change this, offering features that prioritise women’s safety, such as the option to only show their first initial – rather than full name – on their profile.

The expansion comes a week after Tinder launched a feature called My Move in India, which allows women to prevent men from initiating a conversation. Earlier this year, Tinder released a campaign for the Indian market that turned the swiping patterns of a young woman into a Bollywood-inspired dance.

At a time when issues of consent and attitudes to online dating are evolving, apps must consider the social paradigms of their markets to ensure they implement features that put safety and empowerment first.

Pooja Mor, Instagram

Gemfields promotes responsible jewellery mining

Every Piece Unique, Gemfields

London – The latest campaign by the coloured gemstone miner uses movement and dance to boldly visualise its CSR (corporate social responsibility) practices.

The film is set after hours in a modern art gallery, with sculptures that come to life, each representing an element of Gemfields’ sustainable values. For example, an emerald and ruby female form embodies the transparency of the gemstones it mines, while a Baobab tree reflects how the company reduces impact on its mining sites and maintains biodiversity.

The Every Piece Unique campaign was created to drive greater understanding of the effort Gemfields undertakes to ensure responsible sourcing of emeralds and rubies from its mines in Zambia and Mozambique.

By using the medium of film – rather than simply listing its CSR efforts on a website – companies such as Gemfields and Stella McCartney are drawing attention to their positive practices in a more creative way.

Stat: The future potential for scan-and-go retail

A new study by Juniper Research, entitled Future Stores & the Retailers Building Them, explores how technology is infiltrating the store. It found that smart checkout technology, which includes mobile scan-and-go as well as frictionless payment stores like Amazon Go, are expected to process over $45bn (£35bn, €39bn) in transactions by 2023.

The study highlights the potential for self-scanning apps as an alternative to ambitious ‘Just Walk Out’ technology, estimating that 32m shoppers will be using these apps by 2023. Juniper also names French grocery store Carrefour as the most technologically-advanced store in the world, deploying tools such as facial recognition that competitors are just beginning to pilot.

For more on how invisible, seamless technology should be built into the foundations of future brick-and-mortar retail spaces, read our macrotrend Storefront Salvation.

Thought-starter: Could AI help us beat our bad habits?

From over-eating to spending that negatively impacts the environment, could AI help to identify our bad habits and encourage us to do better? Writer Becky Waller-Davies questions the opportunities.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms have infiltrated the way we live. But it hasn’t yet been used to funnel down the possibilities – to nudge us towards the most beneficial option while governing our compulsions. Essentially, approximating our willpower.

I believe AI could keep our worst impulses in check by identifying our negative habits and prompting us to take a more constructive path. For example, if AI was able to project the health and wellbeing impact of our current behaviours, it has the potential to positively influence and shape our future selves.

But before we deliver our destinies into AI’s algorithmic hands, we need to consider the potential dangers of outsourcing our decision-making in this way. For example, what effect could it have on our personal development? In the bestseller Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength it's argued that willpower is like a muscle that needed exercise to grow stronger. Essentially, it is crucial that we – as humans – develop our own.

Read the full Opinion piece here.

Workbays Village by ECAL and Vitra, Switzerland
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