Need to Know
03 : 01 : 19

Lab-grown steak will come to market within two years, a spray-on membrane could revolutionise beauty, Generation Z expect their gender identity to fluctuate over time.

The PANGAIA collective goes all in on ethical fashion

Pangaia, New York
Pangaia, New York
Pangaia, New York

New York – The collective and fashion brand aims to create a global open-source platform for the latest eco-solutions.

PANGAIA is made up of scientists, technologists, artists and designers who are working together to create sustainable clothing made from renewable resources and lab-grown materials. Its first collection is a range of bio-based and recycled wardrobe essentials, including t-shirts, tracksuits and puffer jackets.

Committed to a zero-waste circular system, PANGAIA considers its environmental impact in all elements of the customer experience – products are sent in bio-based packaging and can be repaired or upcycled through a partnership with The Renewal Workshop. Furthermore, all garment logos and prints use a water-based PVC-free ink.

PANGAIA is an example of a brand incorporating eco-friendly values into every aspect of its business. Earlier in 2018, we spoke to Dr Daniel Benkendorf about the issue of sustainability, and why both consumers and fashion brands have been so slow to embrace it.

Aleph Farms is bringing lab-grown meat to market

Aleph Farms, Israel Aleph Farms, Israel

Israel – Food technology start-up Aleph Farms has successfully grown the world’s first slaughter-free steak, which the company claims it will bring to market within two years.

Grown using different types of living cells from a cow, the prototype mimics the texture, flavour and shape of a real beef steak, establishing a new benchmark for cell-cultured meat. Until now, one of the barriers to lab-grown meat production has been getting various cell types to grow and interact with each other in order to produce a complete tissue structure. Aleph Farms overcame this obstacle thanks to a bio-engineering platform developed with the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology).

‘The technology we developed marks a true breakthrough and a great leap forward in producing a cell-grown steak,’ says Didier Toubia, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms. As new technologies enable the successful growth of various meats, the way they are marketed will, much like fake meats, ultimately determine their success.

This sprayable skin could transform cosmetics

Japan – Kao Corporation has developed a fine fibre technology that sprays an ultra-thin membrane onto the surface of the skin.

According to the cosmetics company, the lightweight membrane moves flexibly with the skin and can enhance the use of beauty products. When make-up is worn underneath the film, it is held firmly and liquid cosmetics are evenly distributed. As a result, the film is also able to maintain the skin’s moisture.

The fine fibre is created with a technology known as electro-spinning, which is common in the non-woven fabric industry. By applying this to the beauty industry, Kao hopes to revolutionise the cosmetics application process and speed up consumers’ daily beauty routines.

As explored in our Material Far Futures report, in the coming years brands will be at the forefront of developing transformative material solutions that make their products smarter and more dynamic.

Kao Corporation

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric identification

Hertz Fast Lane powered by CLEAR

Atlanta – The car rental company is the first to use biometrics such as fingerprints and facial recognition to identify customers, allowing them to complete the rental process in seconds.

In partnership with Clear, a technology company that enables travellers to use finger, face and eye scans as forms of identification, the new Hertz Fast Lane at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will speed up the car rental process by 75%. Hertz Gold Plus Rewards members, who already have the ability to skip counter registration, will now be able to use a dedicated lane where a kiosk powered by Clear will identify them at the exit.

The new feature, which will soon be available for Hertz and Clear members in more than 40 Hertz locations, is just one example of the ways that Clear is streamlining identification for travellers, for whom speed is a priority. To find out more about how Clear is disrupting the travel sector, download our Future Forecast 2019 report.

Stat: Generation Z expect their gender to change in their lifetime

Gender identity is versatile for today’s teenagers, according to a new report by Gucci and youth thinktank Irregular Labs. The global report explored the attitudes of 2,013 young people aged between 15 and 24, and found that nearly 25% expect their gender identification to change during their lifetime. Of these young people, 45% expect their gender identity to change two or three times.

The biannual Irregular Report also includes sections on masculinity and femininity, featuring revealing quotes and short essays from young people in countries such as Nigeria, India and Venezuela. In line with our Girlswear for Boys microtrend, the report explores the notion that until now gender-neutral fashion has typically translated as females wearing men’s clothing. ‘Seeing feminine males is triggering for consumers, whereas a woman dressed in a suit or masculinely can still be taken seriously, if not more seriously,’ says 20-year-old Katya from South Africa.

As Generation Z come of age, they will make progress in breaking down the constructs of gender identity. For more on the future of identity, explore our Far Futures vertical.

Thought-starter: How can data centres be more sustainable?

As brands and governments become more aware of technology’s impact on the planet, junior creative researcher Livvy Houghton explores how they are transforming their data centres into climate-positive hubs.

From a like on Facebook to adding a song to Spotify, it is estimated that by 2020, 1.7Mb of data will be created every second for every person on Earth. As our pace of data production accelerates, the centres storing, processing and distributing our data are putting an even greater strain on the environment and climate.

The more tasks we require of servers, the more heat is generated by the machines. To overcome this, data centres have traditionally been located in remote, inland regions with lower temperatures. But brands and businesses are now exploring cooling solutions in less obvious environments. In 2018, for example, Microsoft submerged a data centre under water near the Orkney Islands off the northeast coast of Scotland.

The heat generated by data centres also represents an untapped opportunity in terms of energy capture. Already, a number of savvy brands and local government organisations are exploiting this excess energy, transforming it into a resource for communities to generate their own power.

Read the full microtrend here.

The Spark by Snøhetta in collaboration with Skanska, Asplan Viak and Nokia, Lyseparken, Norway
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