Need to Know
24 : 01 : 19

WhatsApp tackles the spread of fake news, Pixar spotlights its in-house talent and why hotels are swapping technology for books.

Adidas upcycles shoes into home furnishings

Stripped Down Stripes by Simone Post, I:CO and Adidas Stripped Down Stripes by Simone Post, I:CO and Adidas
Stripped Down Stripes by Simone Post, I:CO and Adidas Stripped Down Stripes by Simone Post, I:CO and Adidas
Stripped Down Stripes by Simone Post, I:CO and Adidas Stripped Down Stripes by Simone Post, I:CO and Adidas

Germany – The sportswear brand partnered with designer Simone Post to find innovative ways to upcycle old footwear.

Providing worn-out shoes with a second life, Adidas and Post worked with German company I:CO, which collects used clothing and shoes and recycles them into rubber pellets. Taking these raw materials, Post was able to divide the pellets into black and white tones to create a graphic rug.

While the distinctive striped pattern ensures the rug emulates Adidas' brand identity, flecks of colour from the old sports shoes can be found within the pattern. While the rugs are currently at prototype stage, Post hopes to open up the possibilities for other products to be created from recycled footwear.

The market for upcycling is booming in homeware as well as fashion, as a circular mindset drives brands to explore repurposed materials for use in new products.

Vegan Fashion Week to tackle industry challenges

Vegan Fashion Week, Los Angeles Vegan Fashion Week, Los Angeles
Vegan Fashion Week, Los Angeles Vegan Fashion Week, Los Angeles

Los Angeles – The world's first Vegan Fashion Week (VFW) promises to unite creativity and activism, boosting awareness of ethical apparel from around the world.

Debuting in Los Angeles on 1 February, the four-day event will elevate ethical fashion and conscious brands through a series of runway shows, exhibitions, talks and panels. VFW's theme, ‘Facing Our Time’, will address the challenges of climate change, alongside animal rights, social justice and circular design.

‘I want to ignite conversations and debates within the industry by educating, elevating and drawing connections between our most important values; our respect for human life, animal rights, and the environment,’ says Emmanuelle Rienda, creator of VFW.

Highlights will include a talk by climate scientist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Robert Lempert and a capsule collection of high-end, cruelty-free designer pieces.

Driven by shifts in perception and changing consumer habits, the event demonstrates how cruelty-free is being repositioned as a new marker of luxury. For more on fashion's vegan future, read our Synthetic Leather market.

WhatsApp wants to curb the spread of fake news

Global – The messaging app is limiting how many times a user can forward a message, in an attempt to reduce the spread of misinformation and rumours.

Previously, WhatsApp’s 1.5 billion users could forward a message to 20 individuals or groups. But following concern that the platform has been used to spread fake news, manipulated photos, videos without context and audio hoaxes, the service has now introduced a five-recipient limit for forwarded content.

While fake news has made headlines in the US, false information circulated via WhatsApp has been linked to political propaganda elsewhere in the world. The five-person limit has been in place in India since July 2018 after rumours of kidnappings spread by users were linked to deaths and lynching attempts. Two years ago, WhatsApp was regarded as a trusted media source, however by updating this policy to a global scale, it's now demonstrating moral accountability for its platform.

Whatsapp, Global Whatsapp, Global

Pixar creates a storytelling platform for employees

Pixar SparkShorts

US – SparkShorts is an experimental new platform that draws ideas and plot lines from the imaginations of Pixar’s wider workforce.

The initiative provides employees from all facets of the business with dedicated time to work on personal short film projects. With the help of animators, Pixar is encouraging its staff to tell stories – real or imaginary – that wouldn’t typically be represented by the studio’s feature films. Among the shorts already created are Wired, about a ball of pink yarn that lands a job at a male-centric start-up, and Loop, which follows an autistic girl and chatty boy on a canoeing trip.

The films will be available on Pixar’s YouTube channel and Disney’s forthcoming streaming platform. ‘The SparkShorts programme is designed to discover new storytellers, explore new storytelling techniques, and experiment with new production workflows,’ says Jim Morris, Pixar’s general manager.

By gifting employees with the time, budget and facilities to create their own film, Pixar is showcasing how much it values the talent and inspiration that can be drawn from its wider team. For more on the changing values of work, explore our Far Futures vertical.

Stat: Teenage girls are driving poetry’s resurgence

Sales of poetry hit an all-time high in 2018, thanks to a revival of interest among teens. According to figures from UK sales monitor Nielsen BookScan, demand for poetry grew by just over 12% last year, with two-thirds of buyers younger than 34 years, and 41% aged between 13 and 22.

Poets such as 26-year-old Rupi Kaur are leading bestsellers' lists with short, Insta-friendly verse that explores feminism, love and social upheaval. ‘Poetry is resonating with people who are looking for understanding. It is a really good way to explore complex, difficult emotions and uncertainty,’ Andre Breedt, Nielsen’s director of book research, tells The Guardian.

As explored in our macrotrend Anxiety Rebellion, reading is just one outlet that Generation Z are using to offload their anxieties about the world.

Thought-starter: Can books elevate luxury hospitality?

Increasing the provision of the printed page is fast usurping technology as smart hoteliers’ core entertainment offer, writes Peter Maxwell.

With a growing awareness of the value of digital desaturation, many hotels are reviving a part of their offer once thought permanently defunct – the hotel library.

This makes perfect sense given that the library is a surprisingly common presence in many younger consumers’ lives. Pew Research Center reports that Millennials are the most likely generation in the US to use such institutions. Having a good book list is therefore key for any hospitality brand keen to provide a home from home.

The University Arms hotel in Cambridge – recently re-opened after a two-year refurbishment – is inspired by the city’s literary connections. All rooms contain a selection of clothbound classic novels, while each of the suites is named after a famous author that attended the neighbouring university.

For more on hospitality's literary future, read the full microtrend here.

Eaton DC, Washington DC, photography by Jennifer Hughes Eaton DC, Washington DC, photography by Jennifer Hughes