Fred Perry’s lookbook is inspired by Google Street View
UK – Shoppers can explore the Fred Perry and Raf Simons collection on anonymous models in a virtual suburb.
For the British fashion label’s latest collaboration with Belgian designer Raf Simons, it has created a digital store that mimics Google Street View. The map depicts an unspecified suburb in which anonymous individuals wear pieces from the collection. Shoppers are invited to stroll through the streets to encounter and buy pieces from the collection.
While exploring the shoppable map, customers can also discover a series of micro-narratives and hidden clues as they delve deeper into the town and its cast of characters.
Fred Perry is experimenting with new ways to elevate the e-commerce experience, transforming the path to purchase into a game that requires time and attention. For more, read our microtrend Digital Store Fronts.
Cove is a new brand of biodegradable bottled water
Los Angeles – Cove has created the first single-use bottle of water packaged with material that can fully biodegrade in the natural environment.
The bottle is made from PHA, a natural biopolymer that breaks down into CO2, water and organic matter, while producing no toxic waste. Cove estimates that its bottle, which has a six-month shelf life, will take five years to completely biodegrade. Although the packaging is designed to be composted, rather than recycled, the company hopes more recycling facilities will accept PHA in the future.
‘Cove isn’t just the next alternative bottle of water,’ says founder Alex Totterman. ‘It’s not an incremental improvement of a bad situation.’
Matt Rogers, founder of Incite.org and one of Cove’s investors, echoes this: ‘We can’t just talk about how to clean up plastic pollution. We have to focus on material innovation to replace single-use plastics from the outset.’
In our Materials Far Futures report, we consider how a new generation of materials with similarly limited lifespans can reduce the impact of single-use packaging.
CVS pilots healthcare-driven store formats
Houston – The drugstore chain is testing a new retail concept that dedicates more floor space to healthcare services.
Three new HealthHub locations offer a broader range of services, new product categories, digital tools and on-demand health kiosks, which will be further supported by advice and personalised care from staff.
With this new model, more than 20% of the store is devoted to care and services, rather than retail. In doing so, CVS is catering for Millennial consumers in the US, who are embracing non-traditional care models, such as retail clinics.
‘Our new HealthHub locations are helping to elevate the store into a convenient neighbourhood healthcare destination that brings easier access to better care at a lower cost,’ says Alan Lotvin, chief transformation officer for CVS Health. In addition to a closed-off space for yoga classes, the stores will provide nutritional health guidance led by an in-store dietitian. For more on the retailers assuming new roles as health advisers, read our Prescription Supermarkets microtrend.
An indigenous fashion brand for modern Indians
India – Consumer goods company Patanjali Ayurved is launching a fashion sub-brand for the country’s youth market.
The new brand, Patanjali Paridhan, addresses the fact that Indian fashion is largely inspired by the West, meaning there is a lack of Indian-focused clothing brands for modern consumers. To counter this, Paridhan wants to bring local fabrics and styles to the wardrobes of young people by showing that these styles are suited to Indian body types and climatic conditions.
The brand has tapped into a movement dubbed Tann Maan Dhan Indiapan, which is intended to remind the country’s youth of the rich heritage they have surrendered in the pursuit of Western fashion. ‘India was once one of the biggest exporters of clothing, textiles and styles,’ says KN Singh, the brand’s CEO. ‘Patanjali's objective, through Paridhan, is to mould the old format of dressing into the latest, more comfortable styles for Indian youth, while helping handloom corporations and weavers.’
There is a shift away from Euro-centricity in India, as the country’s Generation Z lose interest in Western culture and re-engage with their heritage through apparel.
Stat: The great financial expectations of British teenagers
British members of Generation Z may not be as pragmatic as commonly believed, according to a new survey by financial services provider OneFamily. The study found that nearly half (45%) of teenagers expect to be in their dream job before their 30th birthday – with the most desirable roles being engineers, teachers and psychologists – and 47% believe they will have bought their first home.
Furthermore, these teenagers expect to be earning £70,000 ($91,200, €80,400) by this time, which is nearly three times the average salary for a 30-year-old. ‘Many teens are expecting significantly higher than average salaries, which highlights the importance of helping them understand money,’ says Steve Ferrari, managing director of children’s savings at OneFamily. ‘Today’s teens have many life goals, so we need to encourage a savings culture to help them achieve their aspirations.’
Read our Money Market: Generation Z report to discover how brands can play a part in encouraging a healthy attitude to finances.
Thought-starter: How mainstream media is ignoring the asexual community
At a time of greater inclusivity, asexual people remain invisible in Western culture. Michael Paramo, founder of The Asexual, asks what media and entertainment brands can do better represent them.
Representation matters. It is a justifiably popular phrase given that who and what we encounter through media can shift, define and shape our identities as human beings, even if on a subconscious level. This is especially true for marginalised groups who are excluded from the mainstream or the most accessible forms of media. For asexual people, who are invisible in Western culture, media and entertainment brands play a key role in retaining a focus on the sexual.
One positive representation is the character of Todd Chavez in Bojack Horseman who portrays many affirming asexual experiences. BoJack Horseman captures the complexities of existing as an asexual individual today in American culture and the show validates Chavez’s asexuality with a story that continues in an affirming fashion.
It's promising that asexual representations are beginning to change, but there should be greater awareness that quality of representation is always more important than quantity. It's time for the mainstream media – and even other brands – to employ quality representation that truly validates those who identify as asexual.
Read the full Opinion piece here.