News 26.02.2019

Need to Know

Prada creates a new brand touchpoint with official Spotify channel, Tide moves into on-demand laundry services and what’s driving e-commerce sales growth.

Borrn is a baby bottle for eco-conscious parents

Borrn by Blond, London
Borrn by Blond, London
Borrn by Blond, London

London – Creative studio Blond has designed a baby bottle that focuses on the needs of the parent as well as the child.

The Borrn bottle claims to be one of the most hygienic bottles on the market, comprising a medical-grade silicone interior. Not only does this mean it can withstand extreme temperatures and be sterilised as much as needed, but it can even be passed down to a sibling or another child, reducing the plastic waste associated with baby bottles.

‘Essentially, the product can grow with the child,’ Blond director James Melia told Dezeen. ‘When the time does come to dispose of the product, Borrn will be offering a returns service. [We] will dismantle and recycle each component.’ The bottle also shuns gendered colours and babyish aesthetics and instead opts for a neutral design inspired by homeware, part of its effort to appeal to Millennial parents.

Amid the rise of eco-friendly toys for children, there is an opportunity for brands to explore other sustainable baby products as more parents become aware of the environmental impact of raising a child.

Ikea tackles indoor pollution with air-purifying textiles

Gunrid curtains by Ikea Gunrid curtains by Ikea
Gunrid curtains by Ikea Gunrid curtains by Ikea

Sweden – The home goods retailer has developed a curtain that breaks down common pollutants and cleans indoor air.

Designed as an affordable solution to household pollution, Ikea’s textile innovation has been used to create the Gunrid curtain. The technology involves coating fabric with a mineral-based photocatalyst that, when activated by light, removes volatile organic compounds in the air, including odours and formaldehyde – which can be emitted from carpets and pressed wood furniture. According to the brand, the coating has the potential to be applied to any textile.

‘We wanted to create a simple, convenient and affordable way to clean air that wouldn’t take up much space in people’s homes,’ says product developer Mauricio Affonso. ‘We were also curious about creating a product that is multi-functional and which would help break down air pollutants that many air purifiers leave behind.’

Air quality is becoming a key consumer concern, with the combined effects of ambient and indoor air pollution causing about 7m premature deaths every year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). For more on the innovations tackling pollution, explore our Smog Life vertical.

Prada’s new brand touchpoint is a Spotify channel

Global – The luxury fashion house has created an official Spotify profile as a new way for consumers to interact with and immerse themselves in the Prada brand.

Offering a mix of classical, contemporary and electronic music, the channel was launched with seven playlists, each inspired by a fictional character from the brand’s current spring/summer 2019 campaign. Among the artists featured are Giorgio Moroder, Sonic Youth, Hawkwind and Philip Glass. The campaign’s original score by French musician Frédéric Sanchez is also featured, supported by a series of short films and accompanying stills featuring models that double as film posters.

For brands, music can be a valuable tool for differentiation. By using music to build brand sentiment, Prada is allowing consumers to access and immerse themselves in its luxury identity without having to buy its products. We explore why music is essential to brand experiences in our recent interview with the Rob Wood, creative director of Music Concierge.

Prada on Spotify

Tide introduces an on-demand laundry service

Introducing Tide Cleaners, US

US – The detergent brand plans to double the size of Tide Cleaners, its out-of-home laundry offering, by asking consumers where it should open next.

With the aim of bringing the service to more than 2,000 sites across the US by 2020, Tide is asking consumers and business-owners to request new locations via a microsite. The locations will include drop-box lockers inside high-rise apartment buildings, offices and retail locations such as supermarkets, vans parked on student campuses and 24-hour stand-alone stores. Customers can pre-pay for laundry through an app, drop it off in the lockers and receive a notification when it is ready for pick-up.

‘Whether you’re one of the millions of people living in a high-rise apartment building or you’re juggling college classes, we know taking care of your clothes may not always be convenient,’ says Sundar Raman, vice-president of North American fabric care at Tide parent company Procter & Gamble.

As explored in our macrotrend Subconscious Commerce, product-driven businesses like Tide are exploring on-demand services in order to create a more intimate relationship with consumers.

Stat: Online sales of groceries and CPG continue to grow

Consumer confidence in e-commerce is growing. In 2018, US online purchases increased by more than 35%, according to a survey conducted by IRI. ‘Millennial and Generation X consumers are more at ease with online purchases than older generations, and as e-commerce becomes more of a routine, those shoppers are migrating offline efforts to save money,’ said Joan Driggs, vice-president of content and thought-leadership for IRI.

While non-food items such as personal care and home products lead online sales, grocery e-commerce now accounts for 4% of total e-commerce sales. Owing to convenience, the report highlights that 38% of shoppers prefer to order food online and collect from the store, reducing the friction of in-store shopping and allowing them to avoid shipping fees. As innovations in autonomous vehicles and mobile retail units develop, they will further drive grocery e-commerce by transforming last-mile delivery.

Thought-starter: How can shoe brands be more sustainable?

Following in the footsteps of fashion, deputy foresight editor Kathryn Bishop explores how the shoe industry is embracing sustainability, not only through materials and assembly, but also through far-reaching communications.

‘There are more than 20bn pairs of shoes manufactured each year, emitting 700m metric tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere,’ explains Tim Brown, co-founder of sustainable footwear brand Allbirds. ‘The footwear industry [hasn’t] undergone significant changes for almost a century, relying primarily on synthetics and cheap leathers.’

Following reports by Nielsen that 41% of consumers are willing to open their wallets for organic products, an increasing number of footwear brands are making sustainable material development part of their internal R&D. Several are developing compounds that reveal new directions in how plant-based fibres can be re-engineered for sustainable footwear. One example, US-based eco-footwear label Allbirds, has spent almost three years developing SweetFoam, its proprietary, carbon-negative material for the soles of shoes.

Explore the Sustainable Footwear Market here.

Stella McCartney Loop Lab, UK
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