Need to Know
28 : 03 : 19

Starbucks trials compostable cups, Apple doubles down on original entertainment and luxury brands tap into outdoor adventures.

Equal Lens champions women photographers

Equal Lens

Global – New platform Equal Lens is on a mission to promote women photographers in a bid to redress the gender imbalance in commercial photography.

Created by Jaki Jo Hannan, a producer at Adam&EveDDB, the platform is a response to the fact that women accounted for less than 25% of those represented on the books of 70 leading commercial photography agents.

It was launched with work by 100 women photographers across categories such as conceptual, fashion, humour, sport and technology. ‘We are calling for agencies to pledge to include women and men in every photographers list. We are encouraging clients and agencies to request and produce inclusive lists. And to make these lists easier, we are championing the work of women photographers on our website and beyond,’ reads a statement from Equal Lens.

In due course, the initiative will expand with mentoring programmes and portfolio reviews for female photographers. For more on the brands and individuals rewriting narratives around gender and career progression, explore our Female Futures vertical.

Warner Music Group signs an AI to a record deal

Endel Endel
Endel Endel

Berlin – This year, audio start-up Endel will release 20 algorithm-powered albums to help listeners sleep, focus and relax.

Endel is an audio eco-system and iOS app that creates personalised, adaptive sound experiences that can improve health, wellbeing and mood. In partnership with the Warner Brothers Group’s Arts Music division, Endel will release a series of albums in the form of one-hour soundscapes which will be available on streaming platforms.

The algorithm-powered technology uses neuroscience and creates tailor-made customised sound frequencies based on personal inputs such as weather, location and heart rate. According to Dmitry Evgrafov, co-founder of Endel, the albums are essentially made just by pressing one button.

The future of entertainment will not only be driven by algorithms, but will merge with the wellbeing sector, helping to alleviate our everyday stresses.

Starbucks trials cups tailored to local recycling

Seattle – The global coffee brand is continuing its sustainability drive with the roll-out of greener take-away cups that can be recycled in local facilities.

Customers in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver and London will be part of the trial, testing different cups that will be both recyclable and compostable in those municipalities’ facilities, demonstrating Starbucks’ understanding of the varying degrees of recycling and availability of these services in different countries.

The materials and technologies used for the trial cups are drawn from the winners of Starbucks’ NextGen Cup Challenge, which was designed to advance the brand’s transition to a more circular economy and its commitment to double the recycled content, recyclability and the re-usability of its cups by 2022.

Increasingly, brands and retailers are exploring more recyclable and compostable packaging for their products, in order to reduce reliance on raw materials and reduce waste and carbon emissions. Explore the food brands turning their carbon-offsetting efforts into educational and marketing campaigns in our microtrend Climate-positive Foods.

Starbucks Recyclable and Compostable Cups

Apple TV+ is new storytelling experience

Apple TV Plus

California – The streaming service has tapped some of the biggest names in Hollywood to produce original content.

The ad-free service, which will be launched in 100 countries later in 2019, will focus on original programming in collaboration with celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell and Jennifer Aniston.

Apple is also doubling down on its Apple TV app, which lets customers pay for shows from studios such as HBO and Showtime without switching between apps. ‘We designed a new tv experience where you can pay for only the channels you want, all in one app, with the password you already have,’ says Apple’s Peter Stern.

As more corporations take on the entertainment monopoly of Netflix, in a concurrent counter-movement anti-establishment streaming services are appearing on the web that aim to challenge these hegemonies.

Stat: Cannabis is driving job creation in the US

The number of people employed by the cannabis industry in the US grew 44% in 2018, according to a new report by cannabis website Leafly and consultancy firm Whitney Economics.

This growth, which equates to just under 65,000 jobs, makes the legal cannabis trade the fastest-growing job sector in the US at present, with an estimated 200,000 people working full-time in the industry.

With 10 US states legalising recreational marijuana and more likely to follow, cannabis demand is likely to continue across North America. In turn, an increasing number of mainstream brands and retailers are exploring the opportunities brought by cannabis, in particular for CBD-based products. Read our new Market to find out more about the brands spearheading CBD in the luxury sector.

Thought-starter: Are luxurians embracing their primitive side?

Foresight writer Holly Friend investigates the affluent consumers who are swapping safaris and skiing for extreme outdoor experiences, turning to luxury brands to help boost their resilience.

The Future Laboratory’s Luxury Index describes how luxury lifestyles are increasingly aligned with access to nature, reconnecting with the earth and sea through bespoke experiences that engage the mind, body and brain. But while affluent consumers have long enjoyed outdoor activities that provide a level of safety and contentment, an increasing number are chasing the primitive, raw nature of the great outdoors.

Members’ club The Assemblage – a space for affluent New Yorkers to explore their spirituality – offers members access to its nature reserve The Sanctuary. The retreat is based in upstate New York, not far from the Woodstock festival site, and encourages off-grid activities such as camping, hiking and biking.

While outdoors-inspired collections of hiking boots and puffer jackets were once sent down runways for pure aesthetic value, modern and traditional luxury brands are recognising the opportunity to cater for this active consumer with apparel that is both functional and fashionable. Spanish label Loewe has honoured this with permanent men’s collection Eye/Loewe/Nature – a play on ‘I love nature’ – featuring parkas constructed with technical, water-repellent materials.

Read more about The Elevated Outdoors here.

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