Need to Know
06 : 06 : 19

An innovative denim-dyeing process, an office furniture subscription service and the rise of workplace wellness schemes.

Haus is re-inventing the aperitif

Haus Haus

California – The direct-to-consumer alcohol brand aims to modernise the aperitif category with a low-abv product targeted at health-conscious Millennials.

Haus is made with all-natural ingredients including fruit, herbs and botanicals, which are sourced and bottled at the brand’s 200-acre farm in California. Its first offering, Citrus+Flower, is made with a chardonnay wine base, fortified with herbs and botanicals that have been steeped in a high-proof un-aged brandy to extract the flavours.

Because the drink is under 24% abv, the brand can bypass traditional restrictions on alcohol by selling directly to consumers. Haus is disrupting the US industry’s traditional retail distribution model by becoming the first alcohol brand to transact in this way. With its low abv, Haus also seeks to offer the benefits of alcohol without the consequences, tapping into the rise of moderation mindsets. For more, read our Low-proof Drinkers microtrend.

Mxt skincare offers 40m formulations

Mxt Mxt
Mxt Mxt

California – The brand uses hyper-personalisation to put customers in charge of their own skincare products.

With a database of more than 40m possible formulations, Mxt gives customers the option to take a quiz or mix their own formula. If they choose to take the quiz, they answer a series of questions – such as whether their skin is sensitive and how they react to scent – and let the platform’s artificial intelligence create a three-piece, custom-mixed regimen for their skin.

Those who feel confident in their Skinthusiast expertise can mix a formula themselves, using product bases, varying textures and a range of active ingredients such as charcoal, CBD and retinols. ‘Mxt is an endless stream of skincare solutions waiting for consumers to find them,’ says Jack Davies, CEO and co-founder.

As well as being vegan and cruelty-free, Mxt is showing how fresh, small-batch production methods can yield high-quality beauty products.

Wrangler’s foam dyeing reduces water usage by 99%

US – The denim brand has adopted an innovative dyeing process that minimises the need for water and chemical baths typically used in denim manufacturing.

Developed in collaboration with the Walmart Foundation and Texas Tech University, the new technique uses dry foam to apply indigo dye to fabric. According to Wrangler’s parent company VF Corporation, foam-dyeing requires just 3.5 gallons of water compared to the 400 gallons of water used in the traditional manufacturing process. Wrangler will celebrate the innovation with a 2019 collection that uses 100% foam-dyed denim.

‘As a whole, the denim industry has been criticised for the use of water in the manufacturing process,’ said Roian Atwood, the brand’s director of sustainability. ‘With this technology, we now have the tools to dramatically reduce the amount of water we use and minimise our environmental footprint.’

Explore our Fashion vertical for more on the sector’s aspiration to become more sustainable.


A subscription service for office furniture

Knotel Knotel
Knotel Knotel

New York – Workspace provider Knotel’s modular furniture line Geometry will enable employers to adapt their office design regularly.

As offices become more and more homogeneous in their design, Knotel hopes its furniture subscription service will change this. Designed by Knotel in-house, the range was previously sold to clients as part of a package deal, but the rentable service now means office interiors can be switched around whenever customers wish.

This will also result in less waste, as office furniture will no longer be discarded as interior styles or needs change, but instead will be swapped for different pieces. According to the brand, the service is ‘empowering enterprises to operate without the burden of physical ownership and providing the flexibility needed to adapt to a rapidly evolving work environment’.

Knotel is demonstrating how the concept of Furniture as a Service can also apply to workspaces, as both consumers and businesses turn away from ownership.

Stat: Workplace wellness programmes are on the rise

Workplace health schemes are increasing in the US, according to researchers at University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Public Health. The results of the Workplace Health in America (WHA) Survey show that 46.1% of workplaces in the nation offer a wellness programme, while 17% of workplaces with 50 or more employees offer comprehensive health promotion programmes.

‘Employers have an opportunity to shape work environments and work conditions in ways that support employee health,’ says Laura Linnan, lead author of the paper. ‘The WHA Survey identifies gaps in knowledge to help practitioners and researchers set the agenda for future progress in worker and workplace health.’

To learn how technology is transforming workplace wellbeing, read our interview with Parneet Pal, chief science office at Wisdom Labs.

Thought-starter: Do phygital stores still need inventory?

Brian Bolke, founder of The Conservatory, on this technology-enabled store’s strategy to assimilate the changing retail landscape.

The Conservatory is a new store in New York’s Hudson Yards that brings online shopping into the offline space. ‘I wanted to create a gallery-like environment that feels like a beautifully edited website and which exposes customers to about 50 online-only brands,’ says Bolke. ‘I didn’t think the world needed another e-commerce site, so our business model is selling discovery through curation, storytelling and service.’

To blend e-commerce and in-store experiences, customers are required to register with The Conservatory before shopping. ‘To the consumer, The Conservatory is entirely wireless. There is no inventory system, there is nothing the customer can't see,’ continues Bolke. ‘Items can be viewed online and consumers can add items to their basket, but there is no traditional cash register in the store. Instead, customers simply choose to buy online and pick up in-store or we ship to them.’

‘As technology gets better and better, I think the consumer wants to know less and less about it,’ he adds. ‘I don't think the customer wants to talk to mirrors… they don't want to check in and they don't want to go through an app.’

Read the full Q&A here.

The Conservatory, New York
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