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Air pollution is disproportionately affecting US minorities, Virgil Abloh’s vision of the future home and consumers want longer-lasting fashion.

The Audo is a design HQ and guesthouse

The Audo by Menu, Copenhagen
The Audo by Menu, Copenhagen
The Audo by Menu, Copenhagen

Copenhagen – Homeware brand Menu has revamped its headquarters to include a consumer-facing boutique hotel.

Designed by Norm Architects, The Audo is a hybrid space, comprising 10 guest rooms, a café, co-working space and concept store. Kitted out with Menu’s furniture and homeware offering, The Audo acts as a showroom that ‘reflects the rapidly changing intersection of home, work and hospitality in a single, community-building universe’.

The intimate loft-style hotel rooms feature beds by Dux and unique furnishings from local designers. For example, room six features ceramics by Sofia Tufvasson and Bente Hansen. According to the company, the room designs will constantly evolve, as will the concept store’s theme, while the restaurant will experiment with different gastronomical directions in order to show that visiting The Audo is not a one-time-only experience.

The Audo is another example of how retail brands can enter the hospitality space to reposition their furniture as a service.

An entertainment platform for entrepreneurs

Mailchimp Presents Mailchimp Presents
Mailchimp Presents Mailchimp Presents

Atlanta – All-in-one marketing platform Mailchimp has launched Mailchimp Presents, which it describes as a business entertainment platform.

Aimed at entrepreneurs and small business owners, the new platform was launched with more than 50 original series, films and podcasts. The free, exclusive content is a mix of original productions, licensing agreements and creative partnerships with production companies. Tapping into a growing market for content that reflects the experience of starting and growing a business, its programming aims to tackle universal themes such as imposter syndrome.

‘It’s become clear to us that for all of their independent mindedness, entrepreneurs share the thread of common experience, no matter who or where they are,’ explains Sarita Alami, production lead of Mailchimp Presents. ‘That’s the lens that we’re using as we create this work.’ Productions include a podcast series called Going Through It, featuring interviews with Hillary Clinton and other women about pivotal moments in their lives, and Wi-Finders, a docu-series about the digital nomads who can work anywhere in the world with a wireless connection.

For more on the evolving entertainment landscape, read our listicle on alternative streaming platforms.

Minorities in the US have greater exposure to pollution

US – A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that black and Hispanic people are disproportionately exposed to air pollution.

The study, headed by Christopher W Tessum and a team of engineers and economists, has concluded that pollution inequity exists in the US. The researchers found that white people and those of other races experience about 17% less air pollution exposure than is caused by their consumption. However, black and Hispanic people inhale 56% and 63% more, respectively – greater exposure relative to their consumption.

The researchers measured fine particulate matter, which can be easily inhaled and lodged into the lungs and have been found to cause cardiovascular problems. According to the World Health Organization, air pollution causes an estimated 7m extra deaths worldwide per year.

To defeat this inequality, brands have an opportunity to create inclusive solutions that will ensure all urban residents can live without toxic air pollution. To find out how, visit our Smog Life vertical.

Grime Goes Green by Clean Air Now, London

Virgil Abloh and Vitra envisage the future home

Twentythirtyfive by Virgil Abloh and Vitra
Twentythirtyfive by Virgil Abloh and Vitra
Twentythirtyfive by Virgil Abloh and Vitra

Germany – The American designer and entrepreneur has teamed up with the Swiss furniture brand to create a vision of the home in 2035.

The collaboration is the latest in Vitra’s series of experimental projects exploring both social issues and design topics. According to the brand, Vitra approached Abloh with the aim of targeting a younger generation of consumers. The result is Twentythirtyfive, an exhibition at Zaha Hadid’s Fire Station on the Vitra Campus in Germany.

The two-part installation delves into the brand’s archive and explores the changing relationship between an adolescent protagonist and his home surroundings. The first section, Past/Present, re-imagines many of Vitra’s most iconic products as objects that appeal to young consumers, while part two looks ahead to imagine the first home of a young adult in 2035. Reflecting on changes in the way we live and work, this section – Tomorrow – considers how furniture will develop over the next 16 years.

To learn about the ideas and innovations that will shape the future of the home until 2030 and beyond, explore our dedicated Far Futures vertical.

Stat: Consumers want brands to create longer-lasting clothes

Concerns over the sustainability of the fashion industry are changing consumers’ relationships with their clothing. According to an online survey commissioned by e-commerce and retail artificial intelligence platform Nosto, more than half of consumers in the UK and US try to keep their clothes longer because it’s better for the environment. However, survey results revealed a gap between men (52%) and women (60%) in this category.

Further results show that consumers believe fashion retailers should focus on making clothes that are designed to last longer (71%), using renewable and recyclable materials (73%) and providing fair pay and good working conditions for employees (74%). As consumers become more mindful about their purchases, apps such as Save Your Wardrobe are streamlining apparel consumption and helping brands to extend the shelf life of their products.

Thought-starter: Can luxury jewellers inspire ethical purchases?

Caroline Scheufele, artistic director and co-president of the Swiss luxury jeweller Chopard, on the positive impact of ethical sourcing for consumers and employees.

Chopard has recently pledged to use only fully traceable gold sourced through Fairmined suppliers and schemes backed by the Responsible Jewellery Council. ‘We are proud to have reached a serious milestone in July 2018, when we achieved the use of 100% ethical gold for the production of all our watches and jewellery,’ says Scheufele.

She notes the great interest in traceability and sustainability in the luxury jewellery sector. ‘This is thanks to the younger generations who realise that real luxury is to know the provenance of a luxury item. When they talk about luxury, many customers nowadays want to be sure that they are buying products that were manufactured under the best possible working conditions and with social responsibility.’

Scheufele also notes that Chopard’s product prices are not affected by its transparency push. ‘From the beginning of the journey to sustainability, we made the choice to absorb the difference in price, so customers will not pay more. This was a priority.’

Look out for the full Q&A this week.

Fairmined gold by Chopard
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