On steps up with 35% lighter hiking boots
Switzerland – The performance brand has unveiled the Cloudrock Waterproof hiking shoe in response to a growing interest in outdoor activities.
On, which is known for its lightweight running shoes, released the hiking boot as part of its expansion from urban running to hiking. With many of the same benefits as its running counterpart, the boot is 35% lighter than similar styles on the market and has ‘unparalleled grip for any and every terrain’.
‘Though road running is at the core of On, its expansion into trail running and hiking made perfect sense,’ co-founder David Allemann told Dezeen. ‘On’s home in the Swiss Alps provides the perfect testing ground to inspire, create and deliver the best innovation in performance outdoor gear.’
For many urban dwellers, nature is becoming the ultimate luxury. To see how high-end brands can enter the burgeoning Elevated Outdoors market, read our microtrend.
Marks & Spencer store design brings fresh produce to the fore
Hempstead Valley – The retailer’s new layout is designed to appeal to families by embodying ‘the soul of a fresh market’.
The supermarket group is transforming the Food Hall in its Hempstead Valley branch from 9,500 square feet to 16,900 square feet. As well as increasing the amount of baked and frozen goods available, Marks & Spencer will introduce 50% more fresh produce and 40% more loose varieties of fruit and vegetables. Plastic packaging has been removed from its baked goods to emphasise the sensory experience of sustainability.
Store manager Suzi Price explained in a press release that a greengrocer would also be available in-store to ‘weigh items [and] provide tips on how to preserve fresh produce and prevent food waste at home’.
As consumer concern for the environment grows, the desire for less plastic packaging is driving innovation in packaging-free retail concepts.
Google adds an augmented reality layer to its maps
Global – The technology giant’s new map feature offers augmented reality (AR) directions.
The new feature is activated when the user holds his or her phone up and selects Live View in Google Maps, which connects to their camera. Users then see an overlay of giant arrows that direct them to their selected destination. The feature aims to help people better orientate themselves in the moment, but in a bid to encourage independent wayfinding, the app prompts users to put down their phones and eventually dims their screen if they look at them for too long. The feature is also available on Android devices that support ARCore or iPhones that include ARKit.
This feature is one of the latest in Google’s series of upgrades designed to become a one-stop-shop for travel, allowing users to track flights and book hotels.
As technologies such as AR and VR become more ubiquitous, we explore the future of a Programmable Reality in our macrotrend.
These charity ads help to alleviate eco-guilt
UK – The Marine Conservation Society (MSC) is inviting people to donate money every time they forget their re-usable bags, bottles and cups.
The campaign, created by BBH, will run via social media and on billboards across the UK. Featuring single-use plastic items floating in water, including a carrier bag, takeaway coffee cup and plastic water bottle, the ads encourage viewers to ‘Donate your Guilt’ by texting FORGET to donate £3 ($3.62, €3.26) to the charity.
While many environmental campaigns try to reach consumers with a tone of martyrism, MSC is acknowledging that those with sustainable intentions are only human. ‘This is our swear box for the oceans,’ says director of fundraising and marketing Mike Crossley. ‘We want to help change people’s habits. We think that asking people for a small donation when they’re feeling guilty will help them remember the next time they leave home.’
To see how brands can encourage sustainable purchasing behaviour among a relatively selfish generation, read our interview with Dr Daniel Benkendorf.
Stat: The smart adaptive shoe market is set to boom
Global – The global smart shoe market is forecast to grow in value from £94.3m ($115.3m, €103.3m) in 2018 to £182.8m ($223.4m, €200.2m) by 2026.
According to Allied Market Research, the market for self-lacing or GPS-enabled footwear will expand at a CAGR of 9.1% during this period. The smart shoe segment – those that are digitally connected, have automatic fit adjustment, or sensors for monitoring navigation, steps and calories burned – is led by sales in North America at present owing to high consumer interest in wearables.
Clothing is becoming more intelligent and adaptive to cater for continually changing consumer needs and physical capabilities.. Read our Automated Apparel microtrend for insight into this growing market.
Thought-starter: Are homeware shoppers spoilt for choice?
Overwhelmed by choice, Millennials are opting for a more streamlined, limited approach to homeware shopping.
Paint shopping has long been a protracted part of decorating a house. Now, direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are simplifying the process and infusing the act of painting with enjoyment. Clare, for example, offers a curated selection of eco-conscious paints alongside a fuss-free buying experience. The brand encourages customers to complete an online quiz to narrow down the choice from the 55 colours available.
Known for their non-committal attitude to ownership, Millennials are also seeking basic homeware options that ensure their furniture does not quickly become outdated. To reach this generation, home furnishing retailer Resident has launched the streamlined furniture brand Bundle. The DTC brand was launched with just two seating options: a simple sofa available in four colourways and a beanbag.
Eco-friendly options are also filtering into the anti-choice movement, reflecting the increasingly sustainable values of today’s home-owners. Buffy, a company known for its ultra-soft comforter duvet The Cloud, has launched its second ever option, a duvet made entirely of eucalyptus pulp.
Read the Anti-choice Homeware listicle here.