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05 : 09 : 19

Timberland PRO puts its original audience in the spotlight, Apple launches an approved repairs service, and emojis are elevating human intimacy.

Cubitts crafts glasses from everyday waste

Cubitts, UK Cubitts, UK
Cubitts, UK Cubitts, UK

London – The spectacles company is experimenting with sustainable materials, using human hair, potatoes and yoghurt pots for a new collection of frames.

The Redux concept range by Cubitts comprises 10 one-off styles made with different waste materials. Although the brand typically makes its frames from cellulose acetate – a semi-synthetic plastic derived from tree pulp and cotton – it notes that its manufacturing process still has an impact on the environment.

According to the brand, the upcycled materials – which include corn husks, human hair donated by Cubitts staff and their friends and turned into a bio-resin, and old CDs – offers the same versatility as cellulose acetate. In addition, each material results in a distinctive colour scheme and texture. Although the designs are prototypes, the brand hopes these alternative materials can be developed to produce its commercial frames.

As explored in our Material Far Futures report, innovators such as Cubitts are using design to transform environmental excess into valuable new resources for the manufacturing industry.

Timberland PRO applauds America’s trade workers

Timberland Pro, Always Do, Never Done. Campaign by The Martin Agency, US

US – The footwear and apparel brand's latest campaign pays tribute to its original customer base of American trade workers and builders.

Highlighting the contributions that these workers make to communities across the US, the campaign includes a new tv ad that will run across tv, video platforms and social media. The ad, Rebuild, shows a construction worker rebuilding a home following a fire. While trade workers are essential to the US economy, projections estimate that more than 2.4m manufacturing jobs will be unfilled by 2028 (source: Deloitte).

To address this growing skills shortage, Timberland PRO has launched a supporting online resource for people who are interested in learning about careers in the building trade. ‘Our goal with the campaign is to ensure that we continue to shine a light on the skilled trade workers who are rebuilding our communities and celebrating them as heroes,’ explains Cassie Heppner, Timberland PRO director of marketing.

In the US, brands must learn to speak to the blue collar demographic, which has felt left behind by the rise of coastal elitism. For more, read our macrotrend, The American Middle.

Apple rolls out approved repairs programme

California – The technology company will soon let independent businesses perform the most common out-of-warranty iPhone repairs.

Providing an additional option for iPhone owners, the programme will mean wider repair businesses – large or small – can access genuine Apple parts, tools, training, repair manuals and diagnostics as Apple’s Authorized Service Providers (AASPs). The programme will be launched in the US and there are plans to expand to other countries. To qualify for the new programme, businesses simply need to have an Apple-certified technician who can perform the repairs.

‘To better meet our customers’ needs, we’re making it easier for independent providers across the US to tap into the same resources as our Apple Authorized Service Provider network,’ says Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. ‘When a repair is needed, a customer should have confidence the repair is done right.’

This move into approved repairs signals how the culture of newness perpetuated by technology giants is beginning to be disrupted.

Fairphone Fairphone

Stat: Emojis are altering how we communicate desire

Those who often use emojis in messages reportedly have more sex because they are better at communicating desire, according to a study by the Kinsey Institute.

The researchers found that 30% of participants in a study of 5,300 singles in the US used emojis regularly with people they were dating, with most claiming that they did so because visuals allow for better self-expression.

The researchers state that modern singles who use more emojis were more likely to secure subsequent dates and have a potential future with that person. ‘Those who used emojis more with potential partners prior to the first date were more likely to have engaged in intimate behaviour with that person, and were more likely to have established a relationship with this person,’ the researchers concluded.

With visual symbols such as emojis enabling us to communicate our emotions in alternative ways, they are helping to break down the emotional barriers that might have previously existed. For more on the effects of visual culture on consumers, read our macrotrend Gen Viz.

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