News 29.11.2019

Need to Know

A phone case that proposes an entirely new way of typing, fashion brands line up for Circulose and Gen Z shoppers are going physical this Black Friday.

This alternative chocolate is made from insects

Future Chocolate by Jisun Kim
Future Chocolate by Jisun Kim
Future Chocolate by Jisun Kim

UK – Future Chocolate imagines how edible insects could enhance the chocolate experience.

Designed by South Korean designer and Kingston School of Art graduate Jisun Kim, the conceptual project aims to change current protein sources. She has created a minimalist and visually driven series of five chocolate truffles in geometric form that contain 10% insect powder.

With edible insect powder considered one of the most sustainable meat substitutes of the future, Kim hopes the project will encourage people to become accustomed to eating insects. Experimental yet elegant packaging could play a part in this, with Future Chocolate displayed using translucent acrylic supports inspired by the form of insects, housed in minimalist ceramic boxes reminiscent of their cocoons.

Innovations in the chocolate industry are plentiful, with brands and disruptors experimenting with healthier treats, global flavours and sustainable solutions.

TypeCase is a tactile keyboard for the differently abled

TypeCase by Dougie Mann TypeCase by Dougie Mann
TypeCase by Dougie Mann TypeCase by Dougie Mann

UK – The phone case design features an adaptive keyboard with just five buttons, instead of 50.

TypeCase can be hooked up to a smartphone via a customised case and helps amputees and visually impaired people use their phones more easily. To do this, it uses five larger buttons located around the edge of the case, which can be used in different combinations to communicate all 26 letters of the alphabet.

This allows users to type on their phone one-handed, making the design ideal for amputees, stroke victims and people with hemiplegia. For the visually impaired, TypeCase designer Dougie Mann has developed haptic feedback for improved sending and receiving of text messages. By re-introducing tactility to smartphones, it also offers visually impaired people a discreet alternative to more stigmatising voice technology.

As well as developing an entirely new way to type – a far cry from the smooth, touchscreen surfaces plugged by technology brands over the years – TypeCase is tapping into the design cues of Implicit Inclusivity.

Circulose is a new fabric made with recovered cotton

Sweden – Sustainable materials company Re:newcell has developed a new, eco-friendly fabric.

Using a patented process, the company strips down worn out clothes that contain cellulose – such as cotton and viscose – turning the pulped fibres into Circulose, a new form of biodegradable material for fashion garments.

Due to be launched in early 2020, the material reduces reliance on virgin cotton, oil production and tree harvesting, in turn using less water, fewer chemicals and emitting less CO2 than traditional material production. Re:newcell can reportedly produce 7,000 tons of biodegradable Circulose pulp a year – the equivalent of about 30m T-shirts by weight. ‘We know it’s a drop in the ocean – the textile industry produces millions of tons of dissolving pulp every year – but it’s a drop that sends ripples that can change the fashion industry,’ reads its website.

According to the company, more than 50 global brands are ready to begin using Circulose, helping to drive forward the organisation’s ambitions to upcycle one billion garments a year by 2030. In this way, the company is actively pursuing the transformative future of materials, further explored in our Material Far Futures report.

Circulose by Re:newcell

Stat: Gen Z are swapping digital for physical this Black Friday

While today’s youth are increasingly post-materialist, many are planning to shop big on Black Friday this year, according to new US data from Snapchat. The photo-sharing app found that members of Generation Z are 17% more excited about Black Friday and Cyber Monday than traditional Snapchat users.

Although the younger generation are largely considered digital natives, Snapchat discovered that these consumers still value the in-store retail experience – more than 70% of Generation Z Snapchat users plan to shop in-store on Black Friday. ‘Gen Z are the most mobile generation from start to finish,’ says Luke Kallis, vice-president of adviser solutions at Snap Inc. ‘What’s exciting about that is you have this opportunity to engage with people from a spontaneous standpoint or drive them in-store.’

For more on the opportunities in physical retail for this highly discerning and experiential generation, watch out for our upcoming Market.

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