Need to Know
17 : 08 : 20

Eco-packaging disrupts the champagne market, van living for future digital nomads, and Millennials embrace gardening for mental health.

Selfridges and The Future Laboratory tackle Project Earth

Project Earth by Selfridges, London
Project Earth by Selfridges, London
Project Earth by Selfridges, London

London – Selfridges is launching a new sustainability initiative that aims to transform the state of retail by 2025.

Building on the department store’s sustainability initiatives from the past 10 years, the project addresses the materials used in products; repair and resell models; and aims to inspire mindset shifts among consumers and employees. ‘Project Earth is not only our bold, new commitment to stretching environmental targets, it is about imagining new ways to do business, within the next five years,' says Alannah Weston, group chairman at Selfridges.

The launch will also be supported by talks, takeovers and screenings, tackling topics from ethical consumerism to sustainable beauty. As part of this series, The Future Laboratory will be hosting an Instagram takeover on 8 October, discussing the future potential of Immaterial Fashion and the end of product ownership.

Chris Sanderson, chief creative officer at The Future Laboratory, comments: ‘We’re so excited to be working with Selfridges once again on an initiative that casts a spotlight on how both retailers and consumers need to share the burden of responsibility for shopping in a sustainable and environmentally aware fashion.

He adds: 'Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the way we shop, but has also made us all aware just how fragile some of our global networks are. We’re going to be sharing our latest research and analysis, from the designers looking at the next generation of fabrics, textiles and environmentally conscious, even carbon-positive design, to the importance of being focused on delivering collections that have sustainability and a concern for the planet at their heart.’

For more on innovations and actions around sustainability, explore our dedicated vertical, featuring insights from by-product beauty to circular store design.

Eco-packaging spells change for champagne

Ruinart  in collaboration with James Cropper, UK and France
Ruinart  in collaboration with James Cropper, UK and France
Ruinart in collaboration with James Cropper, UK and France Ruinart in collaboration with James Cropper, UK and France

France and UK – Champagne brand Ruinart is launching an innovative packaging concept as an alternative to gift boxes.

The brand’s ‘second skin’ design, created with manufacturer James Cropper, is made entirely from sustainably sourced paper, crafted to follow the form of the bottle’s emblematic curves. The skin is 100% recyclable after use – including its paper snap-button closure system – providing a circular alternative to traditional gift packaging.

'In the past, luxury has been associated with lots of packaging, but we think consumers are ready to embrace a more minimalist approach,’ says Ruinart chef de cave Frédéric Panaïotis. ‘We want to set an example in sustainability, and we don’t have the luxury of time, as climate change is accelerating.'

While sustainable packaging initiatives are coming to the fore across sectors, the luxury market is having to place particular emphasis on premiumisation. For another recent innovation in the luxury drinks market, see Diageo’s paper whisky bottle.

Van life could be the future of Rurban co-living

San Francisco – Kibbo is a startup positioning trailer park living as a desirable lifestyle for digital nomads.

Tapping into the rise of co-working and co-living, Kibbo proposes a new form of community for professionals who previously worked in urban areas. Offering customised vans or the opportunity to bring your own tiny home, Kibbo's parks include communal areas like club houses and gyms, as well as shared amenities such as kitchen supplies.

Current locations include Zion, Black Rock Desert and Big Sur. ‘With the pressure of months of quarantine fuelling the desire for people to get out of their expensive apartments in the city to explore nature and connect with people, we now have the opportunity to rethink how we live, work, have fun and find meaning,’ explains Kibbo founder Colin O’Donnell.

In Co-mmunity Spaces, we identify some of the ways hospitality spaces are offering hybrid retreats for both work and leisure.

Kibbo, San Francisco

Stat: Gardens are vital to Millennial mental health

Let it Grow, Thomas Traum Let it Grow, Thomas Traum

According to research by AO, consumers’ love for gardening in the UK has grown significantly during lockdown.

This trend is particularly apparent among Millennials, with 62% of this group saying that their garden has been vital to their mental wellbeing during Covid-19. While this group has shown a particular interest in tending to house plants in recent years, some 48% have been actively working on their outdoor space during the pandemic.

Considering their garden as a space for relaxation, the research also reveals some of the key features this group would like in their garden – with 41% looking for a barbecue or outdoor cooking area, and 38% seeking outdoor lighting.

Consumers are increasingly recognising the therapeutic benefits of spending time in nature, and seeking opportunities for Urban Rewilding to boost their mental health.

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