US – CrossWater is an alternative urban transport solution that allows people to cross large bodies of water autonomously.
The self-driving vehicles are visually similar to an elevator, although they move horizontally across water from one vertical platform to another. CrossWater vehicles are fully electric and powered by solar energy and batteries as a carbon-neutral solution.
While ferry travel is available in some urban areas, services are often slow and environmentally damaging. This solution hopes to empower citizens to take more journeys on foot rather than relying on cars, trains or buses. ‘We know how much value CrossWater can add to communities. It’s really a breakthrough whose time has come,’ says a spokesperson from CrossWater.
City planners will increasingly need to centre Urban Mobility solutions around sustainability, developing infrastructures that help wean consumers off car travel.
A marketplace that lets designers make the rules
Apoc Store, UK
Apoc Store, UK
UK – Apoc Store is an eco-conscious fashion platform that enables designers to curate and sell clothing at their own discretion.
Apoc Store is radically rethinking the wholesale model. Only getting involved at the point of sale and to coordinate customer service support, the platform leaves all creative decision-making to the emerging designers. Each designer chosen for the site has free rein to decide what items they want to sell on it and to photograph their designs.
With no wholesale buyers, no minimum orders and no delivery windows, the new e-retailer aims to provide a more sustainable alternative by encouraging designers to work on a pre-order or made-to-order basis. ‘Many designers and artist were looking for new ways of working and told us that what we were proposing was exactly what they were looking for,’ says Tracey Suen, co-founder of Apoc Store.
Covid-19 has highlighted the need to re-invent the unsustainable wholesale fashion model. In Agile Artisans, we explore the ways ethical fashion brands can inform the wider industry.
Ralph Lauren is selling luxe Bitmojis on Snapchat
US – The partnership aims to attract younger customers by providing a mix-and-match branded wardrobe for their digital avatars.
The 12 pieces of Ralph Lauren-branded apparel are available for Snapchat users to shop for within the Bitmoji app. Also purchasable as physical garments in-store and online, the collection marks the first range as part of a long-term partnership with Snapchat.
'Bitmoji are important vehicles of self-expression in the digital and social space. As the world of digital avatars continues to accelerate, it’s interesting for us to test and learn how audiences respond to fashion in this space,’ states Alice Delahunt, chief digital officer at Ralph Lauren.
Fashion brands are experimenting with digital garments that are accompanied by physical doubles, as explored in our In-game Fashion microtrend.
Ralph Lauren in collaboration with Snapchat and Bitmoji, US
Stat: Optimism in workplace diversity grows
Ethel’s Club, Brooklyn
A new global study by Quartz and Qualtrics reveals employees’ growing optimism about diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts in the workplace. The research reveals that almost two-thirds (61%) of the survey respondents believe their company’s D&I efforts have improved since the pandemic, with 48% of workers feeling that D&I initiatives have improved in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Despite the growing optimism, there is still some discrepancy between employees on how they view equality, with 15% of black workers expressing that their company does not treat people of all races equally, while only 2% of white workers believe the same.
The study demonstrates just how much work needs to be done by businesses to ensure they cultivate a diverse and anti-racist workplace culture. Read our recent Opinion piece to see what steps your brand can take.