Need to Know
25 : 08 : 20

A retail space making a political statement, a new research app for urban wellbeing, and health-conscious young Britons stock up on supplements.

A concept store that comments on deforestation

The Garden Above by Pistache Ganache, São Paulo
The Garden Above by Pistache Ganache, São Paulo
The Garden Above by Pistache Ganache, São Paulo

São Paulo – Sustainable retailer Conceito ê has opened a flagship store in response to Brazil's rising rates of deforestation.

The store's design, which pays homage to nature’s resilience, is a timely comment on the detrimental environmental impact that the Bolsonaro government has on the Amazon rainforest. By imagining how the mall could look in 100 years, design studio Pistache Ganache took inspiration from post-apocalyptic ruins.

‘The idea of nature taking over the place is the opposite concept of the present political scenario,’ says André Romitelli, partner and designer at Pistache Ganache. As the central element of the store, the garden was inspired by French gardener Gilles Clement's concept of a garden in motion. Most of the plants chosen are known as pioneer plants – hardy species which are the first to colonise previously disrupted or damaged eco-systems.

In our interview with slow retail expert Rebekah Matheny, we consider how physical retail is key to conscious consumption.

H&M creates a jacket for wearable intimacy

Wearable Love by H&M Lab, Germany Wearable Love by H&M Lab, Germany
Wearable Love by H&M Lab, Germany Wearable Love by H&M Lab, Germany

Berlin – The brand’s Wearable Love jacket turns fashion into a medium for emotions.

Created in a partnership between H&M Lab and tech wearable start-up Boltware, the denim jacket concept has flexible sensors built in to the shoulders, which give the wearer the sensation of being hugged when the sensors are activated. These sensors can be connected to an app via Bluetooth, allowing users to transfer signals to one another in order to trigger the feeling of touch.

The jacket was ideated in response to Covid-19’s social distancing measures, as many close relationships have been forced to make the transition into the virtual realm. ‘With wearable love, you can send and receive touches just as easily as messages,’ reads a statement by H&M Lab. ‘Not from anyone, of course, but from and to people with whom you have more connections than your smartphone.’

Technology has become an enabler of intimacy during the pandemic, with innovators such as H&M finding ways to translate human touch digitally. For more, read our Isolated Intimacy microtrend.

Urban Mind helps design healthier cities

Urban Minds by Sennep Urban Minds by Sennep

London – Urban Mind is a new app that gathers personal data about the effects of urban environments on mental wellbeing.

With a view to informing the design and planning of healthier cities, the app encourages people to share their experience of urban and rural spaces. King’s College London, J&L Gibbons and the arts foundation Nomad Projects commissioned the digital product studio Sennep to improve an earlier version of the Urban Mind survey app. By transforming the consumer experience, the app has evolved into a visual diary, showcasing the link between mood and environment.

Over a 14-day study period, users are asked to regularly describe their immediate surroundings, responding to questions such as: ‘Do you see nature or plants? Do you see boarded-up buildings? How would you describe your neighbourhood? Does the air feel clean?’ By further deploying ecological momentary assessment techniques, the app automatically captures health, activity and geolocation data.

The pandemic has prompted consumers to rethink how the urban environment affects their health and wellbeing. For more, read our Urban Wellness Market.

Stat: Young Britons stock up on health supplements

anatomē, London anatomē, London

Health-conscious British consumers have been shopping for health-focused supplements amid the chaos of the pandemic, according to a new survey by YouGov.

The study found that four in 10 people (41%) have bought supplements in the past six months, with the vast majority opting for vitamins (71%) and almost a quarter (23%) purchasing dietary minerals such as potassium and calcium. With 28% of supplement buyers aged 18–24, Generation Z are leading purchasing, and buyers are more likely to be male (54%) than female (46%).

YouGov reports a four percentage point growth in supplements consumption since January 2020, when 37% of Britons were buying supplements regularly. Indeed, demand for Certified Supplements is sweeping the wellness industry as consumers demand science-backed information at a time when personal health is paramount.

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