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27 : 08 : 20

Watch House heightens coffee connoisseurship, an online library of plastic-free materials and why Chinese shoppers are prioritising domestic beauty.

Watch House’s playground for coffee connoisseurs

The Watch House roastery, London The Watch House roastery, London
The Watch House roastery, London The Watch House roastery, London
The Watch House roastery, London The Watch House roastery, London

London – Watch House’s new roastery aims to elevate the brew to the same level as fine wine and whisky.

The experimental coffee laboratory and shop in London's Bermondsey takes visitors on a journey, diving into the sourcing, craftsmanship and stories behind its coffee. Central to the roastery are three pillars – rituals, ventures and rarities – focusing on coffee as a daily routine, more adventurous or unusual flavours, and finally unique and rare coffees, such as flat white priced at £14 ($18, €15), to be experienced and savoured.

The space, designed within a railway arch by architecture studio Kirkwood McCarthy, targets a new breed of coffee aficionado, allowing customers who want to deepen their knowledge of coffee brewing the chance to see behind the scenes, both through on-site workshops and supporting online guides.

The rise in coffee connoisseurship is creating new opportunities in a competitive market, with brands’ new bean-to-brew experiences. For more, explore the Craft Coffee Market.

Nike’s latest sneaker is for ‘doing nothing’

Offline mule by Nike Offline mule by Nike
Offline mule by Nike Offline mule by Nike

Global – The Nike Offline mule subverts the brand’s iconic ‘Just Do It’ slogan in favour of active deceleration.

With an experimental design aesthetic that builds on the popularity of casual slip-on shoes, the Nike mules feature two unique sensory drop-in midsoles, which are interchangeable based on the wearer's mood, as well as nubs that offer a massage-like experience for the wearer.

Inspired by the mental health benefits of taking time to unplug and disconnect, the Nike Offline shoe has been designed for moments of doing nothing. The antithesis of its typically motivational messaging and activewear, the anti-sneaker silhouette caters for our new normal lifestyle amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in which personal recharging is essential.

With consumers embracing a slower, demotivated way of living, brands such as Nike are rethinking their communications to reflect the forthcoming Pleasure Revolution.

An anti-plastic materials encyclopaedia

Plastic Free by A Plastic Plane, Made Thought and IBM Plastic Free by A Plastic Plane, Made Thought and IBM

London – Plastic Free is a material encyclopaedia launched by A Plastic Planet to help creatives find alternative solutions to the use of plastic in their work or designs.

Born from Made Thought Labs – an initiative tackling the social, environmental and economic threats of the climate emergency and Covid-19 – in partnership with IBM, the blockchain-powered plastic-free materials platform aims to be an invaluable resource for designers searching for plastic alternatives. Launching in spring 2021, the platform will be free for both material suppliers and product designers to use.

‘Our Material Library gives designers worldwide an unbiased, educated wing man as we all seek to turn off the plastic tap and use materials nature can handle. We believe knowledge is power and knowledge this important should also be free,’ reads a statement from A Plastic Planet.

Over 200 suppliers worldwide have been added to the library to date, offering alternative materials ranging from soy and sisal to avocado seed husk.

In our Sustainability Series we explore the ideas, innovations and actions your brand can take today to become part of an eco-positive future.

Stat: Chinese beauty consumers opt for domestic luxury

Handy Capsule Sanitation by Kiran Zhu, China Handy Capsule Sanitation by Kiran Zhu, China

As China’s luxury retail market recovers from the outbreak of the pandemic, latest research from Mintel has found that consumers are eager to support Chinese brands to fast-track the recovery of the economy.

According to Mintel’s Covid-19 China tracker between 25 March and 1 April 2020, which looks at the growth of the prestige beauty industry, 77% of consumers would like to buy more Chinese brands to show support after the pandemic. Furthermore, 45% disagree with the statement that ‘domestic skin brands do not have many prestige products’, showing the potential for high-end domestic skincare.

‘Consumer support for domestic products has further increased due to the pandemic, and niche domestic brands are indeed expected to develop high-end product lines and gain market share,’ explains Amy Jin, beauty analyst at Mintel.

As shoppers prioritise the health of the economy, domestic brands are a key opportunity in China’s Beauty Market.

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