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22 : 09 : 20

A bold manifesto challenging the chocolate industry, Ikea plans to open its first second-hand shop, and Australian youth are cautious about cultured meats.

Tony’s happy activism calls out cocoa slavery

Tony's Chocolonely Unfair Fair by HERC, Amsterdam

Amsterdam – Chocolate brand Tony’s Chocolonely is drawing attention to the exploitation of people in the cocoa industry with a colourful activism campaign.

The short film by agency Herc acts as a manifesto to reinforce the brand's mission to end child slavery on cocoa plantations. By taking inspiration from the bright packaging of the Tony's brand, the Unfair/Fair campaign vibrantly visualises its motto: ‘Crazy about chocolate, serious about people’.

Narrated by British actor Idris Elba, the ad examines the negative 'today' and positive 'future' for the cocoa industry in a way that diverges from most activism-led campaigns. ‘It’s fantastic, especially in this day and age, to be able to fully apply our approach to a happy activist, a cheerful brand that’s doing something good for the world,’ says Rogier de Bruin, co-founder and creative director at Herc.

Tony’s Chocolonely’s new advert shows how activism narratives are being reframed through the lens of a future-positive mindset. To find out more, explore our latest design direction Graphic Activism.

Gender-neutral underwear that shuns stereotypes

Gender-neutral underwear by Kön, Sweden Gender-neutral underwear by Kön, Sweden
Gender-neutral underwear by Kön, Sweden Gender-neutral underwear by Kön, Sweden

Sweden – Swedish label Kön is demonstrating that underwear doesn’t need to be categorised by gender.

Its name reflects the Swedish word for both gender and sex, with the designs featuring elements drawn from both men's and women's underwear. The result is a shape that closely resembles briefs, but can be comfortably worn by anyone regardless of how they identify.

Taking inspiration from the idea of a blank canvas in product design, the brand’s neutral approach also extends to its packaging – a simple white box featuring the brand name and product information printed on the back. Furthermore, the underwear is plant-based and sold in recycled paper packaging, tapping into eco-awareness alongside inclusivity.

Bill Heinonen, founder of Kön, explains: ‘My vision was, metaphorically speaking, to create a blank canvas, and let the consumers be the artists who colour the brand – because the fit and look will always be different depending on who wears them.’

From fashion and beauty to hospitality and even architecture, once-rigid classifications of gender stereotypes are being challenged to make way for a more Neutral Culture.

Ikea eyes the second-hand retail market

Second-hand Ikea store, Sweden Second-hand Ikea store, Sweden

Stockholm – The furniture retailer plots to open its first ‘seconds’ store in a shopping centre dedicated to retailers selling re-used, organic or sustainable products.

Customers of the store, opening this autumn, will be able to buy repaired Ikea home furnishings, which have been damaged in transit or in storage at a fraction of the original price. The store will be located in the world’s first second-hand mall ReTuna, in the Swedish town of Eskilstuna, and will act as a test project for the company.

By partnering with ReTuna, Ikea hopes to pave the way for further collaborative and sustainable working: ‘Now we’re joining forces with local players who share our view on sustainability to gain knowledge and insight that can make a difference globally,’ says Jonas Carlehed, sustainability manager at Ikea Retail Sweden.

Through this project, Ikea also has a chance to explore how the destination retail aspect of its stores can be applied to the pre-owned market. In our interview with Julie Neeve, project manager of Oxfam's charity superstore, she explains why experience is the future of second-hand retail.

Stat: Australian youth are wary of lab-grown meat

Misfit Foods Misfit Foods

Australia’s Generation Z are feeling cautious about cultured meat, despite their widespread concern for the environment and animal welfare.

A recent study by the University of Sydney and Curtin University reveals key attitudes among this generation towards lab-grown meat, defined as that which is produced in-vitro using animal cells. According to their findings, 72% of Australian Gen Z are not ready to accept cultured meat, but 41% noted that it could be a viable nutritional source because of the need for more sustainable food options.

‘Gen Z value Australia’s reputation as a supplier of quality livestock and meat, and many view traditional meat eating as being closely tied to concepts of masculinity and Australian cultural identity,’ explains Dr Diana Bogueva, a lead researcher for the study, in relation to the findings.

While young Australians are not fully ready to embrace eco-first food alternatives, a community of Low-impact Eaters is growing globally, using food as a way to address their anxiety about the climate emergency.

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