Need to Know
23 : 09 : 20

Gamer garments that arrive by bike, fashion month takes to TikTok, and children are transforming their parents into eco-conscious consumers.

A Covid-proof smart city for lockdown living

Xiong'an New City by Guallart Architects, China

China – Architects Guallart are envisaging a self-sufficient future city that can adapt to meet the needs of health crises.

Having been selected as the winning design in an architectural competition for the Chinese city of Xiong'an, the development positions itself as ‘Covid-proof’, citing the virus as an accelerator for new types of ecological and urban living.

Designed to be entirely self-sufficient and able to withstand future illness outbreaks or lockdowns, the apartments have their own internal energy systems, verdant balconies, terraces for drone deliveries, co-working spaces, vegetable gardens and food markets. Guallart hopes the concept will provide ‘a new standard in the post-Covid era’ for future cities.

‘We cannot continue designing cities and buildings as if nothing had happened,’ explains lead architect Vicente Guallart. 'Our proposal stems from the need to provide solutions to the various crises that are taking place on our planet at the same time, in order to create a new urban life based on the circular bio-economy that will empower cities and communities.’

With international lockdowns revealing inadequacies across global housing stock and interior fit-outs, Guallart demonstrates how Pandemic-proof Properties could soon become the norm.

Astralis hacks food delivery for gaming jersey launch

Jersey launch by Astralis, Copenhagen Jersey launch by Astralis, Copenhagen
Jersey launch by Astralis, Copenhagen Jersey launch by Astralis, Copenhagen

Copenhagen – Danish eSports team Astralis has tapped into local food delivery app Wolt to launch its Counter-Strike jersey.

With Covid-19 putting a stop to the usual Astralis meet-and-greet events, it opted to celebrate its new jersey release by taking the garments directly to fans. Together with shirt-maker Hummel, it partnered with food delivery platform Wolt to offer a convenient way to shop and receive the new merchandise straight to the buyer's home or workplace.

‘We simply created a virtual restaurant on the [Wolt] app, where fans could order the jersey in the size they wanted and have it in their hands immediately after,’ explains Jakob Lund Kristensen, co-founder and CCO of Astralis Group. The only item available in the Astralis 'restaurant’, Wolt’s couriers are reported to have biked around Copenhagen distributing the new jersey to eager fans.

While a first for eSports, other non-food and drink brands are using the services of food delivery platforms; in spring, Vogue Netherlands partnered with Uber Eats to deliver its magazines to readers sheltering at home during lockdown.

TikTok shows will democratise fashion month

Digital fashion month by TikTok Digital fashion month by TikTok

US – TikTok is holding its own fashion month for the autumn/winter season, offering a digital alternative to traditional runways.

Aiming to democratise who can access shows and launches during fashion month, the platform will be presenting live-streams featuring catwalks and styling sessions, as well as a series of hashtags and new creative effects to encourage user engagement.

Luxury brands including Saint Laurent, JW Anderson and Louis Vuitton will host runway shows on TikTok, while TikTok personality Nick Tangorra will present a virtual runway event featuring collections from Puma and Alice & Olivia.

‘With the launch of our TikTok Fashion Month, this is just another way for our brand partners to use the platform's authentic and community-driven approach to showcase their art, creativity and personalities in a unique and truly TikTok way,’ explains CeCe Vu, the platform's fashion content partnerships lead.

The impact of both the climate emergency and the pandemic have called into question the traditional medium of fashion weeks centred on live and often exclusionary events. Now, brands are recognising the benefits of more innovative digital alternatives.

Stat: Parents get a green lesson from Generation Alpha

Forest by Nudes, Pune, India Forest by Nudes, Pune, India

A recent study by Kantar reveals that children in particular are driving parents to acquire more environmentally friendly habits.

The Who Cares, Who Does? study reports that 50% of 80,000 consumers surveyed across 19 countries are being encouraged by their children to adopt sustainable behaviours, with their friends (43%) and partners (41%) also bearing some influence.

Taking a broader view of the study, Kantar says the pandemic has further accelerated the emergence of Eco-Actives – a consumer group it identifies as consistently working to reduce their plastic waste – with this group growing in number from 16% to 20% of global shoppers since 2019. Now, Kantar reports, these consumers hold spending power of more £294bn ($382bn, €320bn) for FMCG brands.

As explored in our interview with Helenor Gilmour, director of insight at Beano Studios, today's children are driving sustainable behaviours, with their knowledge and activism mindsets trickling up to older generations.

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