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H&M brings recycling theatre into stores, Microsoft wants to boost employee wellbeing with virtual commutes, and Covid-19 slows down impulse shopping.

H&M’s Looop makes fashion recycling a store service

Looop by H&M, Sweden
Looop by H&M, Sweden
Looop by H&M, Sweden

Sweden – Looop by H&M is a garment-to-garment recycling system that lets shoppers transform unwanted clothing into new items.

Introduced in Stockholm, the concept allows customers to bring old textiles into H&M stores to have them recycled into something new. The shipping container-sized machine functions by cleaning the garments, shredding them into fibres and spinning this into yarn, before knitting it into a new piece of clothing. While some new fibres are added as part of the remaking process, H&M emphasises that Looop aims to be as sustainable as possible by using no water or chemicals.

By allowing people to watch the creation process, Looop actively engages them in circular fashion, while repositioning the store environment as a theatrical, service-led space. ‘We are constantly exploring new technology and innovations to help transform the fashion industry as we are working to reduce the dependency on virgin resources,’ says Pascal Brun, head of sustainability at H&M.

The trend of garment upcycling and DIY fashion has been gaining momentum in recent months. Alongside shoppers transforming old or unwanted garments, brands also have an opportunity to innovate using dead stock.

LoveSeen positions false lashes for everyday wear

LoveSeen, US LoveSeen, US
LoveSeen, US LoveSeen, US

US – Beauty brand LoveSeen aims to re-imagine false eyelashes for everyday wear with a focus on inclusive, eco-friendly designs.

The direct-to-consumer brand offers 15 styles to match the natural eye shape, skin tone and hair colour of global consumers. In this way, the brand seeks to move beyond the current aesthetic of false lashes, providing easier application and a more natural look. ‘We are trying to re-imagine, or re-envisage a product that has unfortunately aligned itself with full-beat make-up and connect it more directly to a lighter, more everyday approach,’ explains Jenna Lyons, co-founder of LoveSeen.

LoveSeen even considers how natural its packaging is, with lash trays made from sugar cane pulp, outer packaging made with recycled cardboard and paper and soy-based ink, and recyclable shipping and packing materials.

In this vein, we have previously explored the rise of Beauty Backlashers, a community that rejects prevailing narratives in the beauty industry, seeking products and processes that enable them to express their love of cosmetics and skincare without compromising on their principles.

Microsoft wants to digitise the daily commute

Global – Microsoft Teams software will soon encourage workers to engage in a virtual daily commute.

Set to launch in 2021, the platform update will allow at-home users to 'commute' at the beginning and end of their working day to create a greater sense of separation between working and non-working hours. For the morning commute, Teams users can set time aside to prepare for their working day, while the evening session enables reflection on the working day, celebrate achievements or create a to-do list for the next day. Another new end-of-day initiative will be guided meditation sessions powered by mindfulness app Headspace.

‘Enterprises across the world right now are coming to us and saying: ‘I don’t think we will have organisational resilience if we don’t make wellbeing a priority,’ explains Kamal Janardhan, general manager for workplace analytics and MyAnalytics at Microsoft 365. I think we at Microsoft have a role, almost a responsibility, to give enterprises the capabilities to create these better daily structures and help people be at their best.’

With Covid-19 having accelerated our working landscape, brands and businesses are innovating to ensure long-term employee productivity and wellbeing.

Microsoft Corp, global

Stat: Covid-19 curtails impulse purchasing in the US

Unmatereality​ Unmatereality​

Owing to the pandemic, US spending behaviour is changing, with many consumers opting to spend less on impulse buys and more everyday items such as groceries.

In a recent survey by CIT Bank, 40% of participants said they are making fewer impulse purchases due to Covid-19. Yet, for some products, expenditure has increased; more than 40% of respondents are spending more on groceries while 25% are having food delivered more often.

According to CIT Bank, US consumers are making more deliberate purchases, choosing to spend more money on home dining instead of shopping sporadically. As US spending behaviour changes, there is a greater focus on online grocery shopping, which it suggests is leading to a revival of home cooking.

For more on the impact of Covid-19 on food shopping, read our Q&A with Jessica Young, founder of natural food platform Bubble.

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