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Freitag opts for elevated industrialism, Allbirds swaps Black Friday profits for environmental action and the gender divide myth in Indian beauty.

Freitag’s inside-out, DIY retail destination

Freitag Kyoto, Japan
Freitag Kyoto, Japan
Freitag Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto – Bags and accessories brand Freitag is taking an industrial-style approach to its Kyoto store, drawing inspiration from its Zurich-based logistics warehouse.

The space, which occupies two formerly separate retail units in the city’s Nakagyo-ku district, invites customers to experience behind-the-scenes elements of the Freitag brand. Industrial details such as hazard lines and metal shelving have been incorporated into the 80-square-metre space, which the architecture practice – Torafu Architects – have purposely left in a ‘skeleton state’.

Towards the rear of the store is a workshop where customers can experiment with making products using tarp offcuts to create their own small accessories. Reflecting the in-store experience, the store’s exterior also features an industrial aesthetic, with a steel red beam taking the place of a wall that used to divide the two retail units.

The store design is based on the brand's micro-warehouse in Switzerland, showcasing a new approach to the way customer-first spaces are designed. For more on how fulfilment centres are adapting, read about Flagship Fulfilment.

Haeckels’ waterless shower gel pills

Ocean Cleanse Concentrate + Allantoin by Haeckels, UK Ocean Cleanse Concentrate + Allantoin by Haeckels, UK
Ocean Cleanse Concentrate + Allantoin by Haeckels, UK Ocean Cleanse Concentrate + Allantoin by Haeckels, UK

UK – The skincare brand has launched a waterless body cleanser in a bid to make the personal care industry more eco-friendly.

The 60% H2O Ocean Cleanse Concentrate + Allantoin resembles a pill, but when boiled water is added it is transformed into a liquid body gel, which is housed inside the brand’s ceramic milled dispenser.

With a lemon, geranium and beetroot scent, Haeckels is selling the new cleanser in yearly supplies, claiming that this will be 97% cheaper than purchasing traditional body washes. In addition, the brand is offering eco-friendly benefits such as producing 97% less kgCO2e (carbon dioxide emitted per square metre) during manufacturing and 95% less kgCO2e during distribution.

‘Everything we do is driven by sustainability; our glass bottles and recycled pumps and lids are one thing, and so too is our compostable packaging, says Dom Bridges, the brand’s founder. He adds: ‘We view this as the future of the bathroom and have many more products to come that leave no trace.’

More brands are opting for Waterless Beauty to alleviate consumers’ concerns about the environment.

Allbirds flips the meaning of Black Friday

Allbirds Black Friday, US Allbirds Black Friday, US

US – Footwear company Allbirds is replacing traditional Black Friday discounts with increased prices as part of its commitment to sustainability.

For the event, prices of the brand’s entire collection will increase by £1.00 ($1.30, €1.10) and be matched by the same amount from Allbirds, with the additional proceeds going directly to Fridays For Future. While some brands eschew Black Friday altogether, recognising it as a negative force of overconsumption, the Allbirds initiative sets an example of how brands can continue to make a profit while also taking environmental action.

'With a little more consciousness around how we consume, we can all tread lighter on the planet. What better time to start living a more balanced life than on Black Friday,' reads a brand statement.

In the age of Eco-ambitious Retail, companies are placing monetary restrictions on both themselves and their customers to drive new attitudes to spending, consumption and wear.

Stat: India’s beauty sector is gender-inclusive

Patanjali Paridhan Patanjali Paridhan

According to the Connected Beauty Consumer report by Google, WPP and Kantar, there are no gender discrepancies between Indian consumers when it comes to purchasing beauty products.

The research finds that Indian men and women buy an average of nine beauty products every month. The study also reveals that 56% of consumers use YouTube to compare and consider products, while 30% reach their final purchasing decision through a mix of YouTube, Google Search and e-commerce websites. Some 83% of consumers from Tier 1 cities discover and learn about products digitally.

The research highlights new opportunities for beauty brands such as featuring men in marketing as well as ensuring digital touchpoints are optimal. ‘Online video and social media are preferred over any offline medium for shortlisting brands today, says Kaushik Dasgupta, head of insights and partnerships at Google India.

For more on men’s growing presence in traditionally female sectors, explore our New Masculinity series.

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