US – Personal care brand by Humankind is launching Plastic, neutral, a subscription service that enables consumers to offset their overall plastic footprint.
The subscription service, offered at £5.85 ($8, €6.49) per month, enables people to subsidise the cost of plastic collection by Plastic Bank, an organisation that buys plastic collected by people in Haiti, Indonesia and The Philippines, and recycles it to stimulate local economies. With by Humankind stating that each US consumer generates about 22lb of plastic per month, the subscription price is based on the cost of collecting this amount of plastic, as well as administrative costs for by Humankind.
‘Plastic Bank creates jobs by paying local collectors a premium for each pound of ocean-bound plastic waste they collect,’ explains a statement on the by Humankind website. ‘The waste collected is then recycled into products and packaging, creating a closed-loop supply chain.’
Through such waste management subscriptions, consumers and brands have the opportunity to invest in long-term solutions. Similarly, in the travel sector, Aerial is simplifying travel carbon offsetting for flyers.
Noting that a third of people think about death or dying at least once a week, the mobile-first website provides advice on discussing death, dying and grieving for people of all ages. This ranges from how to broach dialogues between parents and children to personal stories from those who have experienced end-of-life care.
Allowing users to navigate through questions such as, 'I want to know what dying looks like', and 'How do I help someone have a good death?', downloadable tips are also available for users who want to facilitate offline conversations with loved ones. ‘This year has made conversations about death and dying even more challenging, with people more likely to be distanced from their loved ones,’ says professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, president of the Academy of Medical Sciences, a supporter organisation of the platform.
As the narrative surrounding death shifts, there is a larger movement of optimistic end-of-life planning. For more read our Death Positivity market.
Google Pay moves into conversational banking
Global – Google Pay is updating its services to better reflect the needs and behaviours of its users by introducing chat-based finance management.
Moving away from the standard method of showing transactions in a list format, the new Google Pay app takes inspiration from familiar messaging apps. It organises transactions around friends and businesses that users interact with the most, allowing people to pay, see past transactions and find offers all based in dedicated chat boxes.
If users need to split a bill, rent or other expenses, chat groups will allow users to see who’s paid and to keep track of how much money is still owed. Also integrated into the new app update is improved organisation and saving capabilities. For example, the app will allow users to redeem and activate coupons in-app, without having to visit external sites.
With many consumers shifting their entire money management to mobile, brands are having to innovate in a way that genuinely responds to these habits – avoiding novel approaches that rehash traditional banking services.
Stat: Fashion’s fiscal downturn paves the way for re-invention
Homecoming and Browns 2020, Nigeria
The annual State of Fashion report by McKinsey & Co and The Business of Fashion (BoF) has revealed the ramifications of Covid-19 on the fashion sector.
Owing to the pandemic, profit in the global fashion sector is projected to fall by 90% in 2020. Sales in Europe are expected to decline by 22–35%, while in the US they are set to fall by 17–32%. Less impact will be felt in China, with sales expected to fall 7–20%. According to the report, it will take up to two years for revenues to match those in 2019, and the earliest signs of recovery will be in Q3 2022.
Highlighting the long road to recovery in the sector, the study shows how the pandemic has prompted ‘a long overdue reckoning for the business, creating an opportunity for industry re-invention and reset in the coming years,’ according to Imran Amed, founder and CEO of Business of Fashion. He adds: ‘In the post-coronavirus world, the fashion system will need to be rewired to become more responsible, more sustainable and more human.’
As fashion counts the cost of its impact, we future-gaze to 2030 and posit an era when fast fashion is tracked and rationed to reduce people's footprint.