News 19.07.2021

Need to Know

ITA Leisure is reclaiming leisure for people of colour, Bloomie’s turns department store into a micro-store and how Gen Z are redefining beauty retail.

ITA Leisure is bringing the outdoors to everyone

ITA Leisure, US
ITA Leisure, US
ITA Leisure, US

US The next-generation leisure brand has launched a collection of outdoor goods to engage those who have long felt ignored by the sector – namely Black and brown communities. Growing up lacking in exposure to the outdoors, founder Jade Akintola was inspired to build a brand around access, education and rejuvenation for all.

ITA Leisure has launched the Beach & Park collection, with items ranging from outdoor tables and chairs to towels and blankets. To centre inclusivity in the design process, the brand is working with designers who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of colour, ensuring the diverse traditions and cultures are treated with care. Future collections will focus on other activities with barriers to entry, including camping, hiking and gardening. By doing this, Akintola is working to diversify access to nature.

ITA Leisure acknowledges the modern structures that restrict people of colour from engaging in outdoor activities, positioning the role of leisure as a radical act for these communities. ‘The outdoors is anything but uniform, and ITA is created with Black and brown experiences in mind. Ultimately, this is a discussion on leisure and an invitation to embrace it,’ says Akintola.

Strategic opportunity

As citizens’ relationship with Earth changes, and people reappreciate the healing powers of nature, the problem of equal access remains. As a brand, find ways to remove barriers to entry and reposition outdoor activities as a right, not a luxury

Rotaro and Airbnb make travel wardrobes sustainable

Rotaro in partnership with Airbnb, London Rotaro in partnership with Airbnb, London
Rotaro in partnership with Airbnb, London Rotaro in partnership with Airbnb, London

UK – Fashion rental platform, Rotaro has teamed up with Airbnb to launch a series of sustainable fashion events listed under the travel platform’s Social Impact Experiences, with all proceeds going to reforestation charity, Protect Earth.

From sustainable styling sessions to panel discussions on how to consume fashion more mindfully, Rotaro’s experiences will focus on sustainability, community and curation. Costing £15 ($20, €17.50) per person, the experiences will be hosted at the rental service’s newly launched zero-waste pop-up in Carnaby Street, London.

The partnership aims to help people experiment with fashion rental while travelling, thereby reducing wasteful consumption. ‘With so many single-use outfits being bought around holidays and weddings, it felt natural to work with Airbnb to encourage guests, when travelling, to dress more sustainably,’ says Georgie Hyatt, co-founder and CEO of Rotaro.

As travel starts to slowly resume, the travel and fashion industries are seeing the return of Voyage Apparel. In response, new opportunities are opening up in the fashion rental sector – something explored in our upcoming fashion rental market.

Strategic Opportunity

The travel sector’s recovery presents a chance for fashion brands and services to collaborate with hotels and travel platforms in new ways. In particular, fashion rental can be reframed as a sustainable travel solution.

Bloomingdale’s scales down with a casual micro-store

Fairfax, Virginia – Using its long-standing pet name, Bloomies is the department store’s first downscaled retail format. By offering a high curated and ever-evolving range, the new concept can react quickly to local tastes while also experimenting with novel in-store technologies.

Bloomie’s is built around three retail concepts: a tighter fashion offering featuring an ‘approachable’ selection of premium and designer brands; convenience in the form of a Returns Dropbox, kerbside order pick-up and personalisation services; and technology, with digital-first customer service that allows staff to help digital customers simultaneously. It also features a tech-enabled stylist service model and a restaurant experience.

Recognising that its future lies in stripping back its big-box department store format, Bloomingdale’s is championing Micro-mmunity Retail. By focusing on the hyper-local needs of these experimental neighbourhood shopfronts, the store can keep abreast of behaviour changes in its customer base and respond accordingly.

Bloomie’s by Bloomingdale’s, Virginia

Strategic opportunity

Bigger is no longer better when it comes to the retail experience. Rather than expecting customers to flock to your store, follow where they’re going and cater for them with personalised products and services built around their real-time needs.

Stat: Gen Z consumers value diverse beauty content

Youthforia, US Youthforia, US

The global Generation Z beauty community is becoming more inclusive than ever, according to a Kyra Media’s Gen Z State of Beauty report. The research finds that Gen Z’s open mindset is broadly re-imagining and challenging beauty norms, prioritising personal values and authenticity.

As part of this, their trust and values are evolving, with over two thirds welcoming content from beauty influencers of a different gender identity to their own. Customer online reviews are also the most influential on this group’s purchasing decisions, driving them to platforms such as YouTube, TikTok and Instagram for beauty content and information.

Demonstrating the power of peer-to-peer influence, this generation’s research-driven approach to beauty is built on a foundation of personality, authenticity and open dialogue. For more insights on how social influence is disrupting online purchasing among younger consumers, read our Community Commerce macrotrend.

Strategic Opportunity

With reviews and recommendations proving to be vital influences for Gen Z beauty consumers, brands should explore solutions that use peer-to-peer dialogue.

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