Need to Know
03 : 11 : 21

Travel essentials for a post-pandemic world, a resource for navigating sex with cancer and why workplaces must step up to support menopausal women.

Never Go Alone elevates hygiene travel essentials

Never Go Alone, UK Never Go Alone, UK
Never Go Alone, UK Never Go Alone, UK
Never Go Alone, UK Never Go Alone, UK

UK – As personal protective equipment (PPE) becomes a regular facet of everyday life, nascent wellbeing brand Never Go Alone is expanding its offering of design-led hygiene essentials to help people travel more confidently during the inter-Covid period.

Prioritising style and safety, Never Go Alone has added a hand sanitiser to its travel hygiene range, made with natural ingredients such as aloe vera, green tea, ginseng and chamomile. The result is a lightweight formula with a subtle, unobtrusive fragrance. Taking inspiration from the natural world, the recycled plastic bottle is shaped like a stone to make it feel tactile in the hand. This is in line with Never Go Alone's wider inspiration, sandstone, known for its strength and adaptability in harsh climates, something the brand hopes its products will help users achieve as they re-navigate the world.

As global travel regulations are relaxed, health and wellness companies are following the principles of Wanderlust Beauty to create products that help consumers to feel safe. ‘Hygiene has always felt like it belongs backstage – but cleanliness doesn’t have to be boring. I want to re-imagine the world of personal wellness and create a beautiful, functional and affordable collection of products,’ explains Nga Nguyen, co-founder of Never Go Alone.

Strategic opportunity

Personal hygiene products are here to stay. In line with Never Go Alone, consider how fragrance or packaging design can help make functional products like sanitisers more attractive for design-conscious consumers

A pleasure platform for people with cancer

Sex with Cancer, UK Sex with Cancer, UK
Unexpired Pleasures by Sex with Cancer, UK Unexpired Pleasures by Sex with Cancer, UK

London – Sex with Cancer is an integrated sex shop, art platform and public campaign devoted to opening up conversation and confidence around its namesake. The initiative aims to provide people with cancer or in recovery, as well as their sexual partners and loved ones, with practical and creative resources focusing on pleasure and ownership of their sexual wellbeing.

Sex with Cancer’s ambitions are supported by a bright visual identity and multimedia approach. Its website showcases online performance pieces and documentaries such as Unexpired Pleasures, alongside practical advice and sexual wellness products. Co-founder Joon-Lynn Goh states: ‘I hope people come away with a sense of community, knowledge and a greater confidence to reclaim their bodies and relationships on their own terms.’

Goh’s statement highlights the underlying relationship between community, healing and physical empowerment, as explored in our Radical Relief microtrend. As a further addition to such community-led, creative and accessible platforms for people living with health conditions, Sex with Cancer bridges wellness and pleasure, while also sitting at the intersection of e-commerce, advisory and social spaces.

Strategic opportunity

Wellness brands and companies should consider the online and physical communities that could benefit from their support or expertise, working with smaller organisations to amplify their work and better meet the needs of real people

Alibaba’s voice device helps office productivity

Hangzhou – As employees return to the workplace, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba hopes to boost efficiencies with the launch of Tingwu, an AI-powered voice device that can transcribe business meetings in real time and distinguish between 10 different speakers.

Equipped with a smart microphone and a voice recognition algorithm that was developed by Alibaba’s DAMO Academy, Tingwu achieves a 98% transcription accuracy. Even when participants are joining a meeting remotely, the portable gadget is able to assign ‘voiceprints’ to different speakers and produce post-conference summaries and to-do lists. ‘The goal is to free users from note-taking so that they can truly focus on what is happening in meetings and never worry about forgetting things,’ explains Pang Tiancong, product manager of Tingwu at the Speech Lab of Alibaba.

As health and social concerns continue to reshape the workplace, technology is emerging to meet the new demands and requirements of employees. Indeed, intelligent communication and collaboration tools will be central to the Future Workplace.

Tingwu by Alibaba, China Tingwu by Alibaba, China

Strategic opportunity

As remote and flexible working become an expectation of global workforces, companies must implement technological strategies that provide ease and convenience for more productive work days

Stat: Women’s careers are suffering due to menopause

Me.No.Pause campaign, Holland & Barrett Me.No.Pause campaign, Holland & Barrett

The majority of UK workplaces aren’t providing enough support for women experiencing menopausal symptoms. According to a study by Newson Health Research and Education, this has had a drastic impact on women’s careers.

In a poll of 3,800 women in the UK, almost all (99%) of respondents felt their perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms had led to a negative impact on their careers, with more than a third describing the impact as significant. Of those surveyed, about 59% took time off work due to symptoms and 18% were off for more than eight weeks.

Dr Louise Newson, a menopause expert and founder of Newson Health Research and Education, explains: ‘For far too long menopausal women have been faced with an impossible choice: struggle on with often debilitating symptoms or leave behind careers they have worked so hard for.’

In our interview with Dr Newson, she describes the importance of holistic menopausal wellbeing and the drivers behind her innovative menopause app Balance.

Strategic opportunity

To support women experiencing perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms, workplaces must normalise flexible working arrangements, as well as offering adaptive office environments that aid employee wellbeing

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