News 06.01.2022

Need to Know

A conservation charity rebranding fit for the digital era, Zara’s latest party dresses are made from CO2 and Millennials are forging friendships on the internet.

On the Edge rebrands conservation for the digital age

On the Edge rebranded by How&How, London and Lisbon
On the Edge rebranded by How&How, London and Lisbon
On the Edge rebranded by How&How, London and Lisbon

London – Eschewing the design tropes of animal conservation projects, a rebranding for charity On the Edge merges patterns, colours and phenomena found in nature with people's digital habits. Updated by creative agency How&How, the branding includes a colour palette inspired by bioluminescence – the way that living organisms create and emit light.

It also translates unique patterns and markings found among endangered animals into a new typeface, while the website hosts online games to help raise awareness among younger people. In this way, the branding appeals to new audiences, while also retaining appeal to scientists and the charity’s long-standing supporters. ‘By ‘reading’ an animal in a typographic way, we wanted to reinforce the communication and dialogue needed between humans and nature,’ explains Cat How, co-founder and creative director of How&How.

Through this branding, the charity shows how design mechanisms can effectively communicate complex environmental issues to bolster awareness and prompt action from consumers.

Strategic opportunity

When communicating issues related to the environment, avoid overused branding and messaging. Instead, implement positive and future-facing cues that will engage new audiences

A pop-up library invites Londoners to journal

Feelings Library by Caukin Studio in collaboration with Skip Gallery and Self Space, London Feelings Library by Caukin Studio in collaboration with Skip Gallery and Self Space, London
Feelings Library by Caukin Studio in collaboration with Skip Gallery and Self Space, London Feelings Library by Caukin Studio in collaboration with Skip Gallery and Self Space, London

London – Therapy practice Self Space and architecture practice Caukin Studio have unveiled a pop-up library to encourage people in London to share their feelings and reflect on mental health. Passers-by are invited to connect with others and check in with themselves, using Self Space’s guided journals to help them express their feelings.

The space, designed in collaboration with Skip Gallery, takes inspiration from tropical climates – using natural materials and thatch cladding. By creating such a space, particularly in an urban centre surrounded by office blocks, the pop-up offers a welcome chance to pause and take time out from daily life. The project aims to transport visitors out of the hustle and bustle of central London, and into a cosy personal space where they feel comfortable releasing some of their personal thoughts,’ says Harrison Marshall, co-founder of Caukin Studio.

This concept shows an evolution of Modern Therapy, where mental health services are increasingly approaching emotional support in approachable and collective ways.

Strategic opportunity

Workplaces and hospitality venues could work with professional mental health services to create spaces that encourage personal reflection and emotional connection

Zara transforms carbon emissions into partywear

Spain and China – In an effort to lighten the footprint of fashion's partywear season, global retailer Zara recently partnered with carbon recycling company LanzaTech to create clothing from carbon emissions.

Initially comprising a capsule collection of dresses and party outfits, the clothing uses microbes to turn carbon emissions from a Chinese steel mill into ethanol – a component that is usually made from fossil fuels. Ethanol is then processed into monoethylene glycol, before being used to make polyester.

This breakthrough innovation could pave the way for more clothing retailers to shift their material processes away from fossil fuels. ‘LanzaTech has the technology that can help fashion brands and retailers limit their carbon impact,’ says Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech. ‘By working with Zara, we have found a new pathway to recycle carbon emissions to make fabric.

We’ve been tracking the rise of carbon capture technology in recent months, having identified how Aether Diamonds is using this strategy in the polluting diamond industry. Now, high street fashion retailers also have an opportunity to utilise such technologies.

Zara in collaboration with LanzaTech, US

Strategic opportunity

Fashion and textiles companies should consider partnering with companies like LanzaTech to create products – or elements of products – that use carbon capture technology. Why not start with textile ink or fastenings as an experiment?

Stat: Millennials are making more online friends than Gen Z

Zalando #Sneakernet by Superimpose Zalando #Sneakernet by Superimpose

Despite Generation Z often being thought of as the most online generation, research by Konnect reveals that a quarter of Millennials now make all of their friends online. Interestingly, the study also notes that while Gen Z have an average of six friends that they’ve never met face to face, the number almost doubles to 11 for Millennials.

Meanwhile, more than a quarter (27%) of those aged between 55 and 64 make at least some of their new friends online. ‘Over the past year, there’s been a lot of focus on how reliable internet connections are needed to support working from home and help us stay connected to our friends and family,’ says James Soames, global marketing director for Konnect. ‘But it’s often been overlooked just how important the internet can be in making solid relationships in the first place.’

As we explore in Crowdsourced Companions, a wave of digital apps are emerging to revive physical connections.

Strategic opportunity

Online apps and services should find ways to connect people from all ages, creating space for making new friendships as well as encouraging in-person meetings

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