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Flowing Cloud’s nature-centric retreat promotes social interaction, The Nue Co tackles pandemic hair loss and pet ownership explodes in China.

This Chinese resort promotes social interactions

Flowing Cloud Township Villa by More Design Office in China. Photography by Zhi Xia
Flowing Cloud Township Villa by More Design Office in China. Photography by Zhi Xia
Flowing Cloud Township Villa by More Design Office in China. Photography by Zhi Xia

China – Designed to help urbanites find respite and social connections away from screens, the Flowing Cloud Township Villa is a nature-centric retreat situated in Qinglongwu in China’s Zhejiang province.

Developed by architect studio More Design Office (MDO), six village houses have been renovated into a destination that celebrates both the history and culture of Qinglongwu and its setting, with angled windows that help to frame the surrounding bamboo forest and landscape. Elsewhere, the building has been designed to evolve and interact with the local weather and environment. ‘[We’ve used] materials that can be integrated with nature, bearing the influence of rain, sunlight and snow... This means that within a few years, the exterior wall will become a part of nature, blurring the boundary between architecture and nature,’ says a statement from MDO.

Alongside guest rooms, two buildings that proved difficult to renovate have been transformed into social and recreational spaces, such as the reception and bar area. Flowing Cloud will host various cultural events throughout the year, helping to immerse visitors in nature, as well as serendipitous encounters with strangers.

Strategic opportunity

Consider how MDO is using existing architecture and its proximity to nature to promote more meaningful interactions and encounters

The Nue Co tackles pandemic-induced hair loss

The Growth Collection by Nue Co The Growth Collection by Nue Co
The Growth Collection by Nue Co The Growth Collection by Nue Co

New York – After 2021 was dubbed the year America’s hair fell out, hair company The Nue Co is releasing a range of supplements that target hair loss. Combining capsules and a topical scalp serum, the Growth Collection seeks to offset the damage that is caused by stress, nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances and illness.

With people across the world reporting experiencing sudden hair loss after contracting Covid, scientists have begun researching the phenomenon. A recent study, for example, reports that ‘Covid-19 infection is a major cause of acute telogen effluvium’ – the scientific term for severe and sudden hair shedding. With another report finding that 22% of patients that are hospitalised with Covid still experience hair loss six months later, urgent remedies are needed to strengthen follicle health.

Filled with nourishing ingredients like adaptogenic Reishi mushroom and Eleuthero Root extract, the Growth Collection seeks to equip the body with the vitamins necessary to deal with disruptions to normal hair routines. Drawing on scientific research and incorporating ingredients normally found in skincare, this collection aligns itself with the rise of Skintellectual Haircare.

Strategic opportunity

The pandemic has affected our bodies in subtle and sometimes insidious ways. Beauty companies should consult science to release products that target Covid-induced afflictions

Internet ‘nutrition labels’ make pricing clearer

Washington, US – Taking inspiration from the food industry, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will now require internet providers in America to share the details of their plans in clear, easy-to-understand labels.

Passed unanimously by all members of the FCC, the mandate seeks to protect consumers from the unexpected fees and opaque pricing that can be common in the internet industry. With the label, customers will be able to easily compare providers and make informed decisions based on fact rather than marketing tactics. ‘With these broadband nutrition labels, we can compare service providers and plans, hold broadband providers to their promises and foster more competition, which means better service and better prices,' explains Jessica Rosenworcel, chairwoman of the FCC.

In an increasingly Dislocated World, poor internet distribution is exacerbating inequality and driving disparity. By introducing food-style internet nutrition labels, the FCC is giving consumers the power to fight for better, more accessible internet services.

Example broadband label from 2016 by FCC

Strategic opportunity

Consumer labels can mix fact with fun. Consider including a QR code that grants access to a unique website to forge a more intimate connection with your customer

Stat: Pet ownership soars in China

The Sahara by Pagerie, US The Sahara by Pagerie, US

Perceptions about domestic animals are changing rapidly in China. According to iResearch, from 2015 to 2020, the nation's pet economy quadrupled in size, reaching a value of £35bn ($47bn, €41bn).

According to consulting firm PwC, a majority (88%) of Chinese pet owners are women, well educated, disproportionately single and young – with over half hailing from the post-1990s generation. With the market expected to keep growing at a compound annual rate of 14%, the acceleration of pet ownership marks an extreme shift from the old perception of domestic animals in the country. Until April 2021, dogs were still classified as livestock by the Chinese government.

Yet, as young people adopt animal companions, China's birth rate remains in decline. Faced with rising housing costs and unaffordable childcare, Chinese consumers, much like their Western counterparts, are opting to become pet parents instead. For brands targeting this market, this could hold lucrative potential to offer goods and services catering for High-end Pets.

Strategic opportunity

As most pet owners in China are currently female, there is scope for companies to appeal to the male demographic through marketing, products or lifestyle experiences

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