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07 : 02 : 22

A lingerie brand connecting women online, an unbiased beauty reviews platform and returns continue to hamper retailers.

The Future Laboratory launches the Futures 100 Innovators

Pyer Moss in collaboration with Reebok, Curves by Sean Brown and a sculpture by Annabel Maokhamphiou for the Open Source Afro Hair Library created by AM Darke. Designed by Sam Davies for The Future Laboratory Pyer Moss in collaboration with Reebok, Curves by Sean Brown and a sculpture by Annabel Maokhamphiou for the Open Source Afro Hair Library created by AM Darke. Designed by Sam Davies for The Future Laboratory

London, UK – The Future Laboratory is spotlighting a global line-up of 100 innovators, disruptors, activists and change-makers through the Futures 100 Innovators – a new annual longlist and awards.

Each month, we will profile 10 people that our team of researchers and analysts have identified as driving forward industries ranging from beauty and wellness to luxury, design, retail and travel. After 10 months, our complete Futures 100 Innovators list will be presented to a panel of industry judges who will select and award their 10 leading innovators, revealed in October 2022.

'We’ve launched our Futures 100 Innovators Awards to celebrate those among us who are taking on the challenges that some of us may regard as unimportant, unworthy or unrighteous,’ explains Martin Raymond, co-founder of The Future Laboratory. 'It’s about the power of an individual’s idea, a community they have formed or a spark they have generated that has kindled a flame, stoked a new movement or fired up a new technology.'

Read the first instalment of our Futures 100 Innovators longlist on LS:N Global, including a disability campaigner transforming how the world views intimacy, a coder hacking our relationship with hardware and the club promoter turning festivals green.

Nominate an innovator

As an LS:N Global member, you can nominate innovators via: [email protected], or for more information about the Futures 100 Innovators awards, head to The Future Laboratory blog.

A lingerie brand that uplifts disabled women

Intimately, US Intimately, US
Intimately, US Intimately, US

Paris – Challenging harmful misconceptions about disability, Intimately is an adaptive lingerie brand that is both functional and fashionable. Founded by 23-year-old entrepreneur Emma Butler, the company caters for individuals with reduced hand dexterity and shoulder mobility.

After noticing that the only lingerie options available for disabled women were targeted at the elderly, Butler set out to create an intimates line that would empower its wearers while maximising comfort and ease. Using discreet magnets and loose grips, the line is designed to be put on without assistance.

Beyond offering bras, underwear and pyjamas, Intimately has also launched a mobile app where members of the disabled community can meet and talk. ‘Intimately takes a wholesome approach, bringing confidence to disabled women; it’s more than just a sexy bra and underwear, it’s also the unique support from a community of women who understand what you’re going through,’ explains Emma Butler, founder of Intimately.

As chronic conditions rise, young people are mobilising to create the services and products that the public sector fails to provide them. In this vein, Intimately aligns itself with Radical Relief.

Strategic opportunity

Companies should consider launching platforms where consumers can meet and talk. To tap into pre-existing communities, brands can use Discord to reach new audiences

On Beaute brings unbiased reviews to the beauty industry

London – Seeking to cut through the noise of sponsored beauty content online, On Beaute is a platform that offers objective reviews of products from industry insiders and professionals.

Amid rising advertorial and paid promotional content, the web platform is designed to make customers feel more confident purchasing beauty products, haircare and beauty tools online. It also responds to ongoing restrictions around in-store testing in the inter-Covid period.

To ensure authenticity and sincere reviews, each submission is subject to a rigorous validation process. In this way, On Beaute is a fresh take on Skincare Networks, where beauty fans share their insights after using products.

‘As the future of beauty testing for consumers in-store remains unclear, providing access to accredited industry professionals for trustworthy reviews in one streamlined platform will empower consumers to spend on products that work for them,’ explains Chanella Buck, its CEO and founder.

On Beaute by Chanella Buck, UK

Strategic opportunity

Transparency in beauty is key. With growing ingredient literacy, companies must stick to fact rather than fiction when it comes to appealing to beauty netizens

Stat: Returns are a major problem for retailers

Cooler Cooler

Retailers are suffering significant revenue losses due to outdated return systems. According to research by ReverseLogix, 70% of retail companies are dissatisfied with the returns process.

ReverseLogix cites that 80% of companies classify the cost of managing e-commerce returns as ‘significant to severe’. Further, consumers return items they have bought online at a rate three times higher than when they purchase items in a physical store, disproportionately affecting online sellers. When asked what made the returns process so costly, 30% of companies cited the cost of warehouse space, 26% identified labour costs and 10% attributed it to the customer service team.

Although the problem of returns is widely known, increasing consumer demand for rapid delivery and free exchanges is making matters worse. But developing multiple return channels and automating the acceptance and inspection processes could help retailers mitigate high return rates. With the rise of Eco-venience Retail there is also scope for companies to implement planet-friendly solutions that offset higher costs while protecting the environment.

Strategic opportunity

Online shoppers want convenient returns and faster exchanges. Take cues from Klarna's Modular Mailbox concept, which can make shoppers’ returns instantly available for neighbours waiting for the same goods

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