Need to Know
25 : 03 : 22

Food meets fragrance with a Michelin-starred chef, scientists develop climate-friendly concrete, and escalating alarm about the cost of living crisis.

A perfume made by a Michelin-starred chef

Spring 22 by Ffern and Skye Gyngell, UK
Spring 22 by Ffern and Skye Gyngell, UK
Spring 22 by Ffern and Skye Gyngell, UK

Devon, England – Organic perfume company Ffern is fusing the worlds of food and fragrance. Its latest scent, Spring 22, is made in collaboration with celebrated chef, Skye Gyngell.

The idea for the perfume was hatched at Gyngell’s London restaurant, Spring, where she and Ffern’s nose Elodie Durande began discussions around the link between food and fragrance. At both companies, the importance of fresh, natural ingredients is paramount. With this in mind, they have created a scent that evokes the smell of spring – both the season and the restaurant. By adding notes of basil and peppercorn to the scent, the perfume has a culinary twist.

To buy the new scent, customers must join Ffern’s ledger, as all the company’s fragrances are made to order in small batches to reduce waste. Combining sustainability and food, this scent is a fresh new direction for Bio-positive Beauty.

Strategic opportunity

Fragrance and food hold much in common. Can your company tap into the recent gardening boom to create beauty products that include familiar foodie ingredients or fragrance from herbs?

Ambush creates a social metaverse for customers

Ambush Silver Fctry, Japan Ambush Silver Fctry, Japan
Ambush Silver Fctry, Japan Ambush Silver Fctry, Japan

Tokyo – Japanese streetwear label Ambush is building an immersive social hub for its shoppers online, creating a branded metaverse space dubbed the Silver Fctry.

Signalling how companies interested in the metaverse can forge their own experiences away from existing platforms, Silver Fctry can be accessed through Ambush's website as a space for customers to explore digital art and design, and shop and socialise virtually with one another.

Inspired by artist Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory, an experimental New York studio that was the meeting ground for the city’s thriving art scene in the 1960s, visitors to Ambush's space appear as avatars dressed in spacesuits. They can explore four portals, each housing a different brand experience, such as a video library of past runway shows, and an exhibition area where customers may buy both real and digital items. Users will be able to interact with other avatars and change the colour of their spacesuit according to their preferences.

By creating a metaverse experience that allows consumers to meet each other, Ambush is expanding the concept of Fashion Meta-networks, where fashion brands are building alternative online spaces.

Strategic opportunity

Companies that incorporate a social element in their digital spaces should consider adding a series of prompts, activities or games to help consumers who are meeting online get to know each other better

Scientists are on the brink of climate-friendly concrete

Massachusetts – Concrete, one of the most destructive materials on the planet, may soon have a climate-friendly alternative thanks to scientists at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).

Professors Suzanne Scarlata and Nima Rahbar, along with PhD student Shuai Wang, have developed the alternative substance Enzymatic Construction Material (ECM), which self-heals and actively removes greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Made from carbonic anhydrase, an enzyme found in living cells, the material produces 18 pounds of CO2 per cubic yard, compared to 400 pounds of CO2 produced by concrete in the same area.

Although the substance shares the same structural qualities as concrete, it is not currently strong enough to craft free-standing apartment buildings. In the short term, it can be used on smaller construction features like building façades and to patch existing concrete, which often cracks after time.

As concrete is one of the most widely used materials on the planet, second only to water, this breakthrough material ties into the rise of Open-source Sustainability, where architects, construction companies and educators are championing materials to make developments more environmentally friendly.

Self-healing Enzymatic Construction Material (ECM) by Suzanne Scarlata, Nima Rahbar and Shuai Wang at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), US

Strategic opportunity

How might your company draw from science or collaborate with researchers to develop or integrate radical materials for bricks-and-mortar spaces?

Stat: UK families face a severe income squeeze

Nourish Hub by RCKa, UK Nourish Hub by RCKa, UK

As inflation rates soar, the UK is expected to face its most severe income squeeze in 50 years. Independent think tank the Resolution Foundation is projecting that the typical British household’s income will fall by £1,000 ($1,318, €1,200) in 2022.

The UK's cost of living crisis, which had already begun as a result of rising energy prices, an increase in National Insurance rates and higher inflation, is now being worsened by the war in Ukraine, making the situation even more dire for UK citizens. It is now predicted that inflation will peak at 8.3% in April, which is significantly higher than the 7.25% figure that was originally forecast in February. Low- and middle-income families are set to be hit the hardest, as social support policies are not designed to respond in real time to such crises.

As families and homes across the country face the sharpest squeeze in their personal finances since the 1970s, brands must consider their role to assuage its impact, be it through pricing, product range or civic activities.

Strategic opportunity

Brands and retailers must think beyond their offering to consider how energy use or spending associated with their products can be reduced; for example, grocers offering family recipes that use less energy to cook

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