Need to Know
23 : 08 : 22

Solar-powered headphones set new sustainability standards, the healthiest cities for your skin, and high-income consumers fuel fashion flipping

Nendo's architectural archive doubles as a guesthouse

Nendo’s Culvert Guesthouse is an architectural archive designed to store the studio’s legacy of furniture, products and artwork, with added residential suite, Japan

Japan – Located in the forest near Miyota-machi in Nagano Prefecture, surrounded by trees and nearby streams, the Culvert Guesthouse is Nendo’s new archive space. The minimalist structure will act as a storage facility for the studio’s furniture, products and artwork, while welcoming guests to an accompanying residential space.

The striking structure was created using prefabricated concrete box culverts usually used to house water and electricity utilities underground. The consistent white interior and exterior creates a uniform, minimalist feel that’s softened by the surrounding woodland. The resulting space is less architectural, but rather a project that combines civil engineering concepts with product design details,’ explains Nendo. By creating an overall aesthetic that’s in harmony with its brand identity, Nendo tells visitors the story of the studio through the combination of the building and its contents.

This space demonstrates how Open-door HQs are allowing companies to bring customers closer than ever, with experiential spaces that offer powerful storytelling opportunities and a level of transparency that can’t be replicated online.

Strategic opportunity

Consider developing an archive that tells a compelling story about your brand and invite customers to visit and explore it in the flesh

Solar-powered headphones for sustainable sounds

RPT-02 SOL by Adidas and Zound Industries, US RPT-02 SOL by Adidas and Zound Industries, US
RPT-02 SOL by Adidas and Zound Industries, US RPT-02 SOL by Adidas and Zound Industries, US

US – Sportswear company Adidas has teamed up with speaker brand Zound to release a pair of headphones that can be charged using sunshine and artificial light. The RPT-02 SOL headphones have a headband made of Powerfoyle, a solar-cell fabric that converts sunshine and artificial light into power.

Although the ideal source of energy for the headphones is natural sunlight, the photovoltaic material can also be powered by ordinary bulbs and lights. Even on overcast days, the Powerfoyle can collect energy from imperceptible UV rays that pass through clouds, unlike many other photovoltaic materials on the market that can only do so when exposed to direct sunlight. On full charge, the headphones can play music for up to 80 hours.

Such portable devices represent new directions for the renewable energy market, demonstrating how clean energy harvesting can begin at home or on the go.

Strategic opportunity

Solar-powered fabrics could help forge new innovations in functional fashion. Consider how such alternative materials could be used to develop warming or cooling clothing, for example.

Nordic cities are the healthiest for your skin

Global – With a wide range of factors affecting skin health, from UV rays to air pollution, new research examines how much impact location has on complexion. The study by insurance comparison site Compare the Market analysed data from 50 different cities around the world to uncover the healthiest places to live for your skin.

According to the study, all five of the world’s best cities for skin health are in the Nordic region, with Bergen in Norway coming out on top, followed by Oslo (also in Norway), Copenhagen in Denmark, Helsinki in Finland and Stockholm in Sweden. The study considered various contributing factors: pollution levels, working hours, prevalence of smoking, average sunlight hours and average temperature.

Home to colder cities with less sunlight than many other locations, the Nordic region averages the healthiest scores across the factors taken into account. With work-related stress having a huge impact on skin health, Bergen’s lower working hours per year contributes to its first-place ranking.

As consumers increasingly look to Accredited Beauty brands backed up by science, let data lead the way when developing products and campaigns.

Charlotte Tilbury Cryo-Recovery Face Mask

Strategic opportunity

Consider how you can tap into regional data to create travel and hospitality offerings that appeal to consumer desire for climate-proof wellness

Stat: High-income consumers buy fashion to resell

Gucci Equilibrium and Farfetch Gucci Equilibrium and Farfetch

The second-hand fashion market is evolving from an affordable, environmentally friendly way to purchase clothing into a tool for wealthy shoppers to source rare items and develop new revenue streams. According to a small study by resale service provider Recurate, 48% of high-income consumers purchase fashion with the intention of reselling it.

The study reveals that female urbanites making £42–84k ($50–100k, €50–100k) annually, including freelancers, are ‘shaping the future of fashion’, with 77% of them buying and selling used clothing at least once every two to three months. Some 89% of this group would also purchase re-commerce, indicating an opportunity for premium labels to create proprietary resale platforms.

While second-hand fashion has traditionally been seen as a planet-friendly way to purchase inexpensive clothing, the market is now changing to include wealthy shoppers and discerning fashion buyers, especially as the negative cultural connotation of wearing used clothing fades. Among members of Generation Z, for example, scoring a vintage ‘grail’, a term that is used to describe a highly sought-after item, is often viewed as the ultimate fashion flex.

Strategic opportunity

With such a high level of consumer interest in previous collections, how can luxury companies use their social media to become education platforms that provide information on fashion history?

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