Need to Know
31 : 08 : 22

J Crew cashes in on the pickleball craze, Alibaba re-imagines sustainable e-commerce, and science-backed beauty is rising in Brazil.

J Crew starts selling pickleball apparel

J Crew and Recess, US

US – Pickleball is now one of the fastest growing sports in America and fashion company J Crew is taking notice. The brand is partnering with Texan pickleball specialist Recess to release paddles in J Crew’s signature patterns and activewear for the wildly popular game.

In addition to paddles, the collection includes tennis skirts, high-rise leggings, dresses and sports bras, with prices ranging from £29.50 ($34.50, €35.50) to £101 ($118, €118). The clothing company made the decision to enter the growing pickleball market after noticing that the sport was trending on social medial and that J Crew customers were participating in the game.

‘We love it when J Crew customers become our inspiration and show us what they’re up to on social media. Pickleball has been trending on social media and within our audiences, and as one of the fastest-growing sports in America right now, we had to get involved,’ says Lisa Greenwald, chief merchandising officer of J Crew.

By analysing social media activity to develop new products, J Crew is showing how consumer data can inspire clothing for Sportive Affluents.

Strategic opportunity

Fashion companies should monitor social media activity to determine what activities their customers are engaged in to introduce clothing that caters for new interests

Kate Moss launches a restorative wellness brand

Cosmoss by Kate Moss, UK Cosmoss by Kate Moss, UK
Kate Moss for Vogue France. Photography by Carlijn Jacobs, France Kate Moss for Vogue France. Photography by Carlijn Jacobs, France

UK – Completing a metamorphosis from the hard-partying face of 1990s fashion excess to four years sober yoga enthusiast, Kate Moss has announced the arrival of a new wellness brand, Cosmoss. With a strong emphasis on self-care and restorative ingredients, initial products will include detox tea, CBD face oil, eau de parfum and a face cream.

Rather than completely shy away from Moss’s past, the brand’s storytelling focuses on the supermodel’s journey, positioning the new launch as a product of the process of self-acceptance. Calming tones and relaxed, naturalistic imagery emphasise feelings of balance and restoration. The Cosmoss Instagram page has attracted over 30,000 followers before the brand has even been launched, testament to Moss’s enduring star power.

Cosmoss draws on the extraordinary life experience of Kate Moss – ready to share her journey of self-acceptance and freely be herself. Each Cosmoss product has been meticulously crafted with wellbeing in mind, using potent, natural substances,’ reads one Instagram post from the brand.

The transformation taps into a wider shift in consumer mindsets towards Enlightened States, where inward-facing personal progress and self-discovery are prioritised over status and spectacle.

Strategic opportunity

Encourage customers to embrace personal progress and find balance, shifting away from overly polished and unachievable imagery

Alibaba gamifies sustainable shopping

China – Chinese tech giant Alibaba has launched 88 Carbon Account (88碳账户), a sustainable rewards programme that allows shoppers to accrue points by uploading evidence of low-carbon actions, such as taking public transport and bringing re-usable coffee cups to cafés.

By earning points, customers will be able to unlock digital badges and discounts on products from Alibaba’s e-commerce platform. The scheme aims to ‘mobilise sustainable behavioural changes and environment-friendly actions from its users’, says Dr Chen Long, vice-president of Alibaba Group and chair of Alibaba’s Sustainability Steering Committee.

While this is not the first carbon-reduction initiative launched by Chinese e-commerce platform Alibaba, it's an important step in the direction of the country's goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

Glossier, Seattle

Strategic opportunity

How can e-commerce platforms release programmes that incentivise consumers to recycle packaging and adopt greener lifestyles? Consider launching a rewards app

Stat: Brazil’s appetite for science-backed clean beauty is growing

111umination Beauty by Aurore Piedigrossi and Tobias Siebrecht, France 111umination Beauty by Aurore Piedigrossi and Tobias Siebrecht, France

The majority of Brazilian consumers are now aware of clean beauty, but as the market grows brands will have to make sure their claims are backed up with evidence. Research from market research company Mintel shows that those who get it right will be well rewarded. In a new survey, 29% of Brazilian men aged 25–34 said they would spend more on beauty and wellness products developed by scientists or researchers.

As the market continues to expand, brands must ensure they are effectively communicating product benefits and backing up claims with scientific evidence. Some 80% of Brazilian consumers overall believe brands need to do more to prove that ethical claims are trustworthy, while 38% say that science-backed claims are an important factor to consider when making a clean beauty purchase.

We’ve recently tracked the critical importance of Accredited Beauty in the wellness market, and the latest research continues to reinforce this trend across regions.

Strategic opportunity

Clear communication on product benefits that are fully supported by science will be key when launching clean ranges in new regions

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