News 09.10.2023

Need to Know

A conscious soap washing away climate guilt, Prada designs lunar spacesuits and why US women face higher medical costs than men.

Greenwash soap promises to wash away climate guilt

Greenwash by Better Climate Store, US

US – Climate cynicism is on the rise. The latest brand activation to join the movement is aptly called Greenwash, a body soap specifically designed to cleanse body and conscience from the emotional guilt stemming from the climate crisis.

San Francisco-based Better Climate Store, an online marketplace using humour to spread planet positivity, is behind the launch.Taking inspiration from deceitful sustainability statements made by corporations, the Greenwash bar soap comes with its own set of claims, promising to wash the soul from climate guilt and helping the planet.

‘I really spiral when I think about the role consumerism plays in the destruction of the planet. But Greenwash almost makes me feel better,’ says Ashley, a fictional, consumer quoted in the Better Climate launch campaign.

Beyond the subversion, the soap is locally made using responsibly sourced ingredients, with proceeds benefitting the Better Climate Fund, a community-driven project financing climate mitigation projects. To delve deeper into this new era of environmental communication, take a look at our Subversive Sustainability Ads microtrend.

Strategic opportunity

How can your business bypass consumers’ green fatigue and speak about sustainability in a way that resonates with them, while standing out from the crowd?

Prada to collaborate with Axiom Space on lunar spacesuits

Axiom Space, US Axiom Space, US
Prada and Axiom Space Prada and Axiom Space

Global – Italian fashion giant Prada is venturing into space fashion through a partnership with commercial space firm Axiom Space. They will be working on creating lunar spacesuits for NASA’s Artemis III mission, scheduled for 2025.

The collaboration aims to develop NASA’s Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) spacesuit design, enhancing wearers’ capabilities and comfort in the challenging space environment. Prada’s technical expertise in raw materials, manufacturing techniques and innovative design will contribute to the development of advanced spacesuits and shows the relevance of cross-skill collaboration in the luxury industry, as revealed in our Luxury Recrafted macrotrend report.

Prada’s venture into spacesuit design highlights its commitment to nurturing a forward-thinking ethos. It is also a great addition to the growing number of innovative space products, as tracked in our Innovation Debrief 2023–2024 report.

Strategic opportunity

As opportunities in commercial space travel grow, brands should consider how to capture this uncharted territory. Take a cue from Prada’s spacesuits and develop innovative products and forward-thinking partnerships to permanently etch your brand name into this arena

Hitachi turns to the metaverse for next-generation workforce training

AOI, UK AOI, UK

Japan – Multinational electronics giant Hitachi is using the metaverse to enable skilled manufacturing workers to run demonstrations on real-world equipment.

Using VR headsets, ceiling cameras and sensor data, instructors can move their hands in real life and the movement is mirrored by a virtual set of hands in the metaverse. The workers can then replicate the motions themselves, becoming more comfortable with the task in a risk-free environment.

The company is set to field-test the technology at railway construction sites and power plants, where experienced employees previously had to travel regularly to conduct on-site training.

The company hopes this application of the metaverse will act as a solution to Japan’s ageing population. By 2030, more than 30% of Japan will be 65 or older, according to Japanese government forecasts, leading to concerns about labour shortages and the loss of Japanese craftsmanship.

As explored in our Betterverse macrotrend report, the metaverse is ripe with opportunities for companies such as Hitachi to find innovative solutions to social and environmental problems.

Strategic opportunity

Integrating the metaverse into your brand is often discussed in terms of user experience, ignoring its educational potential. How can you incorporate virtual training into your onboarding process for remote workers?

Stat: US women face higher medical costs than men

AI imagery by The Future Laboratory, UK AI imagery by The Future Laboratory, UK

US – A 2023 study by Deloitte has revealed that in the US, women’s out-of-pocket medical costs are disproportionately higher than men’s, even when excluding pregnancy-related services.

Analysing health insurance data from 2017 to 2022, Deloitte found that, on average, under single coverage, women face £12.3bn ($15bn, €14.2bn) or 18% more out-of-pocket medical costs than their male counterparts.

While data shows that women seek more healthcare and treatments than men on average, this does not account for the 18% discrepancy in out-of-pocket expenditure. The study also found that for every premium dollar spent on medical healthcare, women tend to get less value than men.

‘This combination of higher healthcare expenditure and the gender wage gap can negatively impact the financial and health status of employed women, potentially creating a choice between the care women need and the care they can afford,’ says the report.

Discover more of the latest Health and Wellness news and trends in our series on LS:N Global.

Strategic opportunity

Examine your current benefits coverage with the health equity gap and gender wage gaps in mind. How can you stand up for your women employees and ensure they have access to affordable healthcare?

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