News 27.05.2024

Need to Know

Lily Cole and Skydiamond's carbon-negative jewellery, AI can save birds from wind turbines and why are high-earning Americans living paycheck to paycheck?

Lily Cole and Skydiamond launch carbon-negative diamond jewellery collection

GAIA Collection by Skydiamond in collaboration with Lily Cole, UK
GAIA Collection by Skydiamond in collaboration with Lily Cole, UK
GAIA Collection by Skydiamond in collaboration with Lily Cole, UK

UK – British carbon-negative certified diamond company Skydiamond has collaborated with model and climate activist Lily Cole on a line of fine jewellery.

Made up of nine pieces, the GAIA collection features 18-carat recycled gold globes, split open to reveal a marquise cut Skydiamond suspended in deep black rhodium-plated space, imagined as the jewels of Mother Nature.

The diamonds are made by extracting, liquifying and purifying carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The company states that for every carat of Skydiamond produced, greenhouse gas emissions 'reduce by 99.79% compared to mined diamonds'.

‘Skydiamond represent the perfect metaphor of how we ought to be evolving every industry in the face of the climate crisis: carbon negative by design; a solution rather than a problem,’ Cole told Wallpaper magazine.

Aspiring to appeal to the next generation of environmentally responsible and socially conscious HNWI consumers, the jewellery sector is seeing the beginnings of more sustainable materials and manufacturing processes, driven by Regenerative Luxury Jewels such as Skydiamond’s GAIA collection and circular economy initiatives.

Strategic opportunity

Skydiamond’s pioneering technology repositions sustainability as the ultimate luxury – lots of people own diamonds, but how many own diamonds harvested from the atmosphere? Consider how your brand can embrace creative sustainability innovations within your sector to stand out in a crowded market

France debuts scratch-and-sniff baguette-scented stamps

Illustrations by Stéphane Humbert-Basset for LA POSTED, France Illustrations by Stéphane Humbert-Basset for LA POSTED, France
Illustrations by Stéphane Humbert-Basset for LA POSTED, France Illustrations by Stéphane Humbert-Basset for LA POSTED, France

France - La Poste, the national postal service of France, has introduced a novel stamp featuring an iconic symbol of French culture: la baguette. Utilising scratch-and-sniff technology, the stamp emits the aroma of freshly baked bread, adding a sensory dimension to traditional postage.

Crafted by illustrator Stéphane Humbert-Basset, the design showcases a baguette bound in the red, white and blue colours of the French flag, accompanied by the inscription ‘La baguette de pain française’ meaning ‘the French baguette'.

This innovative postage stamp not only aims to inject fun into mailing but also celebrates the cultural significance and impact of the baguette in French society. Recognised by UNESCO as part of France's cultural heritage, the baguette (over six billion are made each year), holds a cherished place in daily life and embodyies rituals and traditions ingrained in French cuisine.

Priced at £1.67 ($2.13, €1.96) per stamp, there will be 594,000 copies available to purchase. As France prepares to host the Paris 2024 Olympics, this fragrant tribute to the beloved baguette serves as a reminder of the nation's rich culinary story.

To keep up with the latest innovations in design, head to our Design section.

Strategic opportunity

How can your business incorporate scents, textures or other sensory elements into products or marketing campaigns to create immersive and memorable experiences for customers?

Spoor's AI technology protects birds from wind turbines

Gaudism.AI Gaudism.AI

Norway – Spoor, an Oslo-based startup, employs AI to safeguard birds from the dangers of wind turbines. Wind energy is a leading renewable source in the US, yet it poses risks to avian populations, particularly in regions with endangered species. Spoor’s innovative software uses machine learning to detect birds, track their movements and predict flight patterns.

'The expectations from the regulators are growing, but the industry doesn’t have a great tool,' Spoor co-founder and CEO Ask Helseth told TechCrunch. The technology allows wind farms to adjust turbine operation based on bird activity, potentially halting turbines during high-risk periods. This ensures compliance with environmental regulations, such as the US Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Spoor recently raised £3.2m ($4m, €3.7m) in seed funding from investors including Futurum Ventures and Superorganism. As Helseth noted: 'We are still a small company, per se, but we have interest from around the world, the industry is hungry for our solutions.'

For more insights on how artificial intelligence can create a better future, read our AI Optimism Market report.

Strategic opportunity

Identify other industries where AI could mitigate environmental impacts (such as agriculture, fishing or mining) and develop tailored AI solutions to protect wildlife and promote sustainability

Stat: High-earning Americans face financial woes as they are living paycheck to paycheck

Goldwin’s spring/summer 2024, Japan Goldwin’s spring/summer 2024, Japan

US - A recent PYMNTS report, written in February to March 2024, surveyed more than 4,000 people and highlighted findings that a significant portion of Americans, including high earners, are living paycheck to paycheck. According to the study, 62% of Americans experienced this financial strain. This included 48% of those earning more than £79,000 ($100,000, €92,200) annually and 36% of those earning more than £157,300 ($200,000, €184,300).

The reasons vary across income levels. Low-income earners state insufficient income; however, high-income earners attribute their strained situation to family expenses and non-essential spending. Millennials and urban residents are particularly affected.

Despite higher prices of goods, people with high-incomes are less inclined to reduce their discretionary spending. Recreation, personal care and everyday transactions account for 28% of their budgets. As well as this, 17% of high earners making £157,300 ($200,000, €184,300) or more have not saved consistently over the past year.

Our recent Millennials macrotrend report explores how this generation has major concerns regarding the cost of living crisis and are looking for proactive ways to improve their financial situation.

Strategic opportunity

How can your business introduce affordable pricing options? As consumers become more cost-conscious, develop products that are both value-driven and competitive in pricing

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