News 14.09.2023

Need to Know

Fairphone introduces ‘fairest battery yet’ in new release, Instagram’s Eva Chen designs kidswear for H&M and why business leaders plan to spend more on social media.

Fairphone launches its most sustainable smartphone yet

Fairphone 5, The Netherlands

Global – Dutch tech company Fairphone, known for its commitment to ethical smartphone manufacturing, has unveiled the Fairphone 5 in collaboration with Swedish design agency Above. This release underlines Fairphone’s dedication to reducing the environmental and social impact of battery metal mining.

Key features of the Fairphone 5 include its ground-breaking battery, made from recycled steel, nickel alloy, tin and plastic. Fairphone also aims to improve the working conditions of supply chain labourers of metals such as lithium, gold and cobalt. Its initiatives include sourcing lithium from a mine audited against the standard set by the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance – recognised as an industry leader. Moreover, Fairphone employs ‘mineral credits’ to offset its material use, supporting safer mining conditions and creating fairer models of production.

Beyond its battery, the Fairphone 5 is e-waste-neutral, with Fairphone recycling an equivalent amount of electronic waste for every new phone sold. The brand is also maintaining its commitment to creating repairable tech, with Fairphone 5’s battery being removable and replaceable, along with nine other modules including the cameras, loudspeaker, USBC-port, SIM card and SD card slot. Design agency Above has created these components to be easier to remove than before, aligning with consumers’ demand for the right to repair, as discussed in Six tech brands developing DIY repairable devices.

Strategic opportunity

Find inspiration in Fairphone’s approach to e-waste. Consider implementing e-waste offset programmes, where a proportion of electronic waste produced by your business is recycled – demonstrating a commitment to addressing the end-of-life impact of your products

Instagram’s Eva Chen designs sustainable kidswear for H&M

Eva Chen x H&M, US Eva Chen x H&M, US
Eva Chen x H&M, US Eva Chen x H&M, US

US – Author, journalist and director of fashion partnerships at Instagram, Eva Chen, has partnered with H&M on a sustainable children’s clothing line.

The collection, which was launched in the US on 7 September 2023, was inspired by her three children and features functional, gender-fluid and playful designs covered in images of trees, flowers and mushrooms. ‘I was really inspired by the joy that my children got from playing outside and being in nature,’ Chen told Good Morning America, ‘I wanted to design a line that moms will want to cherish and keep as hand-me-downs to share with other moms.’

Materials such as recycled cotton, recycled polyester and TENCEL™ Lyocell were used to create the bucket hats, fleeces, denim jackets and jeans that make up the eco-friendly collaboration.

Chen and H&M’s collection highlights the growing focus on sustainability in the children’s clothing sector, as identified in our 2023 Kidswear Market report.

Strategic opportunity

As Gen Z become parents, convenience and durability still matter, but sustainability is a priority too. Consider circular fashion at every life stage and prioritise creating eco-friendly products that can be passed down to siblings and friends throughout the years

Google DeepMind unveils SynthID to combat AI-generated images

Global – In August 2023, Google DeepMind released SynthID, a tool designed to watermark AI-generated images imperceptible to humans but discernible by an AI detection program.

The tool embeds a watermark within the image without altering its quality, making it robust against transformations like cropping and resizing. SynthID is being initially launched for Google Cloud customers using Vertex AI and the Imagen image generator. It aims to combat issues like deepfakes and enhance the trustworthiness of AI-generated content.

The release comes amid rising concerns about AI-generated content’s potential misuse. While SynthID represents a step forward in addressing this issue, Google acknowledges it's a work in progress and intends to refine it with real-world testing. Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian told The Verge that he sees potential use cases beyond just deepfake detection, such as verifying the authenticity of images in business contexts like marketing and retail.

While many tech giants are working on similar solutions, the challenge lies in finding effective and widely adopted standards for AI detection. As explored in The Future of Responsible AI, usage, control and audit will ensure that artificial intelligence does not harm humanity. That’s why tools like SynthID must become the new normal.

AI imagery by The Future Laboratory, UK

Strategic opportunity

Consider using tools like SynthID to ensure the authenticity of the images used in your marketing materials, product descriptions and advertisements. This could boost consumer trust and reduce the risk of using misleading or false visuals

Stat: Business leaders plan to spend more on social media

Photography by Shingi Rice, UK Photography by Shingi Rice, UK

UK, US – A 2023 report by Sprout Social and The Harris Poll has found that despite the turbulent economy and widespread budget cuts, 80% of business leaders are expecting to spend more on social media in the next three years. Of those, 44% estimate their social media budgets will increase by more than 50%.

The Harris Poll surveyed more than 750 leaders in social media marketing, customer care and communications in the UK and the US to find out how they’re investing in social media. The results indicate intent to continue advancing the role of social media within organisations, with 90% of leaders saying that their company’s success is dependent on how effectively it can use social media data and insights to inform business strategy.

The study also found that businesses are looking to integrate artificial intelligence (AI), with 97% of leaders agreeing that AI and machine learning (ML) will enable companies to analyse social media data and insights more efficiently.

As explored in our Targeting ultra-high-net-worth individuals on social media report, investing in better digital marketing strategies is crucial to reaching the affluent customers of today and tomorrow.

Strategic opportunity

As budgets for social media are expected to increase significantly, companies should allocate their funds wisely. Conduct thorough research to identify the most effective social media channels for your target audience and industry

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