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Published: 22 Mar 2018

Orveda Launches Multipurpose Emulsion


A big trend for streamlined, multipurpose skincare packed with benefits is driving a wave of exciting new start-ups and product launches. The latest comes from luxe biochemistry brand Orveda, whose latest 3-in-1 hybrid emulsion combines three treatments for intense hydration and skin recovery.

The Prebiotic Emulsion is a lightweight, but heavy-duty product that acts as a daily moisturiser, a primer, and a weekly intensive treatment. It aims to act as a skin-recovery booster, with a high 14.5% concentration of 12 actives that work to restore the glow of tired, dehydrated, over-processed and post-procedure skin.

The actives in the brand’s signature prebiotic formula – bio-fermented kombucha, marine enzymes and natural prebiotics – work in harmony with the skin’s microflora (bacteria). The product taps into a growing consumer and brand focus on the skin microbiome, and keeping it in balance for optimal healthy skin. For more on this, see Bacteria Beauty  and Biotransforming Beauty.  

The intensive weekly treatment is applied with an accompanying silicone mask, which is unique in its reusability (sheet masks are typically thrown away, with few touting biodegradability). This tackles the issue of landfill waste and sustainability in an age when the Asian masking trend is increasingly shaping product use and purchasing in global markets. For more on masking, see The Sheet-Mask Revolution.

For more on streamlined, multipurpose beauty trends, see Streamlining Product, Six-Piece Skincare, Augustinus Bader and Streamlined & Minimal: Fresh Beauty Directions.

Published: 20 Mar 2018

Uber Health: Rides for Patients

Uber Health

San Francisco-based transport company Uber has launched a new service called Uber Health to help healthcare organisations supply transport for their patients.

Introduced on March 1, the Uber Health dashboard allows healthcare professionals to schedule rides for their patients on demand or up to a month ahead of time. Multiple rides can be booked at the same time and are paid for by the healthcare facilities.

What's special about the platform is that patients don't need a smartphone to use the service, as they are informed about their trip through text messages. This is an important feature as many older patients do not own smartphones, and if they do, they are often not confident using apps. In the future, Uber plans to introduce the option to be notified via a call to a mobile phone or landline instead, for those who don't own a mobile or have visual impairments.

The company has partnered with over 100 healthcare organisations in the US and the programme is accessible 24 hours a day, wherever Uber is available in the country.

With global healthcare spending projected to reach $8.7tn by 2020 (Deloitte, 2018), it's no wonder Uber wants to be part of this industry. According to 2017 research, Uber has already disrupted medical transportation, with ambulance usage in US cities having decreased by 7% since the introduction of Uber. With Uber Health, this disruption is set to continue.

For more on the future of mobility and inclusive transport, see High-Octane Hubs.

Published: 19 Mar 2018

Two-Piece Skincare Line Represents Future of Anti-Ageing

Augustinus Bader

New scientific skincare brand Augustinus Bader’s unique regenerative formula capitalises on expert stem-cell technology that signals the future of anti-ageing beauty. The compact product range comprises just two creams with multifunctional properties – shrewdly tapping into the growing streamlined beauty trend.

An expert in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, German professor Augustinus Bader is known for using stem cells to medically treat burn victims. With the launch of his new eponymous brand, Bader is harnessing this healing technology (also known as Trigger Factor Complex 8) to offer consumers high-end skincare with expert anti-ageing benefits.

His unique formula triggers stem cells in the cream to repair and renew cells in the skin – reversing the signs of ageing. In an interview with UK-based beauty website Byrdie, Bader said: “This cream allows [the skin] to remodel differently. It’s like a toolbox allowing your cells to fix the problems.”

The product line consists of The Cream (for oily to normal skin) and The Rich Cream (for dry skin). Retailing at $265 each, the price point reflects the amino acid and vitamin-packed formulas’ ability to provide effective anti-ageing care and tackle a range of skin concerns –from pigmentation to fine lines – in one multifunctioning product.

For more on stem cells and the streamlined sell in the beauty category, see Future Beauty: New-Era Naturals, Future Beauty: Accelerated Anti-Ageing, 2018: Look Ahead – Beauty and Streamlined & Minimal: Fresh Beauty Directions

Published: 19 Mar 2018

Elan Skis’ Virtual Skiing Coach

Elan Skis' Smart Ski Concept

Slovenia-based ski manufacturer Elan Skis has created the Smart Ski Concept, a system that evaluates skiing movements and helps improve technique – like a virtual skiing coach.

Sensor-enabled smart skis monitor the user's movements – including weight flex and balance distribution – and then communicate that data to a smartphone via Bluetooth. An accompanying app then analyses the user's ski dynamics and relays advice through an earpiece on how to improve. This transfer of information allows the smart skis to serve as a personal ski coach, letting the user evaluate their weaknesses and adjust their movements in real time.

Debuted at sporting goods trade fair ISPO 2018 in Munich in January, the Smart Ski Concept remains a prototype, and will continue to be developed and tested on Elan Skis products.

"As consumers are connected across every touchpoint of their daily lives, it's an advancement not only for Elan, but also for the ski industry to connect technology between the skier and their skis," said Melanja Šober, head of product management for Elan's winter division.

An increasing number of fitness devices are engaging users in conversation and delivering on-the-go recommendations. In addition, global revenue from smart audio hardware will more than triple over the next four years, rising to over $5.5bn by 2020 (Juniper Research, 2016).

To succeed in the fit-tech space, brands should develop workout-boosting hearables that deliver real-time voice feedback from a virtual coach, alongside accurate biometrics. For more, read CES 2017: Personal Electronics.

Published: 16 Mar 2018

Reinvigorating Femcare Products

Clockwise L-R: Callaly, Dame, Mcycle

The social stigma surrounding female menstruation is evolving as progressive start-ups, brands and designers dare to confront social taboos. We examine the brands stepping in with body-positive marketing campaigns and sustainable solutions to capitalise on an enthusiastic market of women seeking new alternatives.

UK start-up Dame has created a reusable applicator tampon made from a self-cleaning antimicrobial material. Combining medical-grade materials that naturally sterilise the device, the applicator remains safe and hygienic after multiple uses. Featuring a smooth semi-gloss finish and shaped to suit the contours of the body, Dame is designed to be comfortable and easy to control.

Similarly, new UK femcare brand Callaly has created the Tampliner. Offering the functions of both a tampon and a panty liner, the Tampliner promises greater absorbency to give users better peace of mind. Co-founded by gynaecologist Dr Alex Hooi, Callaly is the culmination of years of working with, and listening to, the frustration of women who don’t feel adequately protected with existing product.

Also from the UK, graduate Kaye Toland developed Mcycle, a tampon delivery service concept that transforms tampons into compost. Mcycle proposes a system where organic tampons are delivered to subscribers by bicycle. After use, the tampon’s packaging can be used as a bin that is later collected and composted in non-food soil.

Read Breaking Taboos in Packaging Futures: Diversity and Beauty Inspired by Menstrual Cycles for examples of body-positive brands tackling the topic of female menstruation. Also see Tackling Taboos for more on the brave marketing campaigns winning over consumers.

Published: 14 Mar 2018

Members-Only Medical Spa

The Arts Club X Lanserhof

London members' club The Arts Club is collaborating with German spa group Lanserhof to open a 'medical gym' at its Dover Street club in Mayfair.

The facility will include access to a team of doctors and therapists who specialise in optimising gut health by using theories developed over 100 year ago by Austrian physicist Franz Xaver Mayr. Treatments are inspired by practices Mayr developed, such as pre-dawn stretching exercises in the forest and a dose of purging Epsom salts before breakfast. The treatment centre will also include cryotherapy chambers (where users are exposed to freezing temperatures as low as -90°C), as well as a gym space and studio.

According to a spokesman at the club, "the specialists at Lanserhof will be able to detect potential illnesses before they even become an issue. It's all about healing and prevention and helping people extend the quality and length of their lives."

The spa space is set to open in late 2018 and membership will be priced separately to that of The Arts Club.

This collaboration reflects our thinking around the boom in products and services focused on improving consumes' gut health, and its relation to overall mental health and wellbeing. See our Look Ahead 2017, as well as New Architecture of Taste (part of our latest Industry Trend, The Future of Flavour) and New Food Covetables.

Published: 12 Mar 2018

Amager Resource Center: Urban Ski Slope on Waste Plant

Amager Resource Center

From autumn 2018, Copenhagen's waste-to-energy plant Amager Resource Center (ARC) will include a year-round artificial rooftop ski slope, a hiking hill and a climbing wall for local residents.

Originally opened in March 2017, the waste facility is considered the cleanest and most efficient incineration plant in the world. Usually, such waste-management plants are kept outside cities or well hidden. ARC, however, will become a destination in its own right. Designed by Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group, the building's new features will include a grove of 30 trees, the world's tallest climbing wall and a 600-metre ski slope on top of its slanted roof. The surrounding area will provide further recreational facilities, such as soccer fields, a go-kart track and water sports.

ARC brings Copenhagen one step closer to becoming a carbon-neutral city by 2025. It powers 62,500 homes and provides 160,000 households with hot water, while emitting 100,000 fewer tonnes of carbon dioxide than the city's previous plant.

As part of the new design additions, the plant will emit carbon dioxide smoke in the form of giant rings for each 250kg of the gas produced. The smoke rings will be visible from most of Copenhagen and are expected to raise awareness about the scale of air pollution that's produced, even in a plant with huge efficiency measures. It's an attempt to help people become more aware of the waste they produce in their daily lives.

For more on the innovative solutions for environmentally friendly city living, see Smart Cities: High-Octane Hubs.

Published: 9 Mar 2018

Holistic Room Service

The James Hotel

US boutique hotel chain The James Hotel has announced it's launching a new wellbeing-focused room service menu offering a range of spiritual services and holistic therapies.

Available at the brand's two New York hotels and its base in Chicago, the Readers on Room Service menu includes tarot card and birth chart readings, holistic life coaching, hypnosis, reiki and sound healing.

This offering is part of the chain's new health-centred programme called Four Bodies Wellness. This includes in-room workouts, free subscriptions to meditation app Inscape, and TV-based bedside kundalini yoga classes, which aim to cure jet lag. Guests also have access to a meditation space and yoga studio, while those at the New York locations will be able to use high-performance, machine-free gym Aerospace.

This programme reflects the wider trend for transcendent travel and consumer desire for spiritual growth – as explored in Travel for the Agile Elite and Modern Mysticism.

See also Rebooting Room Service: Food, Fashion & Beyond for more on how hotels are flexing the definition of room service, and Hospitality's Fitness Focus for a renewed emphasis on health and fitness in the travel space.

Published: 9 Mar 2018

Immersive Exhibition Explores Chromotherapy

Harmonics in Space by Fred Butler

A new London exhibition by British accessories and prop designer Fred Butler explores chromotherapy (colour therapy) as an antidote to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and the negative effects of urban living, presenting a series of colourful and immersive installations.

Designed to promote self-care and wellbeing, Harmonics in Space considers how colour, light, shape and sound can create a therapeutic environment; a space to stand, breathe and reconnect the mind, away from the mundane everyday.

It features a collection of large-scale three-dimensional sculptures called ‘healing spheres’ in stimulating bright colour gradients. Visitors are invited to put their heads inside and experience a range of colourful lights.

“The benefit of this type of light and colour therapy enables an interplay between the conscious and unconscious levels of the psyche, stimulating the imagination and releasing creativity,” says Butler.

A soundtrack also accompanies the exhibition, with visitors able to listen to a selection of reflective and contrasting compositions as they progress through the space.

The exhibition aligns with a growing number of immersive environments that aim to optimise and engage multiple senses. See ChromaYoga: Sensory Immersion for Exercise and Elevating Senses in Transformative Spaces for further examples.

Take a look at our A/W 19/20 Colour Direction Playful Optimism for inspiration on uplifting colour hues and immersive spaces.

Harmonics in Space is on at London’s Now Gallery and runs until April 29.

Published: 7 Mar 2018

VM Trend: Retail x Floristry

Mansur Gavriel

A new wave of in-store floristry concepts is engaging shoppers with an appetite for natural delights and green sanctuaries. Flowers and plants promote wellness and a reconnection with nature.

  • Exotic Partnership: Italian outerwear brand Woolrich has opened a new store in Milan with a lush winter garden and exotic plant shop in the inner courtyard. It’s curated by Japanese plant artist Satoshi Kawamoto, owner of creative plant shop Green Fingers in Tokyo, and sells plants for the home.
  • LA Flower Market: New York fashion and accessories brand Mansur Gavriel’s new store on Melrose Place in LA takes cues from relaxed Californian lifestyle. The space has an open-air garden, pond and courtyard. It’s also home to a café and sells custom flower arrangements from a market stall on the front porch.
Woolrich X Greenfingers
Woolrich X Greenfingers
Woolrich X Greenfingers
Mansur Gavriel
Mansur Gavriel
Mansur Gavriel
Mansur Gavriel
Mansur Gavriel
  • Highlighting Parisian Style: Parisian beauty brand Buly 1803 has revived the iconic Grand Café Tortoni – famous for its ice cream in the 1960s. The hybrid beauty shop and café also sells Korean fashion and dried flower arrangements by Japanese florist Miyoko Yasumoto in its new outpost in the Marais district of Paris. Fellow French womenswear label Sézane hosts flower arrangement workshops by New York florist Flower Girl in its apartment-style store in NYC.
  • Flower Counter: American fashion jewellery brand Lulu Frost’s New York store repurposes its counter as a flower arrangement bar, managed by US florist Tess Casey. All bouquets come with a booklet providing pretty descriptions of the flowers – for example, peonies state: ‘I’m charmed by you’.

See Nature Embracers and Biophilia-Boosted Retail Design for more.

Grand Cafe Tortoni
Grand Cafe Tortoni
Grand Cafe Tortoni
Sezane X Floral Girl
Sezane X Floral Girl
Lulu Frost X Tess Casey
Lulu Frost X Tess Casey
Lulu Frost X Tess Casey
Published: 7 Mar 2018

Somnai: Immersive Lucid-Dreaming Experience


London-based production company Dotdotdot has launched an event called Somnai that lets participants dream lucidly and access their subconscious minds.

Somnai promises to "awaken all your human senses" through a layered-reality experience, with the first performances taking place in March 2018. During 90-minute sessions, participants engage with immersive technology to trigger lucid dreaming, allowing them to explore and control aspects of their dreams while in a semi-conscious state.

This will be made possible via interactions with live actors, virtual-reality (VR) technology and immersive media. Participants will wear a VR headset, but also experience stimuli from real-life actors and sensory elements to trigger taste and touch, altering their sense of reality even further.

"We can mess with you because we've got you in a digital environment," chief executive Andrew McGuinness told Huffington Post. "You feel the wind blowing up, you feel the spray, there's a smell of seaweed. So everything's there to convince you and immerse you really in that environment."

The event's theme is an indicator of how consumers are increasingly interested in exploring their unknown, possibly darker sides of their personalities – an idea unpacked in Shadow Selves: Tapping Consumers' Dark Sides. With an enhanced desire for introspection, consumers are seeking opportunities to access their subconscious as a source for greater meaning, creativity and self-care.

It also chimes with New Nightlife, which looks at how people are embracing immersive theatrical nightlife experiences that diverge from traditional forms of entertainment.

Published: 5 Mar 2018

Chinese Parents Put Children First

Some 72% of young Chinese parents (aged 20 to 29) believe that raising their kids is more important than developing their career

Chinese parents are prioritising their families over their careers and putting their children's needs before their own, according to findings from global market research firm Mintel.

Released in December 2017, the study surveyed young parents aged between 20 and 39, who have at least one child aged 17 or below. Key findings include:

  • Children First: Some 72% of young Chinese parents (aged 20 to 29) believe that raising their kids is more important than developing their career. They strive to improve their children's quality of life: 93% set tangible goals for the next five years, such as buying a house (35%) or a car (24%).
  • Pet Love: Chinese parents believe that pets can improve their children's quality of life. Sixty-five per cent think they're beneficial to their children's growth, as they offer opportunities for exercise and companionship - particularly when considered in light of the country's one-child policy, which was in place until 2016.
  • Father Figures: Chinese fathers are involved in their children's upbringing, with 54% stating that communication among family members is very important. They also have a say when it comes to family leisure and entertainment, with 44% choosing activities that get their children moving.
  • Family Tech: Seventy-three per cent of Chinese parents admit to using tech devices to help their children study. However, they are conscious of the negative effects of exposing children to digital media and want to protect them from it (see also Kids & Family Tech Trends).

For more on the attitudes of Chinese consumers, see China's Youth: Challenger Consumers.

Published: 2 Mar 2018

One Shared House: Co-Living in 2030

Danish design think-tank Space10Ikea’s exploratory concept lab – has co-ordinated an online survey that investigates the public’s perception of communal living spaces.

One Shared House 2030 supposes a future of augmented urban developments and housing shortages in 2030, to which co-living arrangements could be an effective response. The survey asks participants what type of people they would like to live with, what spaces and amenities they would be willing to share, and what they believe would be the positives of living in a communal settlement.

The findings show that overall, people would prefer to live in the city with individuals from all walks of life. Four to 10 is the ideal number of people in the community and ideally, all members would enjoy equal ownership of the house.

Participants are open to sharing, particularly regarding use of the internet, garden and workspaces. However, the boundaries between public and private spaces are important, with the majority wanting their private space to be unfurnished and off limits when they are not present. 

Despite a common concern about the potential lack of privacy, interviewees acknowledged the benefits of co-living environments, citing socialising and reduced living costs as the two greatest benefits. 

For more on how co-living environments are influencing interior and urban design, read Smarter Spaces: Optimising the Home and The Communal City in LDF 2017: Lifestyle Trends.

Published: 28 Feb 2018

Online Zine Makes You Go Offline

The Disconnect

The Disconnect is a new free online magazine of fiction, poetry and essays that is only accessible when the reader goes offline.

The magazine's homepage contains a warning notice informing visitors that they need to disconnect from the internet if they want to access its content as, paradoxically, it's an "offline-only magazine". The moment the user is disconnected, the zine loads. It locks again when the device reconnects.

The Disconnect's first issue came out in January 2018. It includes an essay titled Escape: The Next Digital Divide, which examines the privilege of disconnecting and distancing oneself from the internet. This is The Disconnect's fundamental premise, as expressed in the magazine's about page: "By forcing you to physically disable your internet connection, The Disconnect creates a dynamic that allows you to enjoy engaging, digital content at your own pace."

Technology overwhelm is contributing towards continuous partial attention, which is limiting people's ability to focus, causing anxiety and attention disorders, and even lowering their IQ. The Disconnect is tapping into the notion of monotasking, also known as "single tasking", which means concentrating on a single task at a time (see The Purpose Collective for more). By disconnecting, readers avoid the links, ads and alerts that would normally distract them from the articles they originally intended to read.

For more on consumers' desire for simplicity and digital minimalism, see Essentialist Communities and Simplicity Strategies.

Published: 26 Feb 2018

Gucci Westman Launches Natural Brand

Westman Atelier

American celebrity make-up artist Gucci Westman and US-based designer David Neville are launching a new colour cosmetics line that touts natural beauty values and targets a demographic aged 30 and above. 

Westman Atelier will launch in April 2018 with six products, including a highlighter, blush and foundation – the essentials for creating a ‘no make-up’ look, which Westman is most known for.

Westman’s balanced approach to a healthy lifestyle has driven the brand’s ethos of “consciously crafted beauty”, whereby natural ingredients work in tandem with innovative synthetics in its formulas. As an example, the Baby Cheeks Blush Stick contains organic jojoba oil and raspberry stems that tone the skin and prevent inflammation, while the colour payoff and deluxe feel of the blush is made possible with the use of non-toxic synthetics.

The whole range harnesses an innovative sustainable pigment technology that blocks fragments of synthetic colour pigment from touching the wearer’s skin by encapsulating the molecules in clean ingredients. The brand’s launch taps into the growing trend for eco-friendly beauty labels that combine traditional raw elements with synthesised naturals to provide effective, science-backed products sustainably. For more on this, see Future Beauty: New Era Naturals.

Another distinctive selling point for the brand is its target market, which is older millennials and above. The formulas are designed to sit well on older skin, which appeals to this group’s desire to have a flawless complexion without looking overly made up. For more on mature consumers in the beauty category, see Boomer Beauty: Securing the Silver Spend and Mature Beauty: Entering a New Age