At Brooklyn Eats 2018 (June 28), local companies demonstrated mass-market appeal with product launches that echoed themes spotted at New York’s Summer Fancy Food Show (June 30 to July 3). These are our top picks for products that capture the culinary innovation brewing in the borough.
From extreme colour to unisex make-up, the 2018 edition of annual cosmetics and packaging trade show MakeUp in Paris (June 21-22) highlighted strong beauty directions, with brands and formulators prioritising sustainability with sex appeal.
Here are the top five trends from the show:
Following the opening of Lush’s packaging-free store in Milan, the brand has pledged to further develop its eco-friendly range with an inclusive twist.
British naturals brand Lush is expanding its make-up line with vegan multi-tonal foundation sticks – set to launch in 18 countries. The compact Slap Sticks are available in 40 hues with cool, neutral or warm undertones. Hero ingredients Indonesian coconut oil, Turkish rose wax and Peruvian jojoba oil hydrate and brighten the skin.
The development of shade-inclusive collections is becoming the norm for the colour cosmetics industry, as savvy beauty brands acknowledge diverse consumer groups. Cult US companies ColourPop and CoverGirl are good examples – both have recently relaunched their foundation ranges with up to 42 hues.
In a bid to reduce plastic waste, each Slap Stick is housed in a biodegradable wax casing, encouraging wearers to forego traditional glass or plastic foundation bottles. This ‘unpackaged’ approach has been successfully implemented within the brand’s hair and bodycare ranges – currently, over 35% of Lush’s products are ‘naked’.
In addition, the sticks offer on-the-go usability. The easy-grip egg shape of the foundation stick – which resembles a make-up sponge – ensures consumers can apply the make-up with their fingers and blend the formula for an airbrushed finish, without the use of bulky applicator tools.
While currently a limited-edition run, if popular, they could be rolled out as a permanent feature, and inspire the brand to explore more packaging-free product development in other categories.
Global hit game Minecraft is pulling its players' design skills into the physical realm to help restore coral reefs.
To promote its recent Aquatic update – where players can build and explore underwater landscapes – Minecraft drew players into the new game environment by challenging them to build virtual coral reefs. Once 10 million underwater building blocks were placed, Minecraft released a donation to US environmental charity The Nature Conservancy.
The gaming community further boosted donations by buying in-game design items, with all proceeds going towards the cause. The Nature Conservancy said the funds generated will enable the placement of 15,000 corals in the US Virgin Islands, Mexico, Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.
The initiative also turned some of the resulting in-game designs into actual underwater sculptures made from BioRock – a man-made medium that promotes coral growth. Six BioRock structures have been installed off the coast of Cozumel, Mexico; three feature familiar characters from the Minecraft franchise, while the remaining three were designed by players.
On Earth Day in April 2018, Pokémon Go galvanised its mobile gamers by rewarding players who showed up at geolocations for environmental clean-up events. Clearly, there is huge engagement potential for brands that know how to harness the gaming community's creative energies and narrative passions.
For more on how cross-play (the ability to play the same game across mobile- and home-bound devices) will create opportunities for brands to use the narrative immersion of gaming to drive actions in the physical world, see our recap of E3 2018.
Now in its seventh year, Korea’s K-Design Awards celebrate the best in spatial, industrial and communication design. We share our three favourite packaging projects and the key learnings they illustrate.
Each summer, the latest graduate shows offer an insight into our creative future, with the next generation of talent showcasing an exciting array of new, unseen work. We scoured the shows for the emerging UK textile designers with the most promising projects and innovative use of colour and materials. Here’s our edit of the ones to watch.
Consumer demand for sustainable goods and advanced technology is on the rise. Smart brands and retailers are finding innovative ways to satisfy these environmentally conscious yet stylistically discerning millennials. Here, we take a look at three future-facing fashion projects and innovations for July.
For more on sustainable solutions, see A Sustainable Journey, Fashion’s Sustainability Surge and Sustainability Turns Smart: Manufacturing a Clean Future.
British facialist and skincare expert Lisa Franklin has launched her eponymous beauty line, featuring a precision ‘drone delivery’ system and performance-enhanced formulas to protect the skin from pollutants. The luxury range is aimed at the growing ‘skintellectual’ consumer base hungry for smarter skincare.
The Pro-Effect System includes (but is not limited to) an Anti-Pollution Cleanser, a Pollution Defence Cream and an Overnight Renew Treatment. The ‘drone’ system – referencing the aerial vehicle’s agility in homing in on a target – intelligently delivers ingredients to the areas that need to be treated. A similar technology is employed by Clinique in its Smart skincare range.
Franklin’s hero product in the range is the Luminescent Base, a mattifying serum that is superior in its multifunctionality. Ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and konjac root aid long-term hydration, while nutrient-rich botanical extracts improve skin firmness and reduce redness or irritation. Photoluminescent diamond particles reflect light and illuminate the skin, while a unique bioactive complex reduces the amount of ultraviolet radiation from digital screens that penetrate the skin, and supports cell turnover following sun exposure.
The line also showcases ethical values. It’s vegan, cruelty-free, natural ingredients are sustainably sourced, and all packaging is 100% recyclable. The brand has also been stamped with the Positive Luxury Butterfly Mark, which is awarded by the British regulatory platform to brands that have a positive social and environmental impact. As we explore in The Great Beauty Green-Up, ethical values are now critical for brands as global consumers wise up to the impact of beauty products on the environment.
Addressing the increasingly voracious consumer demand for ethical and sustainable material production, Aussie start-up Nanollose has developed the world's first rayon fabric made of biowaste from the food industry.
The material, called Nullarbor, is made by adding microbes to coconut biomass. This naturally ferments the otherwise wasted industry byproduct to create microbial cellulose, which can be used to create a rayon-based material.
This process uses very little land, water or energy, as well as none of the pesticides and fertilisers used to create conventional rayon, which is sourced from wood pulp. According to the brand, this process can also be used to convert wasted biomass from the beer and wine industries, demonstrating the broader potential for this process.
Nanollose chief executive Alfie Germano said: "My vision is for Nanollose to be at the forefront of offering fashion and textile groups a viable alternative, and decreasing the industry's reliance on environmentally burdensome, raw materials."
This process further shows how ingredients and waste products traditionally found in the food industry can have myriad cross-industry applications, as discussed in our report Trans-Industry Ingredients. It also speaks to growing consumer expectations for sustainable textiles in fashion and interiors, as recently covered in our report A Sustainable Journey.
As considerate consumption moves from consumer choice to consumer necessity, brands are shaping up. Game-changing sustainability initiatives seem to be launching almost every week, with big brands surprisingly leading from the front. Here, we take a look at June’s sustainability wins.
Leaving sustainability as an afterthought isn’t good enough. With an increasingly informed and compassionate consumer population, it’s imperative for niche and household brands alike to embrace the change.
As the public backlash against plastic continues, an increasing number of brands, designers and organisations are rethinking the way we produce, consume and recycle it. In a bid to further raise awareness, the London Design Fair (LDF) has decided to spotlight the condemned material – naming it Material of the Year.
Returning for its second showcase, LDF’s Material of the Year aims to introduce visitors to the most intriguing materials in today’s design world. At last year’s inaugural event, the title went to Jesmonite.
This year’s show highlights how plastic is being repurposed in imaginative and valuable ways. It will feature the following four noteworthy participants, who are adding desirability through design and treating plastic waste as a new virgin material.
Material of the Year will be on show from September 20-23 – look out for our coverage of LDF in September. For more innovative approaches to plastic, see Evolving Plastics.
China is the last major country to require animal testing on cosmetics and skincare before these items can be sold to the public – but one cruelty-free brand appears to have found a loophole.
LA-based skincare and nutricosmetics brand Ceramiracle has emphasised its cruelty-free ethos with inventory-free, digitally led pop-up stores around China.
The company has partnered with the country’s largest digital platform WeChat to enable consumers to make purchases by scanning a QR code, which leads them to the app’s e-commerce store. The products are then delivered to the customer within three days from a warehouse in Hangzhou, a free-trade zone in Eastern China. In this region, goods can be imported, manufactured and exported without direct intervention from Chinese customs.
Ceramiracle is also capitalising on China’s e-commerce opportunity – online sales increased by 32% and totalled $1.2tn in 2017 (China’s Ministry of Commerce, 2018). Stylus’ Retail editor Stefanie Dorfer said: “WeChat is one of the most dominant digital platforms in China, and the perfect gateway for brands wanting to expand into this booming market. A strategy like this should be explored by other cruelty-free brands as they can bypass the country’s animal-testing legislation.”
Forty-seven per cent of millennials check whether luxury brands foster sustainable values before purchasing (Deloitte, 2017) – indicating the importance of considering ethical sourcing and distribution methods. For more on this, see The Great Beauty Green-Up and Doing Good.
Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious about their social and environmental impact, and are on the lookout for brands that are active in those areas. To support its sustainability credentials, US ice-cream brand Ben & Jerry’s uses blockchain to enable fans to offset their carbon impact by paying an extra penny at the till.
Ben & Jerry’s has collaborated with Maltese non-profit organisation Poseidon Foundation on an ice-cream parlour spot in London. Using blockchain tech, the brand is able to calculate the environmental impact of producing and purchasing a cone of ice cream, and gives consumers the opportunity to rebalance their footprint and actively support action on climate change by buying carbon credits. Ben & Jerry’s has pledged to buy credits for each cone and invites consumers to do so too – when paying at the checkout, the cashier asks consumers if they’d like to add an extra penny to their balance.
Carbon credits are tradable tokens linked to projects which offset the greenhouse gases created by organisations and are usually only sold in massive quantities to corporations. Poseidon splits them up into micro transactions, making them accessible to consumers. Ben & Jerry’s credits are used to support a forestry conservation project at the Cordillera Azul National Park in Peru. Since opening in May, the ice-cream parlour initiative has been able to protect more than 1,000 trees – equivalent to an area the size of 77 tennis courts.
A rising number of consumers are banding together in essentialist communities, with the shared desire for a more intentional, minimalist way of living. New York start-up Klein is set to appeal to these consumers with its affordable, self-powered micro-cabins that can be erected in remote locations within weeks.
The company lets people go online to choose and customise sustainable houses designed by architects from around the world. Within six months of ordering, their micro-cabin will be installed in any location in two weeks. Currently available for pre-order, its first prototype is the A45 – a 13-foot-long wood and glass cabin designed by Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group.
Rising real-estate prices and construction costs make it increasingly difficult to own a holiday home. Klein hopes to change this, with planned prices for the houses ranging from $50,000 to $300,000.
The smart idea chimes with the Swedish ethos of lagom – meaning "not too much, not too little", which is inspiring people around the world to enjoy the bare necessities.
"We're seeing more people opting for the tiny life, eschewing larger, family-sized homes for the simplicity of smaller houses," says Kate Johnson, senior editor of Consumer Lifestyle at Stylus. "These so-called 'tiny housers' choose to downsize due to environmental and financial concerns, as well as the desire for more time and freedom."
Such micro dwellings also allow users to reconnect with the natural world – a key consumer desire we explored in Nature Embracers and further unpacked in our A/W 19/20 Design Directions Essence report.
Following a number of microbead bans in the cosmetics industry, consumer demand for sustainable beauty has increased. Is eliminating environmentally damaging wet wipes the next mainstream solution?
Green beauty brands are creating eco-friendly wet wipes, responding to consumers’ concerns about the toxic impact of water pollution.
Estimates suggest that by 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans by weight (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017). The beauty industry is a major contributor to this. In the UK alone, there has been a 700% increase in the number of wet wipes found along the coastline over the last decade (Marine Conservation Society, 2017).
Stylus explores two innovative products looking to tackle the problem: