Categories
Editor's pick product sustainability

Puma and MIT exhibit examines how biodesign can enhance performance

Puma x MIT Adaptive Packaging

Puma has teamed up with the MIT Design Lab to explore how using living organisms can enhance a person’s performance when wearing sportswear.

Four initial experiments that derived from that study were exhibited at this year’s Milan Design Week, which took place in Italy last week.

Through this partnership, which initiated a little over a year ago, Puma and MIT have been conducting research on how biodesign – the practice of using living materials such as algae or mycelium – can bring the advances in science and biotechnologies to the consumer’s daily lives through sports products. For the MIT Design Lab, its long term aim is to make athletic gear that is “highly adaptable, personalized, and future-proof”.

The four initial projects include a Breathing Shoe, which is a biologically active shoe that enables personalised ventilation by growing its own air passageways to keep the foot cool; Deep Learning Insoles, which collate realtime biofeedback by using organisms to measure chemical phenomena that indicates things like fatigue; Carbon Eaters, which is a microbially-active t-shirt that responds to its environment to change its appearance and inform the wearer about air quality; and Adaptive Packaging, a biologically programmable material that can change its shape and structure to become a new type of alive, biodegradable and adaptive packaging.

Puma x MIT Carbon Eaters
Puma x MIT Carbon Eaters

The exhibition was powered by a desktop bio-prototyping platform by Biorealize, which brings the capabilities of a biology wetlab into a single piece of hardware that enables the user to design, culture and test organisms.

Categories
Editor's pick technology

Robots takeover Stylist magazine for celebratory 400th issue

Sophia the Robot robotics fashion
Sophia the Robot

UK weekly magazine, Stylist, is looking to the future in its 400th print issue by dedicating it to robotic technology.

Gracing the cover is Sophia the Robot, arguably one of the most famous faces of recent humanoid launches. Sophia stars in her own fashion editorial donning designer clothes and also answers questions on the meaning of life in the back page Q&A section.

“As technology continues to invade our lives, robots replace people at work and AI enters our homes, it’s only natural that we’re all beginning to wonder about the roles we’ll play in the future,” the Stylist team writes.

Other contributors include the Beautification make-up artist robot, which is put to the test by beauty writer Ava Welsing-Kitcher. The robot, which applies make-up on the user through a series of acrylic arms, may lack in the detail of its execution at this stage, but it speaks to a future where machines will play a major role in the development and application of beauty and personal care.

Beautification
Beautification

Welsing-Kitcher writes that L’Oréal is already in the process of using android chemists to make creams and serums, while Shiseido is rolling out robots in production lines to speed up packaging assembly. Beyond the supply chain, robots will begin to take on more customer-facing roles in beauty too, such as by engaging in retail environments.

Pushing the conversation forward on whether robots will substitute humans, Stylist also enlists Articoolo, a robot built by a team of content writers, mathematicians, marketers and computer scientists in Israel, to predict spring’s biggest fashion trends. Meanwhile as the first range of ‘companion robots’ such as Pepper begin to enter the consumer market, it investigates its potential to end social isolation and loneliness.

Aligned with the magazine’s shopping editorial approach, robot-filled wishlist pages also highlight that the technology will pervade more aspects of everyday life than previously expected.

Pepper robot companion fashion
Pepper
Categories
business data digital snippets e-commerce social media sustainability technology

What you missed: A new textiles economy, competing with Amazon, Patagonia vs Trump

Stella McCartney and Dame Ellen Macarthur
Stella McCartney and Dame Ellen Macarthur

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion business, digital comms and tech industry news over the past fortnight.


TOP STORIES
  • Stella McCartney and Ellen Macarthur team up to tackle waste in fashion [The Industry]
  • A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future [Ellen Macarthur Foundation]
  • The future of retail in the age of Amazon [Fast Company]
  • Patagonia is suing the Trump administration [GQ]
  • 2017: the year of Gucci (and logos, slogans & sleeves), according to Lyst data [The Industry]

BUSINESS
  • Europe’s biggest mall owner buys Westfield for $25bn [Guardian]
  • Victoria Beckham raises $40 million in private equity investment [NY Times]
  • Amidst new optimism, emerging markets to overtake west in 2018 [BoF]
  • With Aday investment, H&M hopes to ‘leave stigma of fast fashion behind’ [Glossy]
  • Eileen Fisher makes strides towards circularity with ‘tiny factory’ [BoF]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Unwrapping Barneys’ holiday social media strategy [Glossy]
  • These retailers are #crushingit on social this holiday season [RetailDive]
  • Facebook is testing a way for brands to send mass messages via Messenger [AdWeek]

MARKETING
  • Luxury brands embrace experiential marketing to stay relevant [Skift]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • eBay now lets you start shopping with a Google Assistant smart speaker and finish on your phone [VentureBeat]
  • Death of retail? 2017 was all about the empire of luxury e-tail [NY Times]
  • Céline enters e-commerce with release of French site [WWD]
  • Everlane is opening its first stores, after years of swearing it wouldn’t [Washington Post]
  • Fruit of the Loom tries on subscription underwear [Bloomberg]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Online e-commerce giants get personal [BoF]
  • Rebecca Minkoff uses VR for planning stores [Glossy]
  • The new Reformation store is a real-life Clueless closet [TheCut]
  • BoF and Google partner on artificial intelligence experiment [BoF]
  • Facial recognition is tracking customers as they shop in stores, tech company says [CNBC]

PRODUCT
  • These were 2017’s wildest innovations in clothing technology [HighSnobiety]
  • Trending: algae, ocean plastics pave the way for more sustainable consumer products [Sustainable Brands]
  • This natural liquid silk is starting to replace oil-based plastic [Fast Company]