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10 August 2020
This quarter, UK-based sustainable skincare brand Haeckels launched its Bio Restore Membrane masks: under-eye sheet masks, made to reduce signs of tiredness and hydrate the skin under the eyes, that the brand ‘grows to order’. Haeckels extracts agar from seaweed, and then mixes it with witch hazel, cucumber, hyaluronic acid, and other ingredients. The brand infuses the masks with its formula (designed to minimize sun damage) over the course of three weeks – meaning customers must wait at least three weeks for their order. The Bio Restore Membrane masks arrive in a Petri dish, which users place the masks and water into in order to activate the ingredients. Both the masks and their packaging are entirely compostable, and a set of 18 masks retails for GBP 32.
Even if your brand doesn’t touch on health, wellness or beauty, you can still get inspired by the Haeckels’ grow-to-order concept. How? Well, let’s first examine consumers’ expectations to receive things fast across all categories. Fast fashion, fast food, fast shipping, etc. And there are major upsides to this, particularly regarding the latter. Multi-industry global supply chain efforts like Link – working with brands such as Pepsi, Shopify, DHL and more – help consumers access the goods they need quickly, especially the essential (read: COVID-essential) ones. The last-mile delivery industry is also growing, prompting a surge in job openings even amidst widespread unemployment.
But this speed has also led to collective concern over how it negatively impacts the environment and consumers at large. For example, increased shopping on Amazon and demand for its ultra-fast delivery has not only made 85% of its US customers worried about Amazon’s contribution to plastic in the oceans, but it has even caused rampant burnout amongst the company's delivery pilots.
As we TrendWatchers like to say, for every trend there’s a countertrend. Which means that alongside consumers’ need for speed, these concerns are also spurring a growing appreciation for all things slow (or at least, slower) and sustainable. Like the latest ‘slow fashion’ collection from Sweden-based brand Très Bien. Or handmade, slow-to-arrive products from small sellers on Etsy – which, by the way, is raking in “blowout” revenues. Or, these grow-to-order eye masks, which are only produced when they’re ordered...leading to zero waste!
What well-made, sustainable offering can you serve your customers – and how can you show them it’s worth the wait?
The TrendWatching content team