Welcome to your weekly dose of TooXToo, this week featuring Hot Wheel’s remote controlled wheelchair, Tesco’ sustainable innovation, Liberty London’s entry into the world of pet grooming, and Virgil Abloh’s Final Project For Nike X Louis Vuitton On Display In Brooklyn…
Paralympic athlete Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham has collaborated with Hot Wheelz to release a remote-controlled wheelchair toy.
This latest toy can spin and jump, and race at a speed of up to 6.4 km/hour. The toy should not just be applauded for its performance features though…the representation given to wheelchair users by Hot Wheelz here is key – toy-sized considerations like this allow children to see theirs or their peers’ physical bias in a new light.
Fotheringham, has been in a wheelchair since he was eight due to being born with spina bifida, and is known for performing elaborate tricks and back flips in his wheelchair.
Hot Wheelz’s hope is that by playing with the wheelchair, children will welcome a culture of acceptance, and remove any pre-existing stigma surrounding disabilities that might put an able-bodied person in a wheelchair.
Brands like Mattel-owned Hot Wheels demonstratively creating a space for consumers that is more progressive is opening up new and more diverse narratives.
What could other brands be doing to extend their product or service offerings to challenge the current narratives that are shaping the next generation?
Tesco has partnered with WWF to pursue more sustainable innovations. In doing so, the supermarket operator has launched an accelerator program that matches start-ups with different suppliers to fast-track innovation in food supply chains.
The program has selected eight different start-ups from a large pool of applicants, who will pitch their ideas and if successful- work alongside Tesco and its suppliers to develop their innovations. As well as this, they will also get a grant of £150,000 to fund their projects.
An example from the programme includes AgriSound's bioacoustics technology which is designed to monitor pollinators and pest levels.
The partnership between Tesco and WWF is one that is ongoing and hopes to lead by example – showing brands how they can work together to sustainably innovate, while aiming to minimise the environmental impact of the average UK shoppers grocery haul.
During the pandemic, a growing number of the general public adopted the title ‘dog parent’ – seeing the merit in owning a furry four-legged friend they could walk and spend time with the absence of normal social activities. This trend saw multiple brands adding onto their offers by tapping into pet products or services.
Despite a return to normality – the pet parent trend is set to stay now that consumers are more ‘au fait’ with getting and making the most of the outdoors and nature. Enter – Liberty London, and their new Pet Spa..
Liberty London has opened a new Pet grooming service that epitomises luxury and decadence: caviar lunches, reiki healing, and fruity facials – Liberty is re-defining the realm of puppy pampering. The new endeavour features the doggy VIP experience, which allows you to book your dog onto the ‘Liberty Package’. Costing a hefty £500 this treatment aims to provide a calm and serene environment where pets can be groomed and revitalised.
Not only are Liberty capitalising on the increasing ownership of dogs in the UK, but they are also diversifying their product offerings to stay relevant – especially important for a brand originating in the late 1800’s. They are constantly responding to changes in desires and behaviour from their loyal customer base.
Abloh’s legacy and skill lives on through the work he left behind inspiring others to infuse their work with his artistic touches or concepts. One of Abloh’s last works was the Nike Air Force 1 for Louis Vuitton and is on display in a new pop-up sponsored by Nike in Brookyln.
The exhibition explores the concept of “Dream Now” showcasing 47 styles of customized Air Force 1 shoes designed with the classic LV patterns creatively ‘tweaked’ by Abloh that make them both bespoke for Vuitton, while being uniquely inspired Abloh.
The physical space down in Brooklyn further emphasised the creativity of this collaboration. Before entering, visitors are welcomed by a bright and bold orange exterior. The interior features a hologram floor and sky-blue walls adorned with “LV” and “Virgil” spelled out in clouds.
Playfully, visitors could not just browse, but deconstruct the sneakers on display. Fans and those new to the brand, could see the design concepts behind the trainers, and see the layers of the shoe before their own eyes- from the sole to the uppers, through an interactive 3D station.
This pop-up, as well as celebrating the creative excellence of Virgil Abloh and his creative partners LV and Nike, allows its attendees to be fully immersed and inspired by the brands who created the exhibition.
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