Top 10 ‘Life’s Little Lifts’ in Human Led Innovation

Girls in STEM Mentor jan Choudhury

by | 3 Apr, 2020 | Untapped Thinking

At Untapped we work with lots of client teams on what we call ‘Life’s Little Lifts’, or more technically, Human Led Innovation. Food, drinks, electronics, beauty and fashion – they can all lift our world in lots of little ways, and we certainly need that at the moment.

Over the coming weeks, we will showcase some of our favourite ‘little lifts’ on LinkedIn, but we’ve also created a ‘Top Ten’ that we’ve discovered so far in 2020.

1. Free drinks for NHS workers from Pret A Manger

Very apt for when we started on this COVID-19 journey. Purpose driven brands like Pret A Manger were living their strategies with free drinks for front line NHS workers. While a lot of the leading chains have now closed, it’s terrific to see both big chain and smaller independent food outlets adapting to the social changes by offering delivery and collection services across the UK.

2. Fashion brand H&M launches a range of clothing using an exciting new circular fabric called ‘Circulose.’

As part of the Conscious collection, H&M introduced a new patented material made from discarded textiles – in a dress. According to Fashion United, ‘it marks the first time chemically recycled fibres are used in garments sold at scale.’

Ciculose Fabric used by H&M fashion brand

The fabric is made from 50% recycled jeans and 50% viscose from FSC-certified wood. What a fantastic way to extend the Life Cycle of fast fashion items and lead the way in Human Led Innovation.

3. Barbie dolls reinforce their role in diversity with the latest range

It’s great to see Mattel’s Barbie combining innovation and diversity once again by celebrating a line up of European professional sportswomen in a range released recently.

The newest line up of dolls includes; fastest British female runner Dina Asher-Smith (UK), Amandine Henry (France) National French Football Captain, Teenage Para Swimmer, Sümeyye Boyacı (Turkey) and World Champion Sabre Fencer Olga Kharlan (Ukraine).

Beyond Barbie, Mattel has also launched gender-neutral dolls for boys and girls, widening the opportunities to allow all children to play together.

What a way to inspire our kids!

4. Limited Packaging options from beauty unicorn, Glossier

We love the initiative of limited packaging options from Glossier. The brand did a thorough audit in early 2019 across the Supply Chain, Packaging, Product Development, Design, and other teams and put together an initial roadmap. Part of this road map was their Limited Packaging options.

It makes it easy for consumers to opt-out of the pink pouch and any packaging extras when ordering on the website. ‘Limited Packaging’ has been selected more than *250,000* times since its launch in July 2019.

5. Fashion brand Pickle London donate £5 per transaction to UK Mental Health Charity MIND

This fabulous indie brand aims to create fun clothing that is ethically produced and raises money for handpicked charities. Right now, they donate £5 per sweatshirt and £2.50 per t-shirt to UK Mental Health Charity MIND as part of the Pickle London #happytohelp Fund.

Sustaining a mission beyond the fashion industry takes on a whole new meaning of human need.

6. Nostalgic Lego® SetsNostalgic Friends Logo® Set

Forget jigsaws; the Central Perk Lego® set is perfect for some downtime with your ‘friends’. Any Lego® creation is great for the soul, so raid your kid’s collection, or invest in one of the fantastic grown-up sets.

7. Letterbox Gifting gets a massive surge

The likes of tea and coffee subscriptions, socks, planting seeds and relaxation kits are seeing a huge surge in sales as we turn to letterbox gifting in times of isolation. These were starting to show signs of popularity before lock-down, but those already in this line of business are seeing sales soar and employing more staff to fulfil orders.

Not On The High Street has a whole collection dedicated to Letterbox Gifting.

8. Brewdog gets innovation right again with its Virtual Bar

It was tempting to include Zoom into our Top Ten, but we came across BrewDog’s latest idea – a virtual pub. It’s a place where people can still get together, share a beer and stay safe. Over 1,000 people attended the first one, and you can sign up to the next one by heading to Brewdog’s website.

9. AR Animals thanks to Google

An isolation trend for parents of those with young children is getting a lion, tiger or panda to pop up in your living room thanks to Google and its Augmented Reality capabilities.

AR has its moments of genius, and we think that Google has cracked it as the nation home schools our next generation.

10. Foga Plantshakes for on-the-go nutrition

The relatively new food start-up came to our attention because it ticks so many future and human-led trends, even during this isolation period. On-the-go healthy nutrition, letterbox delivery, recycling packaging and freeze-drying fruit and plant ingredients without losing the nutritional value are all wrapped neatly into the brand. Foga even plants a tree for every email address added to their mailing list.

Foga Plantshakes Human Led Innovation

It’s an excellent example of a start-up doing good on all counts.

To join in on our Life’s Little Lifts campaign, head to LinkedIn and tag in our Company Page – Untapped Innovation – and be sure to include the hashtag #LifesLittleLifts too.

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Written by Deirdre Walters

Hi, I’m D! I’m a founding partner of Untapped Innovation. We help scientists, engineers and R&D experts to create better products by listening for human needs, future trends and technical possibilities: fresh thinking, breakthrough products. I love nothing more than combining ingredients from different worlds – everyday human life, emerging technologies and future trends – to invent exciting new products & services. With a degree in Chemistry and a broad spectrum of experience in manufacturing, technology development, and marketing, I have a firm grasp of how to translate new ideas into action, creating big impact.