The Relevancy Read

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Hot takes, early calls and astute observations, carefully curated.

A Sampling
A Sampling

Oyster season and ice bath addictions.

October 17, 2023

Oysters shell out for sustainability.

Oysters are becoming a hero ingredient for environmental initiatives across industries. Billion Oyster Project restores oyster reefs in the New York City Harbor, protecting urban shorelines and improving water quality for both marine life and locals on land. Finding a fashion use-case, Long Wharf Supply repurposes oyster shells for fisherman sweaters. Even vegans are coming around—Ostroveganism is a growing belief among vegans that oysters are an acceptable, sustainable protein source that align with ethical consumption, given their non-sentient nature. As we enter a sustainable materials arms race, no industry will be left un-shucked.

Ice baths are white hot.

Unlikely activities are going down in ice baths: networking and speed dating. The New York and LA Times recently spotlighted the socialization of cold-water therapy at wellness clubs like Remedy Place and Ice Pass, underscoring the phenomenon’s exponential uptick. Our social feeds are flooded with guys praising cold plunges in the spirit of normalizing male wellness and mental health. Finance-bro influencer Bennet Jordan recently equated the 250% dopamine level increase that occurs in cold exposure to a “cocaine high without the crash.” As more consumers get hooked, this will be the hottest amenity at gyms, hotels, spas, residences, and even offices.

Running’s fashion moment.

Researchers think running could be as effective as anti-depressant medication. People are doing marathons for the party aspect. Running has officially rebranded as a social, mental-health sport. And where consumer interests go, fashion follows. First trail runner shoes became lifestyle staples, now running apparel’s getting fashion makeover. Loewe’s On collaboration elevates the performance sneaker to luxury fashion shoe. Drake’s recent Nike x NOCTA running collection doubles as rave-ready streetwear. Rising independent brands like Hermanos Koumori and Over Over are bringing fresh creative energy to the category. Retailers: this is a merchandising and positioning opportunity not to miss. 

It’s time to retire the brand influencer trip.

Consumers are tired of seeing marketing stunts that don’t serve the customers who actually purchase products. As result, many brands come under fire for inauthentic influencer trips. Revolve’s lacking diversity, Shein’s riddled in human rights issues, and Tarte’s too lavish. Haircare brand K18 strikes the right counterchord in a recent campaign, “Real People. Real Results,” showcasing eight employees’ hair journeys with the brand. With Sofia Richie the face of the brand, K18 offers a case study in reallocating influencer budgets to a single ambassador for clout and letting real customers do the rest, the greatest influencers of all.

Treasure hunt-style shopping surges.

People are working hard to get few-of-a-kind goods. "Closet shopping" is evolving the thrifting trend into urban fashion yard sale. These events are typically announced on Instagram with a size range, date, and place, and people simply show up to shop. Style influencers like Stephanie Covington have recently leveraged their followings for this format. The Co. sees this as a democratization of the rare-item sourcing that's been on the rise in the luxury market. Long on our radar, Gab Waller, an internationally renown concierge for unique luxury goods, recently advertised her services in clever word-finder posters across NYC. Retailers will be wise to incorporate thrill-of-the-hunt tactics to help customers save money, waste less, and stand out.

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