eco product trends
This is another one of those stories that seems like science fiction, but is actually reality. Retail, distribution and manufacturing are on the verge of rebirth because of a revolutionary emerging technology: 3D printing.
In a time when predicting fashion trends has become easier than predicting economic outcomes, consumers’ spending habits have drastically shifted. Consumers must see a reason to purchase a product, and without rationalization of why something is necessary, consumers tend to move on to purchase something more practical or not purchase anything at all.
So what makes consumer tick these days? Moreover, what compels them to buy? These seem to be the questions on every marketer’s mind. Is it authentic engagement through social media? Is it celebrity cache? Or is it something more simple?
Could it be something as simple as HAPPINESS?
Apparently, the concept of happiness wasn’t lost on savvy luggage-maker Heys USA. The company approached Romeo Britto to create an affordable high-end luggage collection last year, despite the economic crisis. Romero Britto is a well-known South Florida painter, sculptor and designer known for his colorful, pop art pieces; his work has a track record of using jovial designs to help companies sell products (Miami Herald).
The collection with Heys USA and Britto features a plethora of colors accentuating cartoonish hearts, butterflies and flowers between sharp, black lines. “The feel-good mood of the design has helped push sales of the luxury collection despite the current state of the U.S. economy with its high rates of unemployment and financial uncertainty,” said Heys CEO, Harry Sheikh.
The collection has been so impressive that retailers such as Neiman Marcus have featured it on store floors alongside other luxury luggage brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci. This kind of association with luxury has launched the brand into a new direction; a four-piece set of the Britto collection originally cost $1060.00 (it still does), but Heys has more recently designed single pieces that retail for upwards of $5,000.
In a time when current luxury brands such as Jimmy Choo, Norma Kamali and Alexander McQueen are designing down, or at least designing more affordable lines to meet consumer price points, Heys is designing up.
Designing more expensive collections is no small feat for any retailer in this market. Heys USA is an impressive brand. By conducting simple market research, they’ve adapted their product lines to meet the demands of current customers. Beyond the Britto Collection, Heys has launched other lines or improved current best-selling products that it manufactures:
- For eco-conscious travelers, Heys USA created a three-piece eco-friendly luggage set made from 100% recycled abs plastic material that retails for under $500.00.
- For frequent business travelers, or for travelers sick of paying the ever-rising airline baggage check fees, Heys offers the Xcase, a durable, lightweight (5.4 lbs) carry-on that costs $99.95 to $149.95.
- In the accessories category, Heys has created a portable device known as the eScale ($32.45) that tells travelers how much their luggage pieces weigh. According to Sheikh, this item has been selling rapidly ever since airlines upped their overweight baggage fees last year.
By creating innovative ways to meet consumer needs, Heys will continue to see positive growth and discover new markets with large revenue potential. Why? Because they are looking at problems and creating solutions. If you have the solution and if that solution is the right price, consumers will pay for it. Furthermore, if you do it in a unique, functional and even beautiful way, the consumers will generate demand that’s beyond any product line’s expectations.
Resources: Miami Herald
Tickle Me Tuesdays are back! This time, we’re covering the amazing fashion designers, beauty products, and eco-conscious food companies we discovered at Green Festival DC this weekend. We know how hard it is to break into and establish a niche in eco fashion, beauty or food, the competition is stiff. So we’ve cut through the clutter and found six mid-Atlantic and Northeast based companies are worthy of attention.
The Criteria For Our Selections: Quality line products, not available through large distribution outlets (not yet anyways) and owners/designers that followed their passions to create companies around those passions. We talk to each businesses’ founder at the show, sampled and bought their products.
1. Emmy’s Organics – Emmy’s Organics, founded by Samantha & Ian, is an organic, raw, gluten-free vegan line of food stuffs. Emmy’s offers macaroons, raw cocoa, granola, cashew and macadamia nut butters. We purchased the cocoa, coconut and chai macaroons; Stephanie & I devoured them before we made it back to the car. We will be reordering in massive quantities. We also sampled the raw cocoa (aka CHOCOLATE) during the event, it was divine. If you’re a person with a sugar addiction, this will curb any cravings in just one teaspoon. Samantha & Ian get bonus points for their blog and being on twitter at @EmmysOrganics!
2. Tizane Botanical Tea – In the crowded world of teas (there must have been at least 10 tea vendors at the festival alone), Tizane stood out. Tizane creates botanical teas (which means no flavoring, just herbs and flowers) that are caffeine free, low calorie and only slightly sweetened by blue agave. The product line is simple (three teas): Lemongrass, Jasmine and Hibiscus. We sampled all the blends and found that were perfectly balanced, no ingredient over powered another. We loved the fact that Tizane’s product line was simple and refined, not cluttered with 15-20 different flavors. The line is developed on principles of homeopathy and herbs enhancing the flavor of the food their paired with. Insider tip: Tizane debuted a fourth tea – Elderflower (not yet available on their site so call for it) during Green Festival, this was our favorite.
3. SmartGlass Recycled Jewelry – This Macala’s favorite discovery. SmartGlass Recycled Jewelry, founded and designed by Kathleen Plate, turned us into recycled glass connoisseurs. Kathleen’s designs are beautiful, possessing a very organic feel. Her earrings, necklaces and bracelets designs range from simple and delicate to larger, longer pieces that create “upscale statements”. We also love that all the styles come in gold or silver, allowing their wearer to mix and match. I purchased a necklace (to the left) and earrings from her Coca Cola recycled glass collection. What a great use of Coke bottles!
4. Joyful Bath Co. – Etherial bliss comes in a jar! Joyful Bath Co. creates finely ground bath salts that you can soak away all your aches and pains with. The kicker, their products actually work! While Stephanie was hung up on fuzzy soap, I wondered over to the Joyful booth, coveting the Do Not Disturb My Bath door hanger. Chief Mixologist and product line creator, Rochel Roland, and I struck up a conversation on Equestrian sports, advanced Pilates and speed skating. I asked Rochel about muscle stiffness and soreness; she promptly handed me a 15 oz. jar of Gingersnap; promising blissful relief. Not being able to try them on the spot, I had to wait til I got home. The end result of my product test was that 3.5 oz. and 30 minutes in a steaming tub, my pains faded away. I could honestly say I had at least a 50 percent reduction in tension and stiffness. The best part of my encounter was that we learned that Rochel does bath salt giveaways every Wednesday (all day) on Twitter! You can follow @JoyfulBathCo and tweet with the hash tag #bathday for a chance to receive these very coveted salts.
5.Shea Radiance- Shea Radiance is luxury natural bath and body company that uses botanical extracts to create a very complex moisturizer and healing balm. Creator Funlayo Alabi developed Shea Radiance due to the poor conditions of childrens’ skin in Nigeria. Shea Radiance products are produced in Nigeria and local West African communities to ensure sustainability and to promote local economic independence. Funlayo is extremely knowledgeable about her products and how they help various skin conditions. Stephanie walked away with the Pomegranate Ultra Rich Body Cream and after 24 hours, she didn’t have to reapply it. We love the line and how it supports local communities, empowers women and children. Shea Radiance is extremely social visit their site to find their social networking sites or follow them on twitter at @SheaRadiance.
6. Pearl Fine Teas – Pearl creates gourmet, high quality teas. We fell into intense conversations with Pearl’s Chief Leaf, Elise Scott, on her blends. Our favorite tea, the Makiki green tea, was inspired by five years of living in Hawaii, which we also suspect influenced the 3pm tea, complete with Macadamia nuts. Elise’s teas aren’t cheap, but their definitely the best quality we’ve found in quite awhile. We were able to use one tablespoon twice in our tea steeper, which is only possible with premium tea. The 3pm is tea is so amazing, we haven’t touched the Lavazza espresso in three days! You can follow Elise on twitter at @PearlFineTeas.