Issue #117

Megan Hotson


Welcome to your weekly dose of TooXToo, this week featuring Tesla and PG&E’s virtual power plant, eBay’s collaboration with chicken shop Morely’s, H&M x Ikea’s atelier 100, and Hennessey’s floating basketball court…

Tesla and PG&E partner to roll out a Virtual Power Plant in California

Utility company PG&E has collaborated with Tesla to create the world’s largest virtual power plant – coined the ‘Emergency Load reduction Program’.

California is infamous for some of the world’s most passionate climate change policies. Despite this, the area is still at risk of experiencing summer blackouts with the effect of heat waves and forest fires on California’s fragile power grid.

A virtual power plant hopes to save the day when timing becomes an issue. Solar power diminishes in the evening when people are returning home to plug in their electric vehicles. When demand is at its lowest and the sun at its strongest during the day – electricity is stored away in the house’s Powerwall (Tesla’s back up protection system). Cleverly, when demand increases – stored power can be exported to the grid.

Tesla are no strangers to helping improve energy access for people at home. Previously they assisted in launching a VPP in South Australia – this saw the instalment of 3,000 home energy systems in social housing.

Tesla and PG&E are working toward stabilising California’s power gird in a bid to appeal to people’s concerns about power shortages, and blackouts. A brand that offers pro-active solutions, will help foster and promote solidarity – encouraging consumers to participate in an environmentally friendly program.

eBay x Morely’s Chicken shop pop-up

eBay have collaborated with London chicken shop Morley’s to open a trainer pop-up venue in East London. The space has been created to celebrate the marketplace’s OG drops raffle campaign.

The store opened on June 18th on Brick lane and gives fans and sneaker aficionados exclusive access to rare trainers – including the Air Jordan 1 low x Travis Sott creps – currently selling at a retail price of £1,800, but will be on special offer at the eBay pop up for £51.

Members of the public can also sneak a pair of trainers at their original prices through an online raffle, with £1 of each contribution going straight to charity.

Sneaker Category Manager at eBay UK, Wahaaj Shabbir enthused about the pop-up, commenting: "The great thing about drops is being able to actually get your hands on a pair of sneakers, wear them and show them off. But now that’s become rare! OG Drops resets the sneakers’ value back to their original retail price and means everyone can get in on the action. Whether it’s through the on-site or at our Store at Morley’s, we are encouraging everyone who cops an OG drop at an OG price to give them some love on feet."

H&M x IKEA’s Atleier 100

The first Atelier 100 store has now opened at the Livat shopping centre in Hammersmith. The site has been likened to a temporary exhibition space that will constantly evolve.

H&M have partnered with the Swedish retail giant to explore a ‘hyper-local’ approach to retail, showcasing products that have been designed or created within 100km of the site.

The store and space will double up as a workshop for creatives as well as a venue for local makers to sell their products.

Marcus Engman, Ingka Group chief creative officer explained that the brains have collaborated to overcome the shared problem of connecting with creatives: “Our growth is dependent on having the best creatives in the world working with us”.

Creatives featured in the space so far include designer Adam Jones — who relies on upcycling and curates unique beer-inspired pieces — as well as furniture designer Martino Gamper, marbled clothing label Octavia Banks and colour changing jewellery brand gum.ldn.

The designers, or creatives that fill this space will also benefit from a mentorship programme and tailored advice on how to make their products as efficient, and sustainable as possible.

Not only is this move from H&M and IKEA one that will encourage consumers to shop locally, and more sustainably – it is one that will encourage designers to take inspiration from more conscious ways of creating different wares.

Hennessey’s floating basketball court

NBA’s latest floating court has hit London’s River Thames, courtesy of Hennessey…

NBA x Hennessey have unveiled an iconic first-of-its-kind court – dubbed “Courts Beyond Limits” – a part of a bigger series of courts that have been placed in different global locations.

The opening ceremony saw rapper AJ Tracey perform on the floating spectacle, paying homage to the connection between hip hop, and basketball. Since its opening, members of the public have been able to attend different events to play on the court itself – grabbing that all important Instagram shot on the branded tarmac.

The nomadic court will travel down the river Thames from Woolwich to the House of Parliament for all Londoners to get a cheeky gaze at.

These two brands global partnership has welcomed in the next chapter of Hennessy’s relationship with the NBA, expanding on the North American deal that was announced in February 2020.

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