Christmas AFO

8 tech gifts every man needs on his Christmas list

Tech is truly taking over the world – and, subsequently, our Christmas stockings! If you or someone you know is a gadget-lover but you don’t quite know what you’re after this year, we’ve picked out some really cool gadgets for Christmas that we’ve had our own eyes on to help you narrow down your search. Plus, at Angelfish we are always on the lookout for people to test new products and get paid, so read on and sign up if you fancy getting your hands on new tech.

This fabulous smart flask is perfect for those who don’t quite have enough time to make and drink their first brew of the day before dashing off to the office. With the ability to keep your drink the exact temperature you like (anywhere between 50°C and 62.5°C), and the ability to control the temperature, customise presets, receive notifications and more with your phone, the days of lukewarm brews are behind us. They also have a mug version, so you can keep your beverage of choice nice and warm at your desk throughout the day, too – so you’ll never have to waste another cup or resort to reheating your drink in the microwave again!

1. Ember Temperature Control Travel Mug

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(Price: £134.95)

Get it here.

2. Heated Razor Starter Kit by GilletteLabs

Gillette’s nifty new razor promises “the pleasure of a hot towel shave in every stroke,” activating and delivering instant warmth in less than a second at the push of a button! It boasts 5 of Gillette’s best blades, a waterproof design, adjustable heat, wireless magnetic charging, and more. What better gadget could a chap ask for?

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(Price: £175.00)

Get it here.

3. Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset

For those of you who love to fully immerse in their games, TOculus’ very first VR Gaming Headset is set to take it to the next level! It currently stands out from other VR headsets with an easy, all-in-one set up (no PC or wires required), positional audio built directly into the headset, and the ability to play wherever you are – standing or sitting, in a big space or small, there really are no limits with this cool gadget – definitely one for Christmas fun! Oculus Touch controllers take the experience even further by allowing you to transport your hands and gestures directly into your game.

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(Price: 64GB £399, 128GB, £499)

Get it here.

4. 55″/65″/77″ 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV

Smart TVs really don’t get much smarter than this! Not only are LG TVs the first to integrate both the Google Assistant and Alexa so you can ask questions while watching TV and see the answers on the screen and control other smart devices around your home, but it also offers stunning picture and a sleek design that’ll look amazing anywhere in your home. You could
test new products and get paid as part of our panel – keep reading to find out how.

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(Price: Starting at approx. £1,200)

Get it here.

5. Master & Dynamic MW65 Active Noise-Cancelling Wireless Headphones

If you’re someone who cannot live without your daily dose of music, then Master & Dynamic’s “most technically sophisticated headphones” are definitely worth a look (…well, listen!). Not only are they lightweight and made with fine leathers for maximum over-ear comfort, their noise-cancelling technology means you’ll get clear, expansive sound in any environment. What’s more, their in-built microphones filter out all external noise so you can receive crisp and clear phone calls. Overall, the perfect accompaniment (see what we did there?) to your daily commute!

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(Price: £449.00)

Get them here.

6. Kindle Paperwhite

As an avid reader, there’s nothing worse than trying to read a book while relaxing by the pool or in the bath and dropping said book in the water. With the new Kindle Paperwhite’s IPX8 waterproofing, however, those days are long gone! Amazon’s latest, thinnest and lightest eBook reader comes in both black and twilight blue, can hold up to 32GB in storage, a battery that lasts for weeks with a single charge, and a built-in adjustable light that lets you read indoors and outdoors, day and night. The perfect gift for reading enthusiasts!

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(Price: £129.99)

Get it here.

7. Nordstrom’s Ring Fitness and Sleep Tracker

Move over, smartwatches and FitBits – Nordstrom’s Ring is here and ready to track the sleep, heart rate and activity of the greatest fitness gurus 24/7—without them sacrificing style. Waterproof up to 165 feet, compatible with most mobile devices and storing three days battery life after just a 90-minute charge, fitness has never been so fashionable. And all this at the weight of less than a 1p coin – you won’t find a cooler gadget for Christmas than this!

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(Price: £164.16)

Get it here.

8. (Quite possibly the Angelfish favourite!) Whistle Go Health & Location Tracker for Pets

“The best pet tracker just got smarter” for 2019 – Whistle’s smart little device is ready to track your furry bestie’s health and location! So for those of you who have that frequent anxiety about where your cat or dog may have disappeared off to, fret no more. Even better, it boasts an up-to-20-Day battery life, IPX8 waterproofing, and a 3-mode built-in night light so you can spot them easily in the dark. An absolute must for man and his best friend this Christmas! 

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(Price: £94.57)

Get it here.

We’ve got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty to try as part of our paid market research opportunities!

If you know a total tech whizz (or are one yourself), we’re sure you’ll want to get your hands on some of these cool gadgets for Christmas! If you need to save up some money first, why not take part in one of our paid market research opportunities here at Angelfish? You might get to test new products and get paid to have a go with gadgets like the above as part of a focus group or UX testing study, or you may even get to see them during an accompanied shop! You can sign up to be on our panel via the button below, or find out more about our current projects here.

Sign Up Here.

get paid to shop

What is “fast fashion”?

And should we be paying more attention to it?

Of all the industries in the world, fashion has probably seen the biggest evolution over time. What started as a means of bodily protection from the elements and predators in prehistoric times gradually became a symbol of status and cultural identity throughout the ages, until its most recent development in the 1960s as a means of self-expression. As a result, fashion and trends are changing constantly, with current ones being snapped up like hotcakes before being almost instantly replaced by new ones. The rise of the internet has boosted this even further, due to its introduction to online shopping, increased exposure to new fashion trends online, and the opportunity for brands to research and replicate/reproduce popular looks and new technology allowing for faster, cheaper production. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the era of fast fashion – and with our own retail market research interests here, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to dig into it a bit further!

So, what is fast fashion?

Fast fashion is described by Google’s dictionary as “inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.” Essentially, it’s cheap, trendy clothing that jumps straight off the catwalk and into the shops – and very quickly out again to make way for the next ones. In fact, a lot of fashion retailers introduce new products multiple times a week just to stay on trend and keep up with the demand.

And why should we be paying attention to it?

For online fashion influencers, trend enthusiasts and shopaholics, this mass availability of cheap but fashionable clothing is a dream come true! But as it turns out, it’s also having a devastating effect on the world around us…

The impact of fast fashion on:

People:

The rise of fast fashion has seen an increase in sweatshops. These are factories and workshops where manual workers are employed at very low wages for long hours and under poor conditions in order to produce fast fashion. They are primarily used due to keep up with the demands of fast fashion, as well as the added benefit of making additional profit through paying such minimal wages to workers. Sweatshops tend to be found in the poorer parts of countries across the globe, including Bangladesh and China.  As well as supplying these poor working conditions, some clothing companies have also faced allegations of physical and sexual abuse against their garment workers, particularly women.    

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Unfortunately, sweatshop work is not just limited to adults. According to the International Labour Organisation, 170 million children below the minimum age limit around the world are making textiles and garments in detrimental conditions to satisfy the demand in Europe, the US, and beyond.

The planet:

The environment is also suffering at the hands of fast fashion. The multitude of highly toxic dyes used to colour clothing – over 800, in fact – alongside the production of different fabrics are polluting the world’s water supplies. Cotton production, for example, involves the heavy use of pesticides, and the microfibres from synthetic clothing are also commonly found in water supplies; the lower the fabric quality, the more microfibres that shed during washing. What’s more, alongside polluting water, fabric production consumes billions of cubic meters of it per year; approximately 80 billion in 2017, and a predicted 120 billion by 2030. When you think that the amount of water it takes to produce one cotton shirt could provide drinking water for one person for a whopping two and a half years, that’s pretty horrifying!

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Subsequently, animals and wildlife are also affected; and not just the animals that drink the water, but the marine life that lives in it. Not great for us humans either as fish eaters! Animal products such as leather, wool, fur and skin are also used in clothing production, and often these animals are subjected to poor conditions and mistreatment for these products to be created.

Because fast fashion-produced clothes are made so cheaply, they tend to be of poor quality. Consequently, they’re often unwearable after just a few uses, and disposed in landfills. In 2018, the UK based charity WRAP (The Waste and Resources Action Programme) estimated that £140 million worth of clothing goes to landfills each year. Not only that, but the nature of fast fashion means that retailers need to dispose of their “old” produce quickly to make way for new stock, much of which has been rumoured to be disposed of in environmentally damaging ways, such as incineration.

What can we do instead?

So, with all the evidence pointing to the detrimental impact of fast fashion, what can we be – and should we be – doing to reduce it?

Thankfully, there are a number of good habits we can get into:

1) Enjoy the clothes you already own!

As a lot of our own retail market research has found, there appears to be a trend of consumers worrying about being seen in the same outfit twice (another consequence of the fast fashion industry)! There are some great initiatives out there that encourage people to think more carefully about the clothes they buy, such as Livia Firth’s “Will I wear this a minimum of 30 times?” campaign. Also, in our increasingly environmentally aware society, surely, it’s way cooler to wear the same outfit more than once and tell people it’s to save the planet than to wear a different outfit every day!

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2) Clothes swaps and charity shops

If you’ve tried your best to love what you already own and simply can’t, clothes swaps and charity shops are your next port of call! Charity shops will take most items in good condition, and clothes swaps, such as the ones hosted by LUSH, mean you not only pass on the clothes you no longer want, but may find a gem unwanted by someone else!

3) When your clothes really are past their best, consider how you could possibly reuse them.

Old (cleaned!) underwear is considered one of the best dust cloth alternatives, and you should always save an old t-shirt or two and pair of jeans for decorating/messy work. Upcycling is also a fantastic alternative to throwing away – old pair of jeans? Get creative and turn them into a pair of shorts or a bag! The British Heart Foundation hold an exciting and fun competition called The Big Stitch to encourage upcycling of old garments and textiles every summer – but it’s something fun, creative and environmentally friendly to do all year around!

4) Recycle

If there really is nothing you can do with your old clothes, however, it’s time to get recycling! www.recyclenow.com has a great local recycling tool online so you can find your nearest textile recycling bank – a great way to avoid your clothes going to landfill!

5) If you really must buy…

Take a look around your local charity shops – it’s amazing what you can spot on the rails! And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, do a quick online check to see which brands are free of fast fashion – such as the ones in this list put together by Conscious Life & Style, plus these well-known high street brands

Fast fashion is just one of the issues consumers are raising with their favourite brands. The team here at Angelfish are just as hot on the topic too – we’re currently totally engrossed in the BBC series “Breaking Fashion,” and we’d definitely recommend you watch it, too! If you’d like your voice to be heard by the brands you love, and get paid for it, why not take a look at our latest retail market research opportunities that you can get involved in? If one of them takes your fancy, just register with us here – we’d love to hear from you!

Sign Up Here.