August marks the last month of summer and the beginning of the school year for many, which means that back-to-school shopping may be on your mind. While kids always need supplies like pencils and notebooks, they also may need products this year specific to staying safe during the pandemic, like face masks from KN95s to neck gaiters. If you or your child wear glasses and need a mask for school or the office, ophthalmologists suggest looking for options specifically designed to prevent fogging. And if you’re concerned about access to Covid tests as cases rise across the country, some brands offer at-home options, which you can purchase online.
In shopping news, Amazon Launchpad, a platform that provides expertise and support for new brands, entrepreneurs and startups, launched its first Innovation Month this August. The month will recognize winners of its Innovation Grants program with a contest for customers to vote for their favorite brand — the brand that wins will be named Innovator of the Year and awarded up to $100,000 in prizes. Customers can vote online through August 20, and those who do so will be entered into sweepstakes for a chance to win a prize package with products from grant winners.
Additionally, Saucony partnered with children’s hospitals across the country to raise money for them through its latest Run for Good Children’s Program. The brand worked with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Boston’s Children’s Hospital, The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans, and patients at the hospitals helped Saucony designers create footwear and apparel that will be released throughout the next few months. Shoppers can purchase the items online, and 20 percent of every sale from the program’s collection will be donated to the hospitals or their designated charities, for a minimum donation of $200,000 collectively.
Beyond recent shopping news, we’ve compiled new and notable launches from Shopping reader favorite brands and others we think you’ll want to know about.
1. Google introduces new cameras and doorbells
Google’s new cameras and doorbells are designed to offer more installation flexibility — the company is now offering battery-free options that can also be wired if you prefer. The launches work with devices across Google's ecosystem, and the new cameras are fully integrated with the Google Home app. The Google Nest Cam is Google’s first outdoor/indoor battery-powered camera, and the Google Nest Doorbell is its first battery-powered doorbell — both products are available for preorder. The Google Nest Cam with floodlight, Google’s first connected floodlight camera, and the second-generation Google Nest Cam, which the brand said is its most affordable Nest Cam yet, are coming soon.
2. On Running releases Cloudstratus running shoe
This new running shoe features two layers of the brand’s Helion-enriched CloudTec cushioning to support feet, as well as a wide-fitting forefoot and improved heel hold. It’s designed with a star-lacing system and a rubber grip in the outsole to provide traction. The brand said about 75 percent of the polyester used to construct the shoe’s upper is recycled, too. It’s available in two colors for men's sizes 7 to 14 — White/Black and Lake/Flare — and two colors for women’s sizes 5 to 11: Marina/Magnet and Rose/Red.
3. TRX introduces resistance band handles
The TRX Bandit is a set of removable handles you can snap on to any resistance bands, offering you a comfortable grip while doing exercises. They’re an alternative to holding on to resistance bands themselves, which the brand said can be slippery, and they give you more control so you can focus on form while working out. Designed to travel with or bring to the office, the TRX Bandit is portable and compact. You can purchase the TRX Bandit in a pack with two handles, or the brand sells the TRX Bandit Kit, which includes two handles, two blue TRX Strength Bands and two green TRX Strength Bands.
4. OtterBox and Lifeproof release new AirPods cases
OtterBox and Lifeproof released new cases for the first- and second-generation AirPods as well as the AirPods Pro. Cases are available in multiple colors and are compatible with wireless charging, plus they come with a carabiner so you can clip them to your pants or purse. You can use the buttons on the AirPods and see their charging status light through the cases.
OtterBox Case for AirPods
This case is designed from polycarbonate and synthetic rubber, giving it a soft feel and a grippy base. The brand claims it offers 360-degree drop and scratch protection, and it’s available in four colors: Black Taffy, Sweet Tooth Purple, Freeze Pop Blue and Ultra Zest Grey.
Lifeproof Eco-Friendly Case for AirPods
Made from 75 percent ocean-based recycled plastic, this case is available in four colors: Pavement (Black/Grey), Down Under (Green/Orange), Neptune (Blue/Green) and Sea Urchin (Purple/Green). If you register your case online, LifeProof will donate $1 to its nonprofit partner of your choice.
5. Teva launches the Revive ’94 Mid shoe
Teva’s Revive ‘94 Mid shoe is the first product the brand released from its Archival Revival Collection. The shoe is inspired by a vintage Teva sandal hiker, which was originally introduced in 1994. It sports REPREVE recycled straps, the brand’s new memory foam MAX-COMF insole, a Spider Rubber outsole for traction and a stretchy neoprene-like collar so you can easily slip it on and off. It’s available in two colors — Black/Tan and Black — and comes in sizes ranging from a women’s 4.5/men’s 6 to a women’s 14/men’s 15.5.
6. RAYCON updates Everyday Earbuds
RAYCON updated its Bluetooth-enabled Everyday Earbuds, which the brand said is one of its bestselling products. New features include added sound profiles — pure, balanced, bass and awareness — as well as 32 hours of battery life compared to the previous 24. The earbuds come with gel tips and you can tap or hold them to control volume, song selection and phone calls, as well as use virtual assistants like Siri. The earbuds come in five colors: Carbon Black, Electric Blue, Flare Red, Rose Gold and Frost White.
7. Knix launches leakproof legging
A part of Knix’s recently launched activewear collection, the Go with the Flow High Rise Leakproof Legging is designed to serve as a backup against period leaks when worn with a tampon or menstrual cup — it absorbs up to three teaspoons of blood, urine or sweat. It’s constructed from Smart Compression HiTouch fabric technology to support your thighs, glutes and calves. The legging — available in sizes ranging from XS to XXXXL — also has an extra-wide band to prevent it from rolling down while you’re working out. Knix also offers the Go with the Flow High Rise Leakproof Short.
8. Crate & Barrel debuts Fall 2021 collection
Crate & Barrel’s new collection is based on consumer insights and fall kitchen trends the retailer collected independently, like an increase in spending on gifts as we begin to see loved ones again. Products in the collection include Crate & Barrel’s new KitchenAid Espresso Suite in Milkshake, which was inspired by people’s increased interest in making coffee while working from home. The collection also features exclusive All-Clad HA1 Curated Cookware and the limited edition KitchenAid Light & Shadow Mixer Collection.
9. Girlfriend Collective launches men’s line
Girlfriend Collective launched its first limited collection of men’s styles after it says it received several requests to expand its offerings. Pieces like shirts and shorts all come in a variety of colors and are available in sizes ranging from XXXS to 6XL. Many items are made from recycled plastic bottles, like the windbreaker, legging, half-zip fleece and puffer vest. Others, like the jogger, hoodie and crewneck, are designed from recycled fabric scraps. The collection also features socks in different lengths, and some pieces can be recycled through Girlfriend Collective’s ReGirlfriend program when you’re done wearing them.
10. Beachwaver launches new hair tools
Beachwaver’s new blow dryer and flat iron are the brand’s latest hair tools. The blow dryer boasts a detachable nozzle attachment that offers focused air flow to eliminate frizz and an adjustable scroll, which allows you to customize its speed and temperature to your hair type. It weighs 1 pound, making it easy to travel with, and utilizes Ion Technology, which reduces static to leave hair shiny and smooth. The flat iron is built with tourmaline ceramic plates and a digital temperature clock that adjusts between 265 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It also shuts off when it’s not in use and is dual voltage.
11. Nixplay debuts new photo frame
A first from the brand, Nixplay’s new 10.1-inch photo frame features touchscreen navigation instead of remote access. It boasts an HD screen resolution of 1280x800p and can be controlled via Wi-Fi, Google Photos, Amazon Alexa and the Nixplay App. You can also upload photos from Dropbox, Facebook and Instagram through Nixplay’s website. The smart frame turns on and off automatically when it detects motion, and you can use it freestanding in portrait or landscape mode with the included stand or hang it on the wall with the brand’s wall mounting system.
12. Touchland relaunches Power Mist Hand Sanitizers
Touchland relaunched its Power Mist Hand Sanitizers, reformulating pre-existing scents and adding new ones to its now 13-piece collection. The brand partnered with fragrance house Givaudan to create new scents like Blue Sandalwood, Velvet Peach, Applelicious, Lemon Lime Spritz and Rainwater. Each container of hand sanitizer contains 1 fluid ounce of spray, offering 500 spritzes each. Touchland’s hand sanitizers also contain 70 percent ethyl alcohol, meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation that you use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60 percent ethyl alcohol.
13. Health-Ade debuts new beverage
Formerly called Booch Pop, Health-Ade reformulated and relaunched its soda beverage, which is now called Pop. It comes in flavors like Pomegranate Berry, Lemon Lime and Ginger Fizz, and is made with cold-pressed juice and organic ingredients. The soda is shelf-stable, as well as sweetened with natural ingredients like organic cane sugar and monk fruit. It contains plant-based probiotics and antioxidants, too. You can purchase flavors singularly or as a variety pack.
More shopping news and launches
- Adidas Originals and Pharrell Williams launched the Hu NMD N.E.R.D. sneaker in a new style featuring shades of Chalk, Clear Mint, Glow Orange and Icy Blue.
- Athleta debuted the third installment in its Amplify Artist Series, a limited edition collaboration with artist Melissa Koby. The collection features a graphic shirt for adults and kids and a tote bag. One hundred percent of net proceeds will support GirlTrek.
- Bala launched its beam in a new color: Sage
- FEKKAI launched a new haircare collection, Apple Cider Detox. It includes a scrub, shampoo and conditioning detangler, all of which are formulated with apple cider vinegar and ginger extract.
- Galison released a jigsaw puzzle to benefit the Born This Way Foundation founded by Lady Gaga.
- Harper Wilde introduced The Orchard Bundle, which features The Move sports bra in three new colors: Tangerine, Sweet Pea and Plum.
- HUDA launched its Life Liner Quick ‘N Easy Precision Liquid Liner.
- Lively launched The Comfort Minimizer Bra, available in sizes ranging from D to G cup and in two colors: Toasted Almond and Jet Black.
- Manduka introduced its PRO Series and eKO Series yoga mats in new colors, including Cosmic Sky, Clear Blue, Majesty and more.
- Our Place restocked its Lavender Always Pan for a limited time.
- One of the designs from Amazon’s recent Build It program — the Echo Dot x Diane von Furstenberg Midnight Kiss design — reached its pre-order goal and is going into production.
- Rae launched its Skin Renew, Energy and Focus liquid drops at Target.
Catch up on Select's in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date.