Adidas has partnered with Amsterdam-based textile innovation studio ByBorre on a sustainable design ideology that aims to tackle environmental concerns across the fashion, apparel and textile industries – through conscientious practices and manufacturing processes.
For those who long to grow their own fruit and veg, but live in homes without access to outdoor spaces, there’s now a unique way to get your green thumb fix from your kitchen counter.
Rotofarm, by Bace, is a countertop rotating hydroponic garden where plants and vegetables are grown by rotating around an artificial sun, ideal for those looking to grow fresh fruit and veg from inside their home.
Using rotary hydrophonics to grow fruit, vegetables and plants was initially developed by NASA for use on the International Space Station.
The rotofarm uses the same principles from those space-age growing concepts, but gives it a practical non-interstellar adjustment for everyday homes.
Much like other rotating, hydrophonic systems, Rotofarm works without any soil, instead using a nutrient that is completely mess free, perfect for small homes, and water reservoirs to feed the plants.
The rotary design makes sure the plants turn in a full circle every hour and spend the rest of the time suspended upside down.
The unit can be plugged into any socket and has been created to be treated as a functioning garden. It will also slide seamlessly into most home decor environments with its stylish design.
The Bace Rotofarm garden is made from stainless steel, silicone, and strengthened smoked glass.
It includes an automated LED light tube that has been adjusted to increase the rate of photosynthesis and encourage faster plant growth.
The light has been divided into four separate zones that can be dimmed and timed to help home growers shed more or less light on particular plants.
To shield the rest of the house form the bright light used to grow the plants, there’s an optional magnetic cover that reduces the glare while still allowing your fruits and vegetables to be seen.
With Sales of Battery Electric Vehicles increasing year on year, it is exciting to see the redesign of the Unu electric scooter.
The Unu is adopting smart technology with smart features including anti-theft protection and digital key sharing. A digital key function built into the accompanying app allows users to share access to the electric scooter with their friends and family. This function also enables neighbourhood sharing schemes to be implemented and managed.
"This [feature] paves the way for micro-sharing for the first time," said Unu co-founder and chief experience officer, Elias Atahi. The anti-theft protection feature allows users to check the location and charging status of their scooter from anywhere.
If the scooter is moved in the absence of the user, the anti-theft technology is activated and the user is alerted to the scooter's location via the app.
The app can also be used to set a destination for navigation. Users are then guided by maps displayed on the integrated screen, meaning they can put their smartphone away whilst on the move.
Two 1.7 kWh batteries increase the scooter's range to 100 kilometres and the mounting of the hub motor in the rear single-sided swingarm frees up space for a larger storage compartment under the seat.
The design has moved on from the retro aesthetic of the original design with a modern soft tech design in matt finish and seven colourways. The seat is much larger with the ability to carry 2 passengers and a larger storage capacity.
The new design features a Bosch hub motor mounted in the rear singled-sided swingarm and removable batteries made by LG. The 1.7 kWh and 10 kg (22 lb) batteries are rated for 50 km (31 mi) of range each. With space for two batteries, the electric scooter has a maximum range of 100 km (62 mi) with 3.4 kWh of battery capacity.
The Experience economy: Scent marketing.
The experience economy is seeing fragrance brands innovating in the pop up shop arena. Inspired by interactive museum spaces, brands are pushing escapism and brand narratives to create sensorially stimulating and entertaining experiences.
French brand Diptyque recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with such a museum style pop up in New York and London. A multisensory maze of vignettes, including a photo booth and tech-assisted scent stations, revealed the narrative behind the fragrances L’Eau, Tam Dao and Philosykos – inspired by France, Vietnam and Greece, respectively. Highlights included an oceanic soundscape complemented by a salty breeze, jungle-inspired scented photo-ops, and a pebbled path lined with fig-tree branches.
The University of Plymouth International Marine Litter Research Unit have conducted research which contradicts the belief that biodegradable plastics can reduce ocean plastic pollution.
There is clear evidence that discarded single-use carrier bags are accumulating in the environment. As a result, various plastic formulations have been developed which state they deteriorate faster and/or have fewer impacts on the environment because their persistence is shorter. This study examined biodegradable, oxo-biodegradable, compostable, and high-density polyethylene (i.e., a conventional plastic carrier bag) materials over a 3 year period. These materials were exposed in three natural environments; open-air, buried in soil, and submersed in seawater, as well as in controlled laboratory conditions. In the marine environment, the compostable bag completely disappeared within 3 months. However, the same compostable bag type was still present in the soil environment after 27 months but could no longer hold weight without tearing. After 9 months exposure in the open-air, all bag materials had disintegrated into fragments. Collectively, our results showed that none of the bags could be relied upon to show any substantial deterioration over a 3 year period in all of the environments. It is therefore not clear that the oxo-biodegradable or biodegradable formulations provide sufficiently advanced rates of deterioration to be advantageous in the context of reducing marine litter, compared to conventional bags.
The cleaning market is changing rapidly with eco minded start ups taking on the big boys.
Blueland is a USA based start up, offering a Clean Up Kit which includes three reusable bottles and three different cleaning tablets for multi-surface, glass and mirror, and bathroom usage. The tablets can be dissolved in water to create non-toxic household cleaners.
Join The Pipe is an interesting initiative which uses reusable, city-themed water bottles made from sugar cane as well as its drinking water taps that can be used in public spaces.
Revenue earned from water bottle purchases in-store and taps sold to local government agencies enables the brand to provide water pumps to remote villages and water bottles to children in developing countries and organise city clean-ups.
Fancy renting your furniture from now on? Well that is what IKEA are predicting will be their business model of the future. According to their CEO Torbjorn Loof, the company is moving towards a more sustainable model after mass producing essentially disposable furniture for the past 75 years.
The pilot scheme is looking to prolong the life of the products by moving to a 'circular model' rather than encouraging throwaway purchases. This means leased products will be refurbished and sold again once they're returned to a store to encourage customers to 'care for' their products.
It will be interesting to see if the pilot scheme is a success. Co-ownership , co-housing and leasing as opposed to outright ownership is a growing trend and one which brands need to monitor.
Nestle has been busy lately. The company recently opened a pop-up bar in Tokyo to mark the release of its new sake-flavoured Kit Kat bar.
“Craft Sake Week @Kit Kat Bar” has been offering visitors a preview of the new Umeshu Plum Sake-flavoured chocolate bar paired with cocktails. The space is overseen by former soccer star Hidetoshi Nakata, now known for his work with more than 350 local sake breweries designing products to promote their rice wines both nationally and globally.
Two Ume Sake Kit Kat and cocktail pairings served in Milano glasses are the highlight of the pop-up. The cocktails, created by noted craft cocktail designers to complement the flavours of the new Kit Kat, are exclusive to the bar.
Jen Keane is a future focussed designer based in London looking at alternative, future manufacturing.
“Taking an organism-driven approach to material design, I manipulated the growing process of k.rhaeticus bacteria, to employ it in a new form of ‘microbial weaving’. The process optimizes the natural properties of bacterial cellulose to weave a new category of hybrid materials that are strong and lightweight, and allows the potential for entire patterns and products to be designed and grown to shape with little or no wastage.
I grew the upper of a shoe to show how this could affect the way we make products in the future. The upper is grown in a single piece with no sewing and one continuous yarn held into place by the cellulose produced by the bacteria. “
We really love this beautiful and innovative new spirit by H.Theoria who have created 3 exciting new liqueurs using perfumery techniques. The distilled ingredients are blended to convey an emotive memory or feeling; for example, Procrastination includes a blend of tea, leather and herbal notes intended to evoke the feeling of sitting at home in a comfy chair.
The product is innovative and beautiful with the bespoke bottle and branding winning gold in this years Pentawards. Congratulations!
Crayola and Asos have joined forces to collaborate on an inspiring beauty collaboration.
Crayola Beauty has teamed up with Asos to create is a new vegan, a cruelty-free make up line aimed at 20-somethings.
The collection uses Crayolas playful heritage. The majority of the products come in a stick formula similar to brands like Nudestix, Milk Makeup, and Nars, who all stock easy-to-use chubby pencil-inspired cosmetics.
Among the products are:
95 total shades.
24 shades of stick foundation.
five palettes (three eye, one face, and one color changing lipstick).
Ask Maude has offered a female persective on sex products. The company produces products such as condoms, lubes and wipes. The design is based on sexual health and wellbeing. The design aesthetic is refreshingly simple and stylish. The brand has opted for a minimalist colour palette and witty typographic approach.
"By changing the conversation around sex, we are encouraging people to be more open about what they want [from] their partners and [for] themselves. Maude makes beautiful, easy-to-use items that give people the chance to stop compartmentalizing their sex lives—both in their heads and in their medicine cabinets."
As product designers we need to re-think material choices and push clients to opt for alternatives to oil-based and unsustainable material solutions. Brands which design for compostability, recycling, and use innovative materials will be sought out by tomorrows discerning consumers.
Bogo Brush is taking an innovative approach to the everyday toothbrush by making the handle from bamboo, a woody plant which is easily and rapidly grown. The bristles are made from Polyamide 4, which has been shown to naturally degrade within a few months of proper composting.
Love this wireless charging unit by Mobile Island. The modular unit can be re-configured to charge multiple products at once. We love the discreet aesthetic of wood, dusty pink and copper.
I thought this new drink to aid concentration is interesting. The key ingredients are pine-bark extract Enzogenol, a health ingredient produced by Enzo Nutraceuticals and said to support healthy brain activity and reduce stress, and New Zealand blackcurrants, the anthocynanins from which are said to produce several health benefits, including helping people think sharper under stress. Where do I buy it?
The Lidloc patented design is based upon an extension to a standard cup structure that folds and locks into an integrated lid. This innovative design completely removes the need for a separate plastic lid and will re-invent how paperboard cups are produced, consumed and recycled.
Cyril Drouet, Metsä Board’s Design & Innovation Director has worked closely on this exciting project with his design team and recently presented the Lidloc concept to an invited audience at the Packaging Innovations exhibition. He explains the benefits of this innovative design: “We have designed this to be a one-piece construction that removes the need for a separate plastic lid. It is easy to fold and assemble with a secure lid-locking design. The integrated lid is spill proof and offers extra branding power as it can be printed as one piece with the rest of the cup. The lid also contains an integrated ‘sip’ mechanism for hot beverages as well as being ideal for cold drinks with a straw.”
Lidloc is an example of how Metsä Board is supporting customers to enhance their brands by delivering sustainable and innovative packaging solutions. All Metsä Board’s paperboards are made from a renewable resource – fresh fibres. The fibres are of known origin and they help ensure purity and brightness of appearance.
Old toys will self-destruct thanks to vanishing plastic
By Sandrine Ceurstemont
YOUNG, energetic and clean-shaven, Scott Phillips looks the very antithesis of Santa Claus. Just as well: he makes toys disappear.
The Western world’s festive consumer frenzy contributes to a global crisis that has left the planet up to its neck in long-lasting plastic tat, and its oceans, according to a recent estimate, awash with some 250 million tonnes of the stuff. What we wouldn’t give for plastics that could transform into something else, fall apart or even vanish altogether. In his lab at Penn State University, Phillips is on the case. “We make plastic objects disappear all the time,” he says. Perhaps it won’t be too long before the season’s must-have toy comes equipped with a self-destruct button.
But today’s plastics are not just for Christmas. Indeed, their durability and low cost mean that many everyday objects are destined to hang around for decades. We can only guess at how long some plastics survive in landfill, but in many cases it extends beyond the 50 years or so we’ve been producing and discarding them on a grand scale. If we recycle plastic instead, melting it down takes a lot of energy and can release toxic components. And even then, the resulting mix of hard plastics that usually enters a recycling stream creates a polymer soup peppered with various dyes and solvents, so we end up with a hunk of junk plastic fit only for a single, final use, like a park bench.
As if reading your bank balance is not painful enough. NDD have created a concept called Scrip: a concept with a provocative idea of using pain to make the user aware of how much they are spending.
"It’s a digitally connected, mechanical brass coin that you load with money like a MetroCard. And as you go about your day, paying for things via wireless NFC connections (like Apple Pay), it offers braille-like tactile feedback so that you recognize how much you’re spending.
"It’s a digital-physical, or a physical-digital object that’s enabling transactions akin to cash," explains NDD founder Gadi Amit. "This project was almost a paradoxical effort to approach interaction design from the perspective of, let’s do something inefficient that people really do have to pay attention to, that’s quite literally trying to stimulate the pain receptors in your body."