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Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions
Looks Good: What's It Made From? Who Made It? Is it helping or hurting the planet? What Does It Mean?
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Paula | Coles, Haiti – fashion that cares | Magnifeco | eco-fashion, sustainable living, ethical style

"When Coles noticed that entire truckloads of the jersey fabric scraps used in the tee-shirt fabrication process were being thrown out every single day, she recognized an opportunity. Led by the creativity and genius of Haitian people who, in spite of their limited resources, manage to produce magnificent objects with all types of refuse materials, she designed a bag made entirely of the recycled materials from her plant.


Then she made a promise – a promise to make each day a little brighter for the students of the school and for her country. The purchase of each Paula | Coles, Haiti product directly pays for ONE of the annual tuition fees for one child. Depending on the item  purchased, as each bag is associated specifically to one of the following tuition fees: classes, uniforms (mandatory), books, school supplies and computer classes; each of these cost a specific value determined by the non profit organization Coles works with, PRODEV, an NGO who strives to offer the best, most innovative education in Haiti."

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An Underwater Bonsai Tree by Makoto Azuma

An Underwater Bonsai Tree by Makoto Azuma | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it
In his continued forays into experimental botany that blur the lines between art and science, artist Makoto Azuma (previously) has reimagined the bonsai tree, one of the oldest Japanese artforms.
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H&M Launches First Global Clothing Collection Recycling Program

H&M Launches First Global Clothing Collection Recycling Program | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it

Last week, H&M announced it will launch a clothing collecting initiative worldwide. Starting in February 2013, customers at H&M, the world’s second biggest fashion chain after Spanish group Inditex, will be able to hand in used garments from any brand in H&M stores in all 48 markets. The items will then be handled by H&M’s partner, I:Collect, a global recycling company.

H&M is not the first one to come up with such an initiative – last April M&S launched its shwopping program, which has resulted, according to the company, in 2.2 million used and unwanted pieces of clothing being brought to M&S and Oxfam stores. Still, H&M does have one record to be proud of – it will become the first fashion company to launch a clothing collecting initiative worldwide (shopping is available currently only in the UK).

This is the latest H&M effort to reduce the environmental impact of clothes throughout their lifecycle. The company explains that through this global initiative, H&M’s customers can save natural resources and contribute to reduced environmental impact by avoiding textile waste. To incentivize consumers to take part in the new program, in exchange they will receive a discount of 15 percent on one item of their choice.


Via Olive Ventures, Ariel Azoff
Susan Davis Cushing's insight:

Though some of the language in this article suggests an initiative driven more by branding presence than sustainability -- if we see H&M's launch resulting in less textile waste, I'll be checking them out!

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Ariel Azoff's curator insight, December 22, 2012 8:32 PM

H&M, already the world's largest buyer of organic cotton, is at the forefront of innovation in sustainable fashion and one of only a handfull of mainstream brands working hard to be more eco-friendly and ethical.  Rock on! 

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Slideshow: Winds of Change | Dwell

Slideshow: Winds of Change | Dwell | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it
RT @dwell: The rainwater-collecting home designed to fight an Australian drought: http://t.co/DdF0HyfM #sustainability
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Ivano Vitali Creates Zero-Waste Garments From Recycled Newspaper Yarn | Ecouterre

Ivano Vitali Creates Zero-Waste Garments From Recycled Newspaper Yarn | Ecouterre | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it
The so-called "trashion" movement started long before sustainable fashion was en vogue, and Ivano Vitali, of all people, should know. After all, the Italian artist dabbled in mammoth-size tapestries made from castoff newspapers, plastic bags, eggshells, and aluminum foil as early as 1974. Three decades years later, Vitali devotes his attention almost exclusively to recycled newsprint, which he tears into strips and skillfully twists into balls of yarn without the addition of glue, coloring, or silicone. Using humongous custom-made wooden needles and hooks—some as long as 8 feet—Vitali knits and crochets the unconventional fiber into garments that are as functional as they are theatrical.
Susan Davis Cushing's insight:

Among 2012's most fascinating articles.

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Eneco sustainable headquarters in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Eneco sustainable headquarters in Rotterdam, Netherlands | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it

Amsterdam-based Hofman Dujardin Architects, in collaboration with Fokkema & Partners, has helped sustainable energy company Eneco practice what it preaches with the design of its headquarters in Rotterdam. The 14-floor office has been operational since April, with employees enjoying one of the Europe's best workspaces.


The heart of the building is a central atrium surrounded by a light-filled meeting centre with a reception space, meeting rooms, working areas, informal meeting areas, lounges, restaurant, service desk and auditorium. Sun collectors on the south façade and on the roof track the sun throughout the day, absorbing the maximum amount of solar energy.

The working and meeting areas are designed to be energetic islands floating on a white terrazzo floor. Some islands are open spaces and others enclosed for privacy but they are all executed with vibrant colours and materials. Those on the ground floor are red, purple and orange, while those on the first floor are in different shades of verdant green (meeting rooms) and blue (working spaces). The diversity of color and materials on the work islands are not only lively and inviting but give the different spaces specific identities and atmospheres that enable people to orientate themselves better in the office.


Learn more about the sustainable strategies incorporated into the design of this green office space at the article link...


Via Lauren Moss
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'Humane' fishing net wins Dyson award

'Humane' fishing net wins Dyson award | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it
Dan Watson has devised a system based on a series of escape rings for fish, which can be fitted to a fisherman's trawler net (RT @whitetoothshrew: Brilliantly simple design that will hopefully produce a more sustainable fishing industry:
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The Green Fail Infographic | Energy Hack

The Green Fail Infographic | Energy Hack | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it
Everywhere, companies today receive bonus points for going green. In retrospect, is the going green fever in actuality harming the environment instead?

Take bio-fuels, for example. They are praised for being biodegradable; however, the use and production of these fuels release more CO2 than fossil fuels. The row crops grown to create bio-fuel lead to higher erosion rates than sod crops.


Via Lauren Moss
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Greening Japan: sustainable trends in architecture + reconstruction

Greening Japan: sustainable trends in architecture + reconstruction | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it

Japan’s historic architecture was among the most sustainable and environmentally friendly on the planet. Think of a traditional machiya (merchant’s house) or even a palace, such as the Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyoto; made of local materials such as wood, tatami, paper.
The 20th century’s rush to modernize favored new technologies over tradition, and Japan became one of the most exciting architectural landscapes on the globe. There are few environments as adventurous: a place where microhouses are built on microscopic building sites, where skyscrapers rise on seismic quake lines and where material and form are pushed to new heights- it is a constantly changing architectural landscape... 

But the price for this constant reinvention is often environmental; with global economic uncertainty and recent disasters, Japan has had to rethink how it wants to go forward. It could be the beginning of a quiet architectural revolution, as architects and urban planners – as well as the public – question architectural ideals since 1945 and ask: how can this be done better?


Now, with reconstruction beginning, the need and desire to find innovative and sustainable ways of building is growing. Japanese architecture has traditionally prized and worked in response to nature, so it's no surprise that architects are not only looking to new green technology but also back to Japan’s architectural traditions; a shoji screen can be as relevant as a solar panel in sustainable architecture...


Visit the link for the complete article for case studies, example projects and more images that address this new phase of architecture and sustainable development in Japan.


Via Lauren Moss
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From Cactus Silk to Soy Fibre, there’s Many a Sustainable Alternative

From Cactus Silk to Soy Fibre, there’s Many a Sustainable Alternative | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it
In this guest article for Urban Times, Raquel Gracia, founder of GRACIAWOMAN, discusses her inspirations for setting up her brand and provides an insight into the hard task of sourcing sustainable materials from around the world.

Via SustainOurEarth
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Green Lamp by Siesta

Green Lamp by Siesta | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it

Via Deloste
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In the Moment: Opportunities to rethink, reflect, then re-do

In the Moment: Opportunities to rethink, reflect, then re-do | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it
The RSA brought together a group of thinkers and practitioners who have each been exploring ways to bring the principles of 'slow' to their life and work – whether in finance, culture or fashion. A brief summary, and some key insights.
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Building Baskets in Brompton: Kingston University Teams up with Lupane Women’s Centre on Sustainable Craft Initiative

Building Baskets in Brompton: Kingston University Teams up with Lupane Women’s Centre on Sustainable Craft Initiative | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it

"Building Baskets tests contemporary craft and entrepreneurship in Zimbabwe by developing new products and opportunities. The initiative is part of Project Kingston Africa, which is curated by Catherine McDermott and Candice O’Brien and designed by Simon Maidment and Carl Clerkin with the collaboration of graphic designer Pali Palavathanan (Johnson Banks) and SIF Harare. The project is part of the British Council’s International Architecture and Design Showcase 2012, which brings together cultural projects that investigate architecture and design around the world.

Read more: Building Baskets in Brompton: Kingston University Teams up with Lupane Women’s Centre on Sustainable Craft Initiative via Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

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The Beach - The Open Book project explores what sustainist values, such as connectedness , sharing , localism and proportionality , could do to transform social design thinking and practice.

The Beach - The Open Book project explores what sustainist values, such as connectedness , sharing , localism and proportionality , could do to transform social design thinking and practice. | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it
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Paper Waste Used to Make Bricks

Paper Waste Used to Make Bricks | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it
Researchers mixed cellulose waste from paper industry with ceramic material used in construction industry to form bricks with low thermal conductivity (Paper Waste Used to Make Bricks http://t.co/kqkLVTbN...
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Cotton’s Silky Smooth By-Product | HeartSleeves

Cotton’s Silky Smooth By-Product | HeartSleeves | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it

Cupro is just one of many textiles invented to reduce waste in the garment industry.  For others, check out the "materials" category on the blog.  

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Susan Davis Cushing's comment, December 27, 2012 6:35 AM
Good resource for new sustainable resources.
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We can use jeans to clean up our cities' air

We can use jeans to clean up our cities' air | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it

A laundry additive that neutralises nitrogen oxide could radically improve air quality, says Tony Ryan a professor of physical chemistry at Sheffield University. He is particularly interested in polymers and soft nanotechnology. Together with the fashion designer Helen Storey he is developing a laundry additive called Catclo that sticks to the surface fibres of clothes and reacts with airborne nitrogen oxides to neutralise them


Via Ethical Gifts, Ariel Azoff
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Vila Alstrup in Demark: energy-plus design

Vila Alstrup in Demark: energy-plus design | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it

The house on the shore with a view of the Wadden Sea is an energy-plus house, which means that it produces more electricity and heat than it uses.


This was achieved without compromising on the exclusive qualities of a large home, including panoramic sea-views. The architecture uses clear and simple expression, open and transparent to the sea and more closed and private towards the neighbors. The unusual geometry of the volume is combined with a calm and unpretentious detailing, and a restrained material palette.

Designed with ‘passive house’ principles, the home is compact in form, with large windows facing the view to the south-west, to make optimal passive use of the sun’s heat. The angle also respects the shoreline protection zone, creating a triangular floor plan. The sloping roof is angled to optimize the performance of the solar heating cells. Passive solar heat gain is absorbed and accumulated in the interior concrete walls and floor slabs, while the south-west facing balcony and overhangs shade the facades and control the amount of seasonal solar energy. The balcony is a free-standing concrete slab completely eliminating any cold-bridging to the interior...


Read more about this contemporary and contextual green design at the article link...


Via Lauren Moss
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The Cool Hunter - Old Is New Again

The Cool Hunter - Old Is New Again | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it

We love order and minimalism in buildings. New, freshly planned, pristine and perfect are great attributes for new structures , yet we also find ourselves drawn to things that aren’t so flawless. Recycled, repurposed, previously loved, salvaged. Buildings that have a previous life carry a character that brand-new ones just cannot master.


Via Flora Moon, Rowan Edwards
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Pop-up stars: temporary contemporary architecture

Pop-up stars: temporary contemporary architecture | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it
From huge temporary stadia to tiny transitory event spaces, pop-up architecture fulfils many roles and comes in many guises.

In some cases the very latest technologies are used to engineer complex structures, while in others a readymade approach using scavenged materials is more appropriate. Several noteworthy examples include semi-permanent structures, container architecture and event pavilions.


This article examines some key pop-up projects that are designed to make the most of their short lifespans...


Via Lauren Moss
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A Gorgeous Exploration Of The New Visual Language Of Sustainability

A Gorgeous Exploration Of The New Visual Language Of Sustainability | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it

This looks to be an irresistable book. "For all its good intentions, the environmental movement has historically been plagued by aesthetic ineptitude." (more)

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Bioclimatic House in the Canary Islands, Spain

Bioclimatic House in the Canary Islands, Spain | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it

This bioclimatic house, by Estudio José Luis Rodríguez, is a self-sufficient structure integrated into the terrain of the Canary Islands, a landscape characterized by a continuous terracing of the extreme topography.


In response to this site, the design features a basalt stone wall that supports a light structure of plywood, galvanized steel walls and glass.

The building's orientation is determined by solar radiation; photovoltaic panels produce electricity, in order to achieve zero carbon emissions. The living area is connected to the outside with a space that is protected from sun and wind, while a wall located in the sleeping area to the north has a high thermal mass for passive temperature control.

The design also aims to reduce its ecological footprint on the use of materials and construction systems by using local materials (basalt wall insulation covered with volcanic lapilli, for example), environmentally certified materials and no harmful elements, such as VOC compounds in synthetic paints and varnishes.


View more images of this unique, contextural and contemporary green project at the link to ArchDaily's feature...


Via Lauren Moss
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Sustainability at heart

Arts and environment activist Alison Tickell is back in Australia to remind us of the importance of making environmental sustainability intrinsic to the business, art and ethics of the creative industries.
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Maggie Smith | Sass Brown

"Maggie Smith is an artisan who works with unconventional material expressions through the discipline and tradition of basket making techniques. The Willow-ware collection encompasses a range of bark strippings, twigs and stripped wood, each coordinated beautifully and organically." (click through for more)

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Bio-trimmings: The Upcycling of Wasted Food into Fashion Accessories By Designer Hoyan Ip

Bio-trimmings: The Upcycling of Wasted Food into Fashion Accessories By Designer Hoyan Ip | Sustainable, Creative, Innovative  Design Solutions | Scoop.it
Hoyan Ip furthered her studies in fashion graduating in a Masters degree at Kingston University with a fashion product collection created from wasted food.


"Iconic brands such as Nike, Prada or Levis all target very different target markets. However, one similarity that brings us designers and brands together is the use of trimmings.
I propose to identify the relationship between food waste and waste produced from the fashion industry.
It can be argued that nothing is new anymore in terms of fashion clothing as similar trends are re-interpreted season by season and it is worthwhile to preserve what we already have in our wardrobe ready for it to be current trend again. As there are more and more designers emerging, there is very little we can do to dispose of the unwanted clothes ethically especially when you realise such sensitivity and thought has gone into making a garment. The solution is to re-use the clothes, de-brand them, repair them and wear them. However, for those who swear by iconic brands such as Chanel may disagree on what this project proposes. It changes the psychology of consumers on what we think about brands. By changing the little details on a garment such as a Burberry trench coat with trimmings made of wasted food, how might the standard Burberry devotee react and more interestingly, what will the actual brand think of this? Does adding products made from wasted food de-value the brand or add value to it because of its ethical reasons.


Trimmings such as buttons, metal buckles and zips are all manufactured industrially where there are concerns on the impact it has on the environment as it consumes a lot of energy and fuel.
Products in my project, Bio-trimmings include buckles, buttons and shoulder pads. A further product developed from the cut out waste includes sequins, which can be used to embellish and alter the character of a brand. Furthermore, the sequin products can be used as a resolution to repair old, ripped garments that can be updated with coloured sequins of different shapes and sizes."

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