Monday, 13 July 2009

Designing Out Landfill

Just catching up on some events which I have attended.

 "Designing out Landfill" was an event organized by the Materials Knowledge Transfer Network. This free event was designed to increase knowledge in the field of sustainable clothing through focusing on new materials, processes and approaches. Through networking industry experts, designers and students they hope to raise awareness and reduce environmental impacts.

The event hosted a variety of speakers from design companies who are addressing sustainability to reduce/ reuse though their business model.

The first speaker Sophie Thomas co-founded greengaged a collaborative project through the design council and launched at The London Design Festival last year. 

Kresse Wesling from Eako Ltd talked about making eco-friendly lifestyle accessories from reclaimed waste. Eako have worked with the fire brigade to re-use discarded fire hoses, which reformed, into bags and belts. The belts are functionally and aesthetically desirable and Cameron Diaz models one in the June issue of US Vogue! Fifty percent of profits are returned to the fire brigade, which heavily relies on donations to support its service.

This talk demonstrated that discarded materials could be reused to produce desirable products. Kresse herself is an inspiration; she basically hangs out at landfill sites to identify new potential waste streams, which she will use if she can create a market or consumer story. 

Jonathan Petty from Patagonia talked about their brands journey to build a global empire based on environmental principles. They have employed sustainable practice and process for decades and the majority of their products are designed from organic or reclaimed materials.

Founded Yvon Chaunard was quoted saying “Every time I have done something for the environment, I have made a profit…”

For full information on the event visit the Material’s KTN website.

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