Our chosen theme was Eco Bag Art. By providing blank canvas bags and plenty of assorted art materials, we offered those taking part the chance to get creative and make a personalised bag, which they could take away and use again and again.
Part of the London Design Festival, and one of our absolute favourites of the year, SustainRCA Show & Awards, featuring a selection of some of the best work of Royal College of Art graduates. Projects propose an exciting vision of future living, while tackling a wide range of perspectives on the sustainability challenges we face today.
By guest writer TEXTILE ARTIST MISHA WATERTON
An increase in ethical engagement within consumer behaviour has led to more and more businesses choosing to cater for a growing eco market. Many clients are seeking out eco-printing to ensure their products are as sustainable as possible and this niche market may be set to grow.
There are many elements to consider when working towards a sustainable production system for any design area. For the screen-printing process, there are several companies working to ensure their businesses offer great value, service and products, whilst also limiting their impact on the planet. I Dress Myself, based in Frome, is one leading example of how an eco screen printing business can be run.
All in all 18,265 visitors went along to New Designers 2013, making this year’s shows the busiest in its 28 year history. Having recently featured New Designer Week 1 we now turn our attentions to New Designers Week 2 for more wonderfully talented, newly qualified sustainable designers. The Week 2 show featured:
- Furniture & Product Design
- Graphic Design & Illustration
- Spatial Design (inc. Architecture & Interior Design)
- Motion Arts
- One Year On
New Designers brings together over 3,000 of the UK’s best emerging designers across a 2 part exhibition. Week 1 featured:
- Textiles, Fashion and Accessories
- Contemporary Applied Arts (inc. Ceramics and Glass)
- Jewellery and Precious Metalwork
- One Year On
Acclaimed author, journalist and design critic Alice Rawsthorn officially opened the event, saying: “For anyone graduating now, this is a daunting time thanks to the economic recession. But the good news for anyone who wants to make their career in design and craft is that there has never been a better time to do so. The most exciting periods of design have always been the periods of greatest change, and we are now living through a phenomenal period of unprecedented change, at extraordinary speed and scale. Your role as designers is to help society to make the most of these changes, to make sure that they affect our lives for good rather than bad.”
Here are some of the talented people we spotted, doing their bit for sustainability and design for good:
Katarina Dimitrijevic, a graduate of Goldsmiths College London, is exploring recycling and up-cycling design strategies to promote design activism around waste. Through her company, KraalD, she’s striving to initiate debate by engaging people in ‘trash-aesthetics’, through design, craft making and workshops.
Her point is that, no matter what we do or don’t do, we are all co-creating our future together. We want more, but, considering sustainability, we must consume less. Put simply, Katarina thinks we should reconsider the things we throw away. For instance, discarded plastic doesn’t degrade; instead, besides killing wildlife, it becomes smaller and smaller, and eventually microscopic, when it can enter the food chain.
Grand Designs Live returned again this May to London’s ExCeL Centre, hosted by TV’s Kevin McCloud himself. It’s the perfect show for those seeking inspiration and expert advice for everything from home redecoration, to renovations, or even full scale self-build projects.
Each year, eco champion Kevin’s annual ‘Green Heroes’ exhibition celebrates the latest and best in sustainable design and innovations. “I keep a list in my phone or a note of who I meet and what I see, and we put it together as an exhibit. It is a great thing to see materialise” says McCloud “and is entirely focused on brilliant people who aren’t yet in the public eye, but who really deserve to be.” The exhibit is designed not only to inspire people, but also celebrates Grand Designs Live’s wider message of sustainable living.
Here are some of the designs that caught our eye:
Ethical Corporation’s annual Responsible Business Summit London, May 7-8, brought together global experts to share their experience and discuss the latest sustainability challenges faced in 2013. Here’s more from that great gathering – the highlights from the sessions we joined on Day 2:
INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO DEVELOPING NEW SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS
In this session we learned how companies are driving sustainability into product design.
Kimberly-Clark Tom Berry – Head of Sustainability, EMEA
Kimberly-Clark make health and hygiene products, such as Kleenex, Andrex and Huggies. They operate in around 175 countries, so they have a big footprint. They essentially use wood fibre and oil to make products and, in their production, use a lot of energy and water. Also many of their products are disposable, so there’s a lot of waste associated with them.
Ethical Corporation’s annual Responsible Business Summit London, May 7-8, brought together global experts to share their experience and discuss the latest sustainability challenges faced in 2013. Talks were focused around how smart businesses can gain from being climate-conscious leaders, how to embed sustainability into company management and how to engage customers. Following are the highlights and insights from the sessions we joined on Day 1:
COLLABORATION IN THE NEW ECONOMY
Greenpeace UK John Sauven – Executive Director
The Economist Daniel Franklin – Executive Editor
Janssen Pharmaceuticals Jane Griffiths – Company Group Chairman
RiiЯ Tom Vesey – Chief Executive Officer
London Business School Ioannis Ioannou – Assistant Professor of Strategy
In this session the speakers were asked to consider what might society, governments and businesses working together be able to deliver for a greener sustainable recovery – and what are the challenges this idea throws up?
John Sauven (Greenpeace) talked about deforestation being the important issue; Jane Griffiths (Janssen) believes that, with an aging population, Alzheimers is one of the great focuses we have to have and that working with academic institutes will be important; Daniel Franklin (Economist) states collaborators must be clear what they are trying to achieve or problems may occur; and Tom Vesey (RiiЯ) says people should be thinking in the long-term, not just short-term.