Dutch Group Builds Furniture With Canal Garbage

Nowadays, “fancy” isn’t about luxury materials and extravagant designs. Instead, lavish design is more so sustainable than it is expensive. Alternative to landfills, trash is making its way back into homes as furniture. Alongside startup Pentatonic, Dutch company Plastic Whale is turning plastic waste into chic furniture pieces.

Plastic Whale recently announced a circular furniture collection, composed of a conference room table, chairs, lamps, and acoustic panels that are all made out of PET bottles from Amsterdam’s canals.

A thousand bottles make a single high-end felt and foam-paneled table, while 50 to 60 make a chair. Considering the amount of plastic polluting bodies of water, furniture selections have ridiculous amounts of potential to grow. Even better, Plastic Whale models its furniture after marine life.

Ten percent of the profits… will be invested in local projects in other parts of the world that aim to use a similar economic model to turn plastic waste into something valuable. The resources generated from the furniture will go into more plastic fishing expeditions.

In an industry constantly on the hunt for the best textiles and constituents, trash is certainly their treasure.

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Swedish Factory Burns Old H&M Clothes To Make Fuel

Due to the detrimental effects of excessive carbon emissions, researchers are scrambling to produce cleaner energy alternatives. Prototypes of algae-powered wooden motorcycles are making an appearance in the hopes of perfecting eco-vehicles. The entire state of Florida is even attempting to power its homes with waste procured by Hurricane Irma. Now tackling the fashion industry, which turns out nearly 14 million tons of waste per annum, a Swedish power plant is burning discarded H&M products to produce fuel.

“For us it’s a burnable material,” said Jens Neren, head of fuel supplies at Malarenergi AB, which owns and operates the plant in Vasteras… “Our goal is to use only renewable and recycled fuels.”

In this year alone, the plant has burned 15 tons of H&M clothing unsafe for wearing. The incinerated waste, along with 400,000 tons of trash power 150,000 homes.

“It is our legal obligation to make sure that clothes that contain mold or do not comply with our strict restriction on chemicals are destroyed,” [said H&M head of communications Johanna] Dahl…“H&M does not burn any clothes that are safe to use.”

Trends may be exciting, but are equally as damaging, especially when they come to pass.

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Norway Halts Fur Production As It Goes Out Of Style

The fashion industry is incredibly temporary. Trends come and go, save for those that are timeless — like sustainable fashion. As mink and fox slink out of style in Norway, its government is planning on keeping it that way. Once a giant in the fur world, Norway is finally banning the material, much to the delight of activists.

Animal rights group Noah hailed the decision as part of a shift against what it views as an outdated and cruel business with dwindling appeal to fashion-conscious consumers.

“We’re very pleased,” Noah leader Siri Martinsen said.

Old-fashioned may be the best way to describe fox farming, as its Norwegian industry peaked in 1939. Back then, the nation boasted 20,000 farms, compared to its 3% output today.

“It’s not a very lucrative business in Norway,” said Sveinung Fjose, of Menon Business Economics and an expert on fur farms. “It wouldn’t harm the Norwegian economy severely” to close it down.

As expected, fur breeders are disgruntled — but hey, gotta evolve with the times.

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New Adidas Sneakers Sewn With Built-In Train Ticket

For your typical shoe collector, wear and tear is often a nightmare. Concurrently, depleting resources are pushing manufacturers to create sneaks made with materials like graphene. For others, function trumps style, which is the case for Adidas’ collaboration with Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe. The sharp-looking shoe also doubles as a train pass — just show them off.

[Its $220 price tag is] a bargain considering the cheapest annual train pass from BVG costs €728 ($890), which means you save hundreds of dollars while snapping up new shoes. BVG says the train ticket lasts from January 16th to December 31st, 2018.

The shoe’s design pays homage to Berlin’s stylish trams by incorporating a multicolored camouflage print. As for its ticketing technology — there isn’t any. Simply prop up your shoe and let an inspector know you’re wearing them. So far, the limited-edition runners have sold out, save for eager eBay auction pages.

And as expected with covetable things, some pairs of the sneakers have already popped up on eBay for over £1,000 (about €1,130 or $1,380 USD).

For 500 lucky buyers, running late may no longer be a problem. Whether or not the trainers will make a comeback still remains a mystery.

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Running Shoes Are Made With Graphene-Rubber

Fashion is always evolving, especially in the shoe industry. Sneakers don’t only look cool — they feel cool. They’re also becoming more sustainable, with kicks like Clark Ultra Blooms, which are made with algae. Groups like Viupax are even designing eco-friendly shoe boxes. Rubber may be hard to get around, but brands are trying to be less wasteful. In fact, Manchester researchers are infusing rubber soles with graphene, making shoes sturdier than ever.

To create the super-strong soles, researchers… heated up rubber and then added microscopic particles of graphene into the mix at the same point you’d add other preservatives and colours.

The shoe, which will sell at a wallet-guzzling £150, is 50% more resistant to damage. It’s also significantly stretchier, which brings together the usually problematic features of grip and strength.

“It’s this compromise between trying to get this very good grip and having a hard-wearing, long-lasting compound of rubber,” says [developer Aravind] Vijayaraghavan.

It may not eliminate rubber entirely, but at least it’ll add some years to a rather short lifespan.

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Sustainable Shoe Box Packaging Is Saving The Planet

Only halfway through the year, we’ve consumed more resources than the planet can regenerate. It’s an unspoken tragedy most refuse to acknowledge. However, big industry names are stepping up to the plate by creating products using sustainable resources. We’re now seeing the rise of shoes made with algae and cosmetics made with fish waste. For the first time, this sustainable shoe box has also made an appearance.

Viupax [uses] 20-57% less cardboard and 20-50% less volume. The packaging system is designed to be cost efficient in matters of production and transportation, and above all, it’s designed to improve productivity and user experience.

The boxes are not only funky in design — they are easy to stack and carry. Because Viupax sports a handle, there is no need for paper shopping bags. The packaging can even be recycled into toys.

Like the saying goes, if the shoe fits… well, hopefully it’s eco-friendly.

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Design Is Not Just Pretty — It’s Saving The Planet

Design: its goal may be aesthetics, but it goes way beyond just looks. It’s works like vegetable leather and zero-emissions air conditioning that make design more meaningful than it appears. Some parts of the world may look pristine, but without the sustainability to back it, they end up being wasteful. Here are reasons design is the key to saving the planet.

It’s raising awareness. As you probably learned in middle school, awareness is the best place to start when it comes to change. Things such as infographics or interactive billboards have been altering our perspectives on major issues for decades. What design does that lectures don’t always do is shake up our realities. Whether we like it or not, celebrities endorsing a cause on a poster are often more effective than anything else. But if it’s helping to improve the planet, I’m not mad at it.

If you’ve ever worn eco-fibers, you’ll know design promotes sustainability. Famous retail brands such as Nike and Merrell have started incorporating eco-friendly materials into their shoes and clothing. Much like cosmetics brand Lush, other big names have also transitioned into using minimal to no packaging. Again, if the big guns are going green, everyone else is likely to follow — which means plus points for designers.

If you hadn’t noticed, “trashion” is a big thing in the vogue world. But beyond the clothing industry, using recyclables is also popular in the realm of food. Many startups are turning waste into shopping bags or containers that can be reused to kingdom come. Some groups are even manufacturing edible packaging, which is a little weird — but a big thumbs up anyway. Recycling may not come with a posh label, but it brings an earthy and rustic charm to table.

Just like the iPhone, many others are coming out with products that can do a million things all at once. Designers are not only giving consumers what they want, they’re handing everything over in a compact fashion. Future creators are considering multifunctional commodities. Doing more with less doesn’t apply to just makeup anymore. It covers everything from home appliances to portable gadgets. After all, if you can watch TV, order a pizza, and get your laundry done with the click of a button, why not?

Beyond function and materials, design is also bringing people together. Sharing ideas is what everyone is about these days, and design is its catalyst. In a way, this also guarantees that certain goods don’t go to waste. It is now easier than ever to trade items when they are no longer wanted. Better off in someone else’s hands than in the trash. There are an endless number of websites that help users course donations to various charities. There are even services that help re-construct items that seem a little out of date.

We can no longer deny that the potential of design is exploding. I don’t just mean this in a trendy sense, but that we ought to give people in graphics, interiors, and the industrial world more credit. Anyway, without them, there would be no innovation.

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This Dyneema Backpack Is Stronger Than Steel

After discovering the indestructible 100 Year Hoodie, I didn’t think I’d come across anything equally as durable. Of course, the Internet is notorious for proving me wrong. Best Made Co’s Dyneema backpack claims to be stronger than steel — and only 40 are on the market.

According to DSM, the Dutch company that first manufactured the miracle fiber 27 years ago, Dyneema is up to 15 times stronger than steel and 40 percent stronger than aramid fibers such as Kevlar.

Dyneema is present in stab-proof armor, crane slings, yacht sails, boat cables, and other industrial-strength products. It’s no wonder the backpack has a plethora of mind-blowing features.

It has water-resistant zippers. It has metal hardware, a coated cotton-twill interior, a 40-liter clamshell main compartment, a reinforced laptop compartment, two large side pockets and a quick-access brain pocket.

And just like the 100 Year Hoodie, the Dyneema Patrol Pack is likely to outlive you. Manufacturing a backpack this imperishable may seem extraneous, but could be valuable to lovers of the great outdoors.

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These Rock-Climbing Shoes Are Made Of Recyclables

This year, sustainable fashion has become an inescapable trend — and we’re not complaining. All sorts of materials are being reused to create wearables that are identical to pieces that are entirely new. We’ve seen the birth of sportswear made from coffee and running shoes made with algae. Now, popular athletics brand La Sportiva has produced rock-climbing shoes made of almost entirely recycled materials.

La Sportiva put a spin on its latest model with the addition of the Eco Rubber, completely rebranding the otherwise harmful process used in the production of climbing shoes. The company utilizes biodegradable leather for the sole of the shoe and a tanning process that is completely metal free — no traces of mercury or chrome to be found.

The brand combines and repurposes leftover material to create the Eco Rubber. They also use fishing net to create laces and webbing.

The Mythos is an iconic climbing shoe that has been in La Sportiva’s arsenal for over a quarter of a century. Tried and true to boot, climbers covet the comfortable moccasin-style shoe that adapts to the shape of your foot.

Brands as renowned as La Sportiva becoming more eco-conscious is just what the industry needs. All they require is a gentle push.

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Sustainable Sportswear Is Made From Coffee

Trends may come and go, but eco-conscious clothing looks like it’s here to stay. If you’re planning to revamp your wardrobe into something more environmentally friendly, you may want to invest in Rumi X. The sustainable sportswear brand reuses plastic and even coffee grounds.

‘Rumi X was born out of my three passions: spirituality, yoga, and nature,’ [said creator Melissa Chu]

‘I wanted to develop something that spoke to the devotion of my practice and honour my source of energy from spirituality, while simultaneously ensuring that our products were environmentally impactful and contributing to the solution, not being part of the problem.’

Chu further explains that Rumi X is about being mindful of oneself and of others. As with most environmental activists, Rumi X begins with awareness.

‘Rumi X is about living a mindful lifestyle, taking care of yourself within, and being good to the world around you,’

‘We take care of our body, mind, and soul, and we take care of others around us to feel good.’

Rumi has not only done a great job recycling and upcycling materials, it is also affordable and accessible to customers.

‘Whether you are reducing your plastic waste or inspired to develop sustainable products as a business, we do hope that we can inspire each individual to become more mindful in their everyday life,’

If you are picking up coffee wear any time soon, I hear it also does wonders for body odor. Work that body out!

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