Thursday, September 29, 2011

Patagonia, going, gone!

The always thoughtful and sustainably-minded geniuses who run Patagonia have just put the future ahead of profits in an especially creative and brilliant way. (Did I get enough superlatives in there?) This is something that most green-minded designers wrestle with. My work is designing stuff, and I like things, but the truth is, reducing consumption is probably the biggest change we can make. Patagonia clothing is made to be super durable, and often outlasts any one person's desire to own it. 

So they've partnered with eBay's green team:

"Keeping existing, perfectly functioning products in use, rather than in the back of a closet, reduces the demand on our air, water and land to create new ones. Each American throws away about 65 pounds of clothing and textiles per year, according to the EPA. And demand for textiles, like polyester, made from petroleum has almost doubled in the last 15 years. So using clothes that already exist, and selling what you’re no longer using, is a simple yet powerful act...."

The Common Threads Initiative is an eBay storefront where you can buy and sell gently used Patagonia branded gear. This is one more example of the company making it easier to keep their products out of the landfill.  

Images from Patagonia and current (as of post time) eBay listings. Via ecouterre.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Tricia has been working on a new jewelry project, and she finally agreed to let me show you. Aren't they great?

So when your earbuds finally bite the dust after one too many iPod drops, you can send them to Tricia, and she'll re-craft them into awesome earrings with wood inserts. Then you can wear a set in your ears and a second set on your ears. Just don't get them mixed up. These look awesome, but they don't sound that great. 

In other news, Tricia's M.O.C. brooms were just selected for Apartment Therapy's Design Showcase. If you've got a minute, click on over to AT and drop three stars on our friend. Congrats, Tricia!
Images from Tricia Wright

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Pantone colors of bananas

I just spent a couple of days working on colors for a project, and I had all those little Pantone chips spread across my desk. I wasn't picking yellows, but Dole was. Check this...
"Speaking of fruit, you may think a banana is just a banana, but it's not. Dole and other banana growers have turned the creation of a banana into a science, in part to manipulate perceptions of freshness. In fact, they've issued a banana guide to greengrocers, illustrating the various color stages a banana can attain during its life cycle. Each color represents the sales potential for the banana in question. For example, sales records show that bananas with Pantone color 13-0858 (otherwise known as Vibrant Yellow) are less likely to sell than bananas with Pantone color 12-0752 (also called Buttercup), which is one grade warmer, visually, and seems to imply a riper, fresher fruit. Companies like Dole have analyzed the sales effects of all varieties of color and, as a result, plant their crops under conditions most ideal to creating the right 'color.' And as for apples? Believe it or not, my research found that while it may look fresh, the average apple you see in the supermarket is actually 14 months old."

Read more of Martin Lindstrom's article here: Fast Company

Banana image from Flickr user Design-Dog (aka Ian Ransley). Via Fast Company.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Willow Ship

Our dear friend Blake writes to tell us about her new venture....

After a bit of a breather, I've turned my ship in another direction. I've been wading through mountains of linen, blockprinting by hand, and doing quite a lot of sewing to boot. A bit of a change you could say. Yeah, I'm loving it.... And so, as of earlier this month, it's all come together. My Etsy shop is live! I invite you to stop by and see what I've been up to. 
It's all designed, printed and sewn in San Francisco, and, just like Blake herself, the work is lovely.
Images from Willow Ship.

Monday, September 19, 2011

#uck #ast #ashion

Just came across Holstee, which is a dude company, in the best possible way. They make the Holstee, which is a T-shirt with a holster sewn in for your electronic gear. See? Dude company.

They are also awesome, not because of the Holstee, which isn't quite my style (and doesn't suit my girly frame), but for two other details you'll find in there if you poke around on their site:

Awesomeness #1: Their #uck #ast #ashion T-shirts, which are reclaimed T's overprinted with their FFF slogan. They have a full line of upcycled tees, all sold out now. Too bad, because I'd buy these for all my dude friends.
Awesomeness #2: Their manifesto, which, not to be too mushy, is quite simply inspiring in a "get out there and kick some a$$" kind of way.

My latest lab crush. Too bad they are in Brooklyn. We could be friends.
Images from Holstee.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Measure twice, or maybe even more

Designer Karen Johnson specializes in mosaic mirrors. I love glass mosaics, and her pieces are lovely and sophisticated, with an attention to detail that's admirable. But her glass mosaics are not why she's on this blog. She's here because of her School House series of mirrors, like these with rulers
or pencils

or pink pencils (note the little bits of glass to bling it out)! 

Now Ms. Johnson's angle isn't recycling or green, per say--her work features the repetition of singular objects and a strong understanding of color. Her style could easily be adapted to reclaimed materials.

Images from Mosaic Works. Via Design*Sponge.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Spotted on BART

Holy Helvetica! After several weeks of weekly BART protests, I was happy to find a bright spot in my commute last week. Super stylish young thing was ahead of me on the escalator. The whole outfit was great, but it was the crazy handbag with the Crate & Barrel ruffles that caught my eye. I snapped a photo, but she got on the train before I got a chance to ask her about it. It looked like it must be made from recycled materials, but it was really nicely done.

Anyone know what this is? Stylish SF girl, where did you find this awesomeness?

Image from Katie

Friday, September 9, 2011


That last post got me thinking about spheres of things, and I ran across this chandelier made from wine glasses. It's lovely, but in its original designer form, probably a little "design out of reach." 

If you want to replicate it on your own, possibly with glasses salvaged from your local Thrift Town, check out this awesome how-to from DIY diva Lisa of Condo Blues.

Image from Touch Design.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


How genius is this? Green, artsy, unplugged, and unexpected, the iVictrola isn't a new product, but I missed it the first time around (in 2009). With no electronics, this is a simple block of wood with a vintage Victrola horn attached. The amplification is old-school. This year, there seems to be a new iPad version-- coming to DWR in the fall.

So the iPhone one is long sold out, and the iPad one isn't available yet. You'll just have to admire them over the interweb, or make your own (if you have a spare Victrola horn lying around). 

Images from Uncrate and Made-Craft. Via NOTCOT.

Friday, September 2, 2011

You got to know when to fold 'em

Nick Sayers has that obsessive thing I so admire in artists. He makes spheres. Lots of spheres. He makes them from everything--hats, coat hangers, and in this case, playing cards. Check out his Flickr stream or the inhabitat article for more awesome spheres.

Images (c) Nick Sayers. Via inhabitat.