Category Archives: Upcycle

Pop Up Shop ‘Trash Vortex,’ hosted by PARTIMI

Trash Vortex comes from the desire to raise awareness about the impact our waste habits have on our oceans and also the planet as a whole.” (Eleanor Dorrien-Smith, Designer and PARTIMI Creator)  

Eleanor Dorrien-Smith, designer, PARTIMI Creator, and recent prize winner at the Fashioning the Future Awards, is about to launch an Ethical Pop Up Shop in Camden.

The decor for the Pop Up Shop is inspired by the Pacific Trash Vortex and the store will be stocking a range of ethical fashion and accessories designers including Worn Again, Komodo, Kuyuchi, Partimi and Ryan Noon. Here are the details!

LAUNCH PARTY: Friday Dec. 18th 7-10pm

SHORT FILM SHOWCASE: Saturday Dec. 19th 7:30-10pm
HAND KRAFTED FILMS presents a range of short films and animations by professional and up-and-coming filmmakers.

Opening Times:
10am – 10pm Friday 18 and Saturday 19 December
10am – 7pm Sunday 20 – Wednesday 23 December
11am – 3pm Thursday 24 December

Click here, for more information.

Start Date: 2009/12/18
End Date: 2009/12/24

Title: Pop Up Shop ‘Trash Vortex,’ hosted by PARTIMI
Location: Camden
Link out: Click here

Copenhagen climate change conference: ‘Fourteen days to seal history’s judgment on this generation’


This editorial calling for action from world leaders on climate change is published today by 56 newspapers around the world in 20 languages

Copenhagen climate change summit – opening day liveblog


Today 56 newspapers in 45 countries take the unprecedented step of speaking with one voice through a common editorial. We do so because humanity faces a profound emergency.

Unless we combine to take decisive action, climate change will ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security. The dangers have been becoming apparent for a generation. Now the facts have started to speak: 11 of the past 14 years have been the warmest on record, the Arctic ice-cap is melting and last year’s inflamed oil and food prices provide a foretaste of future havoc. In scientific journals the question is no longer whether humans are to blame, but how little time we have got left to limit the damage. Yet so far the world’s response has been feeble and half-hearted.

Climate change has been caused over centuries, has consequences that will endure for all time and our prospects of taming it will be determined in the next 14 days. We call on the representatives of the 192 countries gathered in Copenhagen not to hesitate, not to fall into dispute, not to blame each other but to seize opportunity from the greatest modern failure of politics. This should not be a fight between the rich world and the poor world, or between east and west. Climate change affects everyone, and must be solved by everyone.

The science is complex but the facts are clear. The world needs to take steps to limit temperature rises to 2C, an aim that will require global emissions to peak and begin falling within the next 5-10 years. A bigger rise of 3-4C — the smallest increase we can prudently expect to follow inaction — would parch continents, turning farmland into desert. Half of all species could become extinct, untold millions of people would be displaced, whole nations drowned by the sea. The controversy over emails by British researchers that suggest they tried to suppress inconvenient data has muddied the waters but failed to dent the mass of evidence on which these predictions are based.

Few believe that Copenhagen can any longer produce a fully polished treaty; real progress towards one could only begin with the arrival of President Obama in the White House and the reversal of years of US obstructionism. Even now the world finds itself at the mercy of American domestic politics, for the president cannot fully commit to the action required until the US Congress has done so.

But the politicians in Copenhagen can and must agree the essential elements of a fair and effective deal and, crucially, a firm timetable for turning it into a treaty. Next June’s UN climate meeting in Bonn should be their deadline. As one negotiator put it: “We can go into extra time but we can’t afford a replay.”

At the deal’s heart must be a settlement between the rich world and the developing world covering how the burden of fighting climate change will be divided — and how we will share a newly precious resource: the trillion or so tonnes of carbon that we can emit before the mercury rises to dangerous levels.

Rich nations like to point to the arithmetic truth that there can be no solution until developing giants such as China take more radical steps than they have so far. But the rich world is responsible for most of the accumulated carbon in the atmosphere – three-quarters of all carbon dioxide emitted since 1850. It must now take a lead, and every developed country must commit to deep cuts which will reduce their emissions within a decade to very substantially less than their 1990 level.

Developing countries can point out they did not cause the bulk of the problem, and also that the poorest regions of the world will be hardest hit. But they will increasingly contribute to warming, and must thus pledge meaningful and quantifiable action of their own. Though both fell short of what some had hoped for, the recent commitments to emissions targets by the world’s biggest polluters, the United States and China, were important steps in the right direction.

Social justice demands that the industrialised world digs deep into its pockets and pledges cash to help poorer countries adapt to climate change, and clean technologies to enable them to grow economically without growing their emissions. The architecture of a future treaty must also be pinned down – with rigorous multilateral monitoring, fair rewards for protecting forests, and the credible assessment of “exported emissions” so that the burden can eventually be more equitably shared between those who produce polluting products and those who consume them. And fairness requires that the burden placed on individual developed countries should take into account their ability to bear it; for instance newer EU members, often much poorer than “old Europe”, must not suffer more than their richer partners.

The transformation will be costly, but many times less than the bill for bailing out global finance — and far less costly than the consequences of doing nothing.

Many of us, particularly in the developed world, will have to change our lifestyles. The era of flights that cost less than the taxi ride to the airport is drawing to a close. We will have to shop, eat and travel more intelligently. We will have to pay more for our energy, and use less of it.

But the shift to a low-carbon society holds out the prospect of more opportunity than sacrifice. Already some countries have recognized that embracing the transformation can bring growth, jobs and better quality lives. The flow of capital tells its own story: last year for the first time more was invested in renewable forms of energy than producing electricity from fossil fuels.

Kicking our carbon habit within a few short decades will require a feat of engineering and innovation to match anything in our history. But whereas putting a man on the moon or splitting the atom were born of conflict and competition, the coming carbon race must be driven by a collaborative effort to achieve collective salvation.

Overcoming climate change will take a triumph of optimism over pessimism, of vision over short-sightedness, of what Abraham Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature”.

It is in that spirit that 56 newspapers from around the world have united behind this editorial. If we, with such different national and political perspectives, can agree on what must be done then surely our leaders can too.

The politicians in Copenhagen have the power to shape history’s judgment on this generation: one that saw a challenge and rose to it, or one so stupid that we saw calamity coming but did nothing to avert it. We implore them to make the right choice.

This editorial will be published tomorrow by 56 newspapers around the world in 20 languages including Chinese, Arabic and Russian. The text was drafted by a Guardian team during more than a month of consultations with editors from more than 20 of the papers involved. Like the Guardian most of the newspapers have taken the unusual step of featuring the editorial on their front page.

This editorial is free to reproduce under Creative Commons

‘Fourteen days to seal history’s judgment on this generation’ by The Guardian is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at
(please note this Creative Commons license is valid until 18 December 2009)

Watch//Waste = Food

“Waste = Food” is a fantastic documentary, perfect for incorporating into course curriculum as a visual aid to inspire fashion design students to think critically about ‘waste.’


Man is the only creature that produces landfills. Natural resources are being depleted on a rapid scale while production and consumption are rising in na­tions like China and India. The waste production world wide is enormous and if we do not do anything we will soon have turned all our resources into one big messy landfill. But there is hope. The German chemist, Michael Braungart, and the American designer-architect William McDonough are fundamentally changing the way we produce and build. If waste would become food for the biosphere or the technosphere (all the technical products we make), produc­tion and consumption could become beneficial for the planet.

A design and production concept that they call Cradle to Cradle. A concept that is seen as the next industrial revolution.

 • Design every product in such a way that at the end of its lifecycle the component materials become a new resource.

 • Design buildings in such a way that they produce energy and become a friend to the environment.

Large companies like Ford and Nike are working with McDonough and Braun­gart to change their production facilities and their products. They realize that economically seen waste is destruction of capital. You make something with no value. Based on their ideas the Chinese government is working towards a circular economy where Waste = Food. An amazing story that will definitely change your way of thinking about production and consumption.”


Director Rob van Hattum

Research Gijs Meijer Swantee

Production Karin Spiegel en Madeleine Somer

Editors in Chief Doke Romeijn en Frank Wiering


Source: Google and Tegenlicht

The Uniform Project



The Uniform Project Trailer from The Uniform Project on Vimeo.

The Uniform Project



The Uniform Project is an “exercise in sustainable fashion,” where one woman has committed herself to wearing the same black dress for an entire year.

Already half way through, the project has raised $27, 525 for the Akanksha Foundation

Follow Sheena through the dailies as she challenges traditional notions of uniformity, raising important questions surrounding necessity and sustainability. You can be a part of the project by donating $$ or by donating

Donate old accessories, contribute your own designs, or collaborate on an ensemble. Click here to learn more.

An October to Remember// Upcoming Events

October will have you wishing you could be in more than one city at the same time.

If you find yourself in Paris, Chicago, Providence, Portland, Hong Kong, London or Seattle this October, be sure to check out these amazing events. Click on the event you are interested in on the Events Calendar and we should link you straight into the events homepage.


Also, if you are near London in Oct. Nov. or Dec., be sure to stay tuned into the London College of Fashion, for Clash! Creative Collisions in Fashion and Science.

Clash! Creative Collisions in Fashion & Science


Last but not least, if you have an upcoming event you think are readers would be interested in, be sure to drop us a line.

New Again Coalition- Change Clothing Care Regulations

New Again Coalition

Project Laundry List, Permacouture Institute and Make Do & Mend have joined forced for an exciting new partnership: The New Again Coalition.

“We want to make the clothesline and some time-tested ways of doing laundry new again. We want to make natural dyes and some traditional fabrics and fashions new again. We want to start a trend of patching clothes and upcycling that will make our wardrobes new again.”

First order of business?  A petition to change clothing care regulations:

“Our first letter is a push for manufacturers and importers to provide consumers with a label that encourages optimal green behavior in the cleaning and care of an article of clothing. This could be as simple as “cold water, hang dry” or more complex with specific conscious care instructions. We know that many manufacturers currently print the minimum requirements for garment care, not realizing the environmental consequences of these vague instructions.

Social Alterations has signed the petition, and encourages you to get involved and spread the word on this important matter. Click here to sign.

The New Again Coalition will be celebrating with a Mixer, and everyone is welcome. Here are the details:

When: 5:30pm – 7:00pm, Thursday, October 1, 2009

Where: Orchard Garden Hotel, 466 Bush St, Arrabal de San Francisco, Spain.

Tel: 4157868510



For more info on this event, click here.

the Shoelace Rug


These beautifully unique rugs were created and designed by artists Nate Siverstein and Andrea Paustenbaugh. Each Shoelace Rug is a one of a kind design. All have been created through the upcycling of 100% resused materials (laces), by a fourth generation family owned manufacturer local to the artists, in the USA. The designers view their designs as “multifunctional earth friendly sculptures,” and are passionate about creating responsible designs.


 “The shoelace rug is a sculpture that evolves beneath your feet. Shape, size, and depth are determined by the user. Machine washable.”


Since they are machine washable, they can also be washed by hand (no dry-cleaning necessary).


Source: Core77 and Shoelace Rug

Social Alterations is now on Ning!



You can use this space to share and upload curricula ideas, lesson plans, visual aids, research and projects, or to just discuss the current happenings in the industry with respect to social issues and environmental concerns, as well as the latest trends in socially responsible design.




“See” you in the Forum! Oh…and don’t forget to pick up your Social Alterations Badge!


Visit Social Alterations

Nike: Considered Design Ethos, Steve Nash and the “Sixty Million Dollar Man”


Nike's Considered Design shoebox

Nike has adopted an interesting approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR). As previously mentioned, the company has seemingly managed to connect its sustainability platform to its innovation platform. Trash Talk is one example, the packaging the shoe comes in is another:

The shoe will also be packaged in a new Considered Design shoebox. Like Nike’s first recycled content box in 1995, this new box is still made from 100 percent recycled fiber, but now features a new design which reduces the fiber content by approximately 30 percent.  (CSRwire)

Considered Design

"Considered is not Compromising. It's rethinking." (Nike)


According to the company, “Nike’s Considered ethos challenges designers to use environmentally-preferred materials, reduce waste, create sustainable manufacturing processes and use innovation to help reduce our overall environmental impact.”

 You can learn more about Nike’s Considered Design Ethos by visiting their Considered Design Index.

In terms of lifecycle analysis, however, Nike has set some goals that I believe are worth considering:

  • footwear to be Considered by 2011
  • apparel to be Considered by 2015
  • equipment to be Considered by 2020

All this will be done through the company’s Considered Design Ethos:

  • less toxics
  • less waste
  • more environmentally-preferred materials
  • sustainable product innovation

Are you up for the challenge? I’m not convinced the marketing campaign (below) will help motivate you…but hey, why not.


Source: CSR Wire, Nike, Nike and more Nike

Nike Talks Trash


Andrew Hartman, Design Director from Philips Design, Claudia Kotchka, Former Head of Design at Procter & Gamble, and Valerie Casey, Lead of Digital Experience Practice at IDEO and Founder of the Designers Accord, were among 20 star designer judges at the IDEA 2009: Designing a Better World competition that took place in May of this year.

  • Hartman stressed the importance for designers to deliver an experience to their client, rather than just an instance.
  • Kotchka expressed her belief that design thinking is a necessary tool for solving design challenges.
  • Casey spoke on the prioritization of sustainability as moving beyond trend. Casey referenced Nike’s success in marrying sustainability with innovation. This is not surprising considering the company won the International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) “Best in Show” for its Trash Talk shoes made from manufactured waste.

Nike Trash Talk

Gold Award/Best in Show
Design: Kasey Jarvis, Andreas Harlow, Fred Dojan, and Dan Johnson, Nike (U.S.)

This performance basketball shoe is made from manufacturing waste. It incorporates leftover materials—leather and synthetic leather, foam, and rubber—into new shoes without sacrificing any of the performance aspects that come from shoes made from virgin materials.


Source: BusinessWeek