Make a difference: support Jo-Anne McArthur’s fundrasing for the coming book ”HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene”, by We Animals Media. Contributions by McArthur as well as thirty acclaimed photojournalists, directing their cameralenses on the use and abuse of animals. WAM is based in Toronto, Canada.
In a stand against the leather industry’s cruelty to animals and the huge environmental devastation, leather will be prohibited on Helsinki Fashion Week catwalks from July 2019. The event – held annually in Finland’s capital – is world leading in promoting sustainable fashion. There’s nothing sustainable about the leather trade. In fact, the leather industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters, kills over a billion animals each year and also harm and kill people.
On a couch near you? Every day hundred thousands of animals are abused in the leather trade.
Perhaps your next designer chair? The ”life” of animals in the leather trade is nothing but misery.
Which Furniture Fair and Design Week will be first to follow Helsinki’s example and ditch leather? Photo copyright Anna Kern.
Innovative, high-tech options made from sustainable, plant-derived materials is on the rise. Alongside fab looking natural materials from a sustainable production. Let’s go Cruelty Free and never buy design products of animal origin. Leather, feather, fur and skin? No thank you!
Elephants do not belong in the entertainment business. Wildlife SOS in India, is an organization saving and taking care of elephants. Giving them a chance to experience some freedom, after many many years of abuse.
For the benefit of all animals still captured in the entertainment business: say no to the abuse and exploit of animals for entertainment, in factory farming and production of food, clothes, design items and meds…
”The many sounds of elephants”, video copyright Wildlife SOS – saving India’s elephants (2018).
After years of committed work to reduce all plastic from my home, my studio and ultimately my life I know it is possible. Not easy. But possible! There’s a lot of alternatives to plastic and you can reduce and replace your use of plastic with other materials, new sustainable habits…and there’s a lot of high quality recycled plastic design products around, from trainers to furniture! Read more under ”No Plastic” to the right on this page. And, join me on the journey towards a world without plastic waste.
MIDWAY a Message from the Gyre : a short film by Chris Jordan from Midway on Vimeo. Courtesey Parley for the Oceans (2017).
Compassionates, Eco Aesthetics, No Plastic, Scandimood, Videos 2017-06-08
Scandi producers have a long legacy of making superb and sustainable furniture for children. One of the most famous is Peter’s Chair and Table by Hans J Wegner, designed in 1944 and in production by Carl Hansen & Sons.
Peter’s Chair and Table by Hans J Wegner (1944) for Carl Hansen & Sons. The chair (CH410) and table (CH411) are made of untreated maple and beech hardwood. Photo copyright Carl Hansen & Sons.
Take a look at the making of Peter’s Chair and Table. Video copyright Carl Hansen & Sons.
Another classic is the Childrens Stool NE60 by Alvar Aalto for Artek (1933). Made of beautiful pale birch this stool is a children’s version of the famous three-legged Stool 60. Photo copyright Artek.
NE60 comes with an option for the seat. You can chose between natural lacquered birch veneer, white laminate or black linoleum. There’s a round table to go with the stool. Photo copyright Artek.
A contemporary interpretation of the classics is Little Architect’s series by Ferm Living (2017). It is made of ash veneer and comes in five colours; bordeaux, dark blue, dark green, grey and rose. Photo copyright Ferm Living.
..and here’s one of my favourites, the contemporary children’s chair Ru by Shane Schneck for Hay (2010). Not only innovative of structure but Ru features smart possibilities: it can hang off the table, it is stackable, and multiple chairs can be linked together to form a row. Birch plywood and ash veneer. Photo copyright Hay.
In the mood for Valentine’s day? Stockholm based Moon City Boys celebrate with L’amour Toujours – their upbeat cover version of Gigi l’Agostinos super hit (aka I Fly With You) from 1999.
L’amour Toujours, music video by MCB (2017). Directed and filmed by Kelly Wedin. Styling Liselotte Bramstång, hair Alejandro Ramirez. Video copyright Moon City Boys.
Moon City Boys (2017). Photo copyright MCB/Fredrik Andersson.
In 1985 ALF – Animal Liberation Front, raided a laboratory belonging to the University of California. 468 animals were rescued, among them Britches, a stump-tailed macaque infant. Britches had been taken from his mother instantly when born, had his eyelids sewn shut, and an electronic sonar device attached to his head. He was intended to be part of a three-year sensory-deprivation study involving 24 infant monkeys. ALF filmed the raid and handed the film over to PETA – People for Ethical Treatment of Animals. When published, the story of Britches helped to raise awareness to the horrific abuse of millions of animals yearly in so called scientific research. Now PETA has published a shorter version of the original film. You’ll find both versions below. Let’s put an end to animal testing and cruel experiments on animals by choosing cruelty free certified products, including cruelty free design.
When he was five months old, Britches was flown to Primarily Primates sanctuary in San Antonio, Texas, where he was given to an elderly female macaque who had already raised several orphans. Britches lived at the sanctuary for twenty years, until he passed away in 2005.
The story of Britches, original film copyright PETA 1986.
As I prepared an update on the Ethics of Design and A Cruelty Free Approach to Design this happy moment crossed my path!
Dog groomer and rescue activist Luis Caballero at Pet Shop Perrito Feliz in Buenos Aires love dogs. Sometimes compassion comes with fun. If you’ve ever shared such a moment with a likewise happy puppy…you’ll never buy a design item made from dog skin. Some animal individuals doesn’t like playful interaction in human terms and you might end up dancing before your bored or embarrassed (?) pet… but if you are lucky it is a way of building friendship between human and animal. It all depends of the setting: ”Dancing” with an abused monkey, bear or elephant is nothing but misery. Dancing with a puppy as in having fun together may help raise the status of dogs and help putting an end to the dog leather trade.
Video copyright Gabriela Caballero.
Undercover investigation video of Chinese dog leather trade, copyright PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
Sweden is a country where many a good idea actually get realized to the benefit of humans as well as wildlife. Like building wildlife crossings (sv. ekodukt) under or over roads. Ten Swedish ekodukts are in use and the result is not only less traffic accidents between vehicles and animals but a rather quick development of important reconnections of natural habitats where the road used to serve as a dead end separating one part from the other.
Presentation of Swedish ekodukt in development outside Gothenburg. In Swedish. Video copyright Trafikverket.
Link to a nice presentation, in Swedish, of an ekodukt in development at Sörmon outside Karlstad, in the southwest part of Sweden. Video copyright @svtnyheter
Speaking of accessories…Undercover footage by PETA shows the truth behind ostrich leather used for bags, boots, watch bands etc by luxury fashion brands. In the interior design world leather is mainly used for furniture. But now we see a trend where designers make interior ”accessories” in leather or with leather details, claiming leather to be a ”sustainable material”. Nothing could be more misleading. The leather industry is a ticking bomb of toxic pollution. And animals in the leather industry are not bred to become meat. Leather is big business where animals are exposed to massive abuse and suffering, workers at tanning plants risk their health and life, and the environment gets polluted. Thus, the current trend of designers, bloggers and journalists promoting leather as a ”sustainable material” is deeply worrying.
Ostriches killed for Hermés and Prada bags. Video copyright PETA.
”What are your shoes stepping on?” Video copyright DanWatch.
The annual Milan Design Week and the Salone Internazionale del Mobile is held 12–17 April, 2016. Sweden is well represented this year, both in town and at the Fair. Here’s a teaser from the Academy of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg and graduate student Matz Engdahl who will be participating in the exhibition Stories by the Water, curated by Note Design Studio.
Funt, babtismal font by Matz Engdahl, detail. Photo copyright Matz Engdahl.”Funt” is the Swedish word for ”baptismal font”.
The Easter Rabbit is no longer a sweet messenger of fun and peace. On the contrary, 700 million rabbits are farmed in Europe every year. They’re abused and suffering in ways you would think impossible. But this ugly business is going on, day after day. You can help by never buying fur or meat from rabbits. Sign the petition from Compassion in World Farming and help end the cage age! Urge the members of European Parliament and EU Agriculture Ministers: Make farming rabbits in cages illegal!
Video copyright Compassion in World Farming.