Wednesday, April 23, 2008

green concerns

i've been green when it was a hot topic the first time around as a child in the early 70s. this has filled me with varying levels of anxiety at different points in my life, from being macrobiotic in my teens/early 20s to having a career crisis of conscience in my late 20s thinking that design is the devil's work producing disposable culture!

i now have a more optimistic view on design as a discipline and understand the importance of contributing to the evolution of visual culture. who knows – it may be the designers that figure out how to communicate with the first extraterrestrials that land on earth for formal contact!

this wider view has not freed me from ecological concerns, and i have always produced minimal packaging for my nookas – sometimes more successful for one line and not another. for example, the leather strap models all come in a slim padded fabric wallet that can be reused for pencils, make-up, jewelery and also for keeping your nooka. our zubs are made out of a minimal amount of acrylic plastic and double-duty as display cases.

are these ideal solution? no. but here's the problem i'm putting out in the blogosphere in hopes that someone can help us improve:
design websites, newspapers and news media often feature the NEXT green solution. for example, corn or soy based plastics, cool recycled materials etc. AND i'm sure dupont or monsanto and the chemical concerns of the world also have new materials touted in press releases.
can a small start-up like nooka have access to these materials?
do any of the affordable alternatives have partners in china where most manufacturing is done? i ask this because we have had ZERO LUCK finding answers to these questions and we are very pro-active in research [try to get a person in dupont to direct you to a marketing person who knows of a new material reported in the press!]

i am sending our production designer to dusseldorf this week to go to interpack, the international packaging fair in order to find the answers to the above questions, but if anyone reading this has any insights or contacts to share – please do.

also: i contacted the american plastics council which spends millions on television and print advertising to see if they had field staff to send to schools and companies to educate about environmental issues and new developments [the paper companies all have these kinds of programs], and i was shocked that they do not.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are numerous of alternative solutions in Japan with rice/paper/tofu packaging, but I would assume they are incredibly expensive in comparison