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- Product Design students create edgy and sustainable furniture designs using digital manufacturing techniques
- Giveaway: Up Up & Away with Polli’s new sustainable jewellery range
- The PanelPop introduces a new sustainable art medium
- Chapman & Bailey’s Sow’s Ear Challenge showcases sustainable design in a new light
- New stock arriving …and we are a little in love with it!
- Australian Design
- book review
- eco awards
- eco baby + child
- eco brands
- eco design
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- eco travel
- Eco Xmas
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- sustainable architecture
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Category Archives: eco brands
The girls at Love Mae clearly know how to party, as they have just released a great new range of eco friendly party ware that will not end up in landfill. If you have ever tried to run an eco friendly party, you would know how hard it is to find attractive and colourful wares that are biodegradable. Even plain white paper plates are becoming increasingly hard to come by!
Begone plastic plates and cups. Love Mae’s cute range of cupacake wrappers, biodegradable plates and gorgeous treat bags set the scene straight away. Pair them with some fab paper straws, string some paper lanterns or handmade paper chains from the rafters and voila – the pretty sustainable party scene is set.
Thanks Love Mae!
In the heady rush of gift wrapping presents and parties before Xmas, a surprise box arrived on my doorstep from Sydney based Native Box. Deciding to crack it open on New Year’s day proved timely. It was the perfect kick start to my new year’s resolution to live a healthier year in 2013.
The Native Box was full of samples of various eco friendly and sustainable products. A number of items were on my mental “to try” list that I never quite got around to testing. First up. I tried the Omega Smooth fish oil. I fought off numerous colds in 2012, and want to leave that behind me ~ so perfect time to see if fish oil improves my resilience. After a tentative first teaspoon, I downed the second without hesitation. The lemon flavour sufficiently took the edge off the fish taste to make it perfectly palatable. The second test was the Pure papaya balm to soothe my kids chapped sunkissed lips and cheeks (worked a wonder), shortly followed by me slathering Ayana Organics Vanilla Body Butter (beautiful vanilla almond scent) on my dry arms – now rehydrated. A bite taken from the vegan Chinoa bar by Kuranda left me feeling positively virtuous with all the sesame, sunflower, pepitas and chia seeds packed into it – but it was best left for my gluten free sister who I think will appreciate it much more than me (never been into muesli – it’s me, not the bar!). The kids are currently fighting over the friendly dairy free, egg free, preservative and colour free gingerbread man made in the Blue Mountains by Gingerbread Folk – I think a head, arm and leg sharing scenario is about to unfold. Perfect for kids with food intolerance.
I am yet to try the Island Sky goats milk soap made in Tasmania, the Adorn pure mineral eye shadow or the organic Morlife spirulina tablets. One guilty pleasure however is the Ajitas vinegar flavoured Vege gluten free Chips which I am currently munching away on – it does have 90% less saturated fat than regular potato chips though!
The native box is a great way to trial new Australian health oriented products, without buying the whole pack or tube of a product and realising its not for you – or in my case, discovering some great new locally made products. You can order a one off box, or subscribe to a monthly surprise filled box that will land on your doorstep each month.
Thanks for the trial Native Box! Loved it.
Spring has come and it is time to freshen and spruce up a few things. In particular, you may have noticed State of Green has had a branding makeover (look up at our banner across top of page!). Our talented and creative friend Loz Abberton (more on her below) wove her graphic design wand and voila – She created out fresh new look which we LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Loz is quite the design whiz. She is the talent behind sustainable lighting brand Who Did That, who is currently receiving international recognition and acclaim for her unique designs. At the 2012 Maison et Object exhibition in Paris earlier this month, her ‘Grandelier” lights won the prestigious Les Decouverte awarded best in show, winning the discovery award for her pavilion. No small feat for a gal all the way from Tasmania!
I suspect Loz is going to be quite the girl in demand on her return from Paris. She is however happy to engage in further graphic design commissions – so if you need a spruce up like State of Green, or about to launch your fab new business, she’s the gal to come up with a unique design. Thanks Loz (another of her great designs below + her award winning lights which you can order at State of Green)!
Who is tired of plastic packaging on almost EVERYTHING you buy from the supermarket? From bread loaves, to tomatoes and lettuce in plastic wrapped in more plastic ~ It’s hard to avoid! Yes it would be nice if we all shopped at farmers markets every weekend, but in the main, the majority of shoppers pop on down to the local supermarket to stock up. This is where we need to change habits and demand better sustainable packaging on our products. Imagine a supermarket where plastic was the exception rather than the norm. An unattainable utopia? Perhaps. Would you shop at this supermarket?
Be gone potatoes pre packaged in plastic bags! And who thought sustainable packaging design was all about dull brown packaging – like anything it can be printed in attractive packages like the flour bags above!
Simple but smart ~ Both the veggies tied with strips of cardboard and string (easily reusable), and laundry detergent packaged in cardboard make pure sense.
If you had the choice to put your fruit and veggies into a plastic bag or a paper one (or better still none at all – pop straight into your trolley or reusable bag), which would you choose?
Yes there are some innovative packaging minds out there! Drink bottles made from recycled paper and cans made from cardboard may hit our supermarket shelves in the future!
So that’s a wrap of of just some of the items I came across – not a large list, but a start. How would you like to shop – given the choice?
Despite the privacy earphones provide, sometimes you just want to enjoy playing music or listening to a podcast out loud. If this is the case, what do you use? Whether your device of choice is an iPod, Smartphone, MP3 player or a notebook computer, you will be able to create decent sound with one of GrupoVibra’s funky, recyclable and incredibly portable cardboard speakers.
Cardboard speakers are not a new concept. Over the past few years we have seen various plain cardboard designs introduced to market. But these artistically printed speakers raise the bar somewhat. Packaged in sturdy cardboard, the first limited edition SPACK features striking designs by 3 Chilean and 1 Colombian artist. Strikingly simple to use, the SPACK requires you to insert just one 9 Volt battery, then plug it into your device. That’s it. There are no knobs, switches or buttons required, as everything can be controlled directly through your device!. Perfect for taking on picnics, out camping, strutting down the street with it on your shoulder, or simply as an artistic and functional addition to your workspace.
If you need to go smaller still, the soon to be released SPK mini speaker can fit in your hand! Charged by a USB device, you can plug it into your computer, and when it’s time to move on, toss it in your backpack, briefcase or handbag and use at your leisure!
Thanks GrupoVibra - your designs are music to our ears!
We love a brand with a bit of a quirky tale, and the new natural Leif skincare range has just that. Sydney based packaging design firm containermade.com, has just turned the usual design process on its head. After receiving numerous compliments on a slender long neck bottle design developed years earlier, the crew decided it was time to fill it with something wonderful – and so the Leif natural body product range was founded.
The Leif range has been developed using natural ingredients, and is wonderfully scented with Australian essential oils. Now I say “wonderful” as having just become a new stockist of the range, I have had the pleasure of testing the Hand Wash and Hand Balm – The Handwash is beautifully but subtly scented with eucalyptus (great anti bacterial qualities), Lilly Pilly and Tea Tree Oil. As an adult using this product it is pure bathroom luxury – making handwashing a noticeable enjoyable experience (truly!). What did surprise me though was my kids reaction – I have never seen them wash their hands so much!! I must admit however I have hidden the Kakadu Plum and Macadamia Nut Hand Balm up on a high shelf out of kids reach – Post handwash it is a nourishing moisturizer that I’m keeping as my little secret!.
Leif has already achieved recognition – Last year, cool design spotters WallPaper Magazine shortlisted it as the “Best New Grooming Product” in their annual awards, and the sleek recyclable packaging won a bronze ‘Pentaward” (international packaging competition) for its design.
As the first batch rolls off the production line, we wanted to find out more about the design of this product – Jonnie Vigar, Co-founder of Container and Leif kindly obliged and shared with us the following;
1. Your work has previously focused on packaging design. What prompted the move to designing a skincare range? As containermade.com we deliver both the package and brand identity to our clients. The formulation is the final element so out of curiosity (and the need to find a use for one of our favourite designs that didn’t have an owner) we began to look into the fill. It’s been a steep learning curve. We now have a much better understanding of what our clients go through in taking a product to market. It’s complicated!
2. Australian indigenous botanical scents are used throughout the range – Why did you choose this combination? Any new beauty product must have a compelling point of difference. There are many ranges that already look to include Australian natives but none seem to package themselves in a compelling way. We wanted Leif to be distinctly Australian in its ingredient story but to also have a modern aesthetic. Due to our isolation and tough climate we are blessed with some really unique and vital flora, we want Leif to be a showcase for these plants.
3. What major challenges did you face designing a natural skincare range?
Naturals, by their very nature, are not easy ingredients to work with. Leif body products have a simple aromatherapeutic story, each scent is formed by a blend of essential oils and extracts. Many ‘natural’ products use synthetic fragrance as it is cheap and readily available. Natural ingredients are like any other agricultural commodity – their raw material price can fluctuate depending on growing conditions which can be a challenge.
4. Why was it important to use natural products? It’s more compelling to create a product that is natural rather than synthesised. Integrity is becoming ever more important, if we’re to use a product who’s name includes Lillypilly then we should expect that the ingredient is included rather than an artificial approximation.
5. Share with us you easy eco living tip! Recycle more. Over 70% of plastic still ends up in land fill which is crazy when it’s simple to do the right thing. Australia should take note from Northern Europe who make it even easier to recycle. Money back on bottles should be nationwide, save energy by only boiling the water that you need.
Thanks for sharing the range with us Jonnie!
The bold and edgy range carries through all the impressive attributes for which KeepCup has won a long list of awards – they fit under barista espresso machines, their thermal properties keep your drink hot for 20-30 minutes longer than a regular disposable cup, they fit into most car and bike cup holders, are BPA free AND designed and made in Australia.
The OTHER good news is that Keep Cup has now also introduced the babycino cup, which makes perfect sense – Bubs can now share in babycino’s whilst on a stroll in the pram, and the small sized cups are perfect for pre-schoolers to sip on milkshakes and hot choccies!
We are excited to announce State of Green has just received an order of the new Rocker colours and babycino cups hot off the production line - To be the first of your friends to score your very own Rocker series reusable coffee cup or babycino cup, pop on over to our store and we will get it to you toute suite!
Images courtesy of KeepCup.
Would you like to know what cutting edge technology is being used in Australia? General Electric has recently launched “Imagination at Work TV”, an online mini documentary series showcasing how they are tackling some of Australia’s big environmental, health and infrastructure challenges. GE has quite the history when you look back through the decades at their world changing innovations. Think the first light globe, the moon boot, radio and TV broadcasts – All amazing life changing technology. As part of the Imagination at Work TV documentary series, General Electric is sharing some of their modern day technology, and also showing how “it is possible to be both economically oriented and environmentally sound”.
Each episode in the “Ecomagination” series, features commentary from GE employees, leading scientists, doctors, professors and various business leaders, sharing their own insights into how various technologies are assisting in protecting and preserving our environment. Topics range from an engine that runs on rubbish, to information on smart grid technology, wind turbines, water recycling and fuel efficient jet engines amongst a host of other amazing technolgical feats.
Not only does the GE eco channel serve to showcase their work, but it also does offer up a great resource for students, and will also equip you with some fairly interesting conversation trivia at your next dinner party or bbq!
New episodes will be released approximately every 4 weeks, and you can subscribe to Imagination at Work TV to receive them hot off the press – And if you need anymore enticement, each month one lucky subscriber will win a new iPad 2 complete with wifi + 3G + a Smart Cover (click subscribe top right of screen).
Imagination at Work TV
by General Electric Australia