Dave and Fabian of Holstee fought the rain this morning and came to visit me at swissmiss studio. As they were walking in I noticed Dave’s supercool umbrella. Knowing how careful they select products they own, I wasn’t surprised to hear that this was a fully biodegradable umbrella. And yes, it’s available in their shop.
Anyone who’s been in NYC after a storm has seen it – the streets and trash cans are filled with the super cheap black umbrellas, destined to sit in our landfills for hundreds of years. This is the worlds first fully biodegradable umbrella. It is made of 3 materials bamboo, organic cotton and a patented biodegradable bio film. It’s great to look at, but don’t be fooled, it is designed to withstand winds up to 40 mph – common street umbrellas will barely make it past 12mph.
The DBA Pen is the only 98% biodegradable pen in the world. It’s also the only pen to use ink composed of simple, environmentally responsible ingredients. Produced at a wind-powered facility in the United States, it was designed as a responsible alternative to the wasteful and often toxic pens we use almost every day. And with its straightforward design and rollerball tip, the DBA Pen looks good and writes well too.
When it came time to buy a new wallet, our friends at Holstee couldn’t find what they were looking for so they designed their own, the Holstee way:
The slim Holstee wallet design holds the essentials – cash, credit cards and even has a sliding window for your ID and Metro card. Working with a family-run non-profit based in India that works to collect and recycle litter off the streets of Delhi they were able to create their dream wallet.
This vegan (!) wallet is made primarily of plastic bags and newspapers, collected off the Streets of Delhi in India. Production of this wallet helps reduce waste in Delhi, provides fair wage employment and subsidizes healthcare and education for each employee’s family. Their packing is a minimal slide insert made of (at least) 90% recycled material.
How much do I love Holstee? (spreading arms faaar) Thiiiiiis much!
As oil continues to leak in the Gulf of Mexico and the powers that be continue to seem, well, powerless, we all wait impatiently wishing we could do something—anything—to lend a hand. The Heads of State designed the Gulf Charity Poster hoping, with your help, it can make a small impact on the growing devastation. This two color serigraph is an intial run of 200, signed and hand numbered.
They’re donating 50% of the profits from their Oil Drop poster (thats $20 per poster) to Oceana, the largest organization solely focused on protecting the world’s oceans. Oceana has been awarded the exceptional rating of 4 stars by Charity Navigator, which means you can feel good knowing your money is having a direct impact.
The ChopShop has teamed up with WellDone to provide clean water to those throughout the developing world who need it most – one awesome t-shirt at a time. The designers at ChopShop worked closely with the WellDone team to highlight the various facets of the global water crisis through the visualization of 27 striking water statistics. The icons paint a picture that remind us that we must both conserve earth’s most precious resource, while working to improve clean water access to those most in need.
Print Magazine is currently running a project called “Carry Hope” where selected artists have designed tote bags and 100% of the profits will go to charity. They are now opening up the competition to the public and they will be featuring some of the design submissions in the magazine in addition to printing one of the designs from the public.
More info here. If you do participate, care to share a link to the design in a comment below?
Nina pointed me to Crisis Commons, an organization that brings together professionals to create useful tools in times of need. They have been conducting something called CrisisCamp where people get together on a specific day to work on projects.
In their words:
“Crisis Camp is a gathering of technologists who come together to build platforms to assist with the releif efforts in Haiti.”
“We are an international network of professionals drawn together by a call to service. We are developers, specialists, communicators, first responders, project managers, and people who just want to help!”
Today begins Authentic Job’s annual New Year’s Promotion, but this year is different. They’re calling it the Twenty Ten promotion. It works like this: Post a listing between now and January 22 and you’ll receive 20% off your listing. More importantly, 10% of your purchase will be donated to Charity:Water to help bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.
I am part of Authentic Jobs (see listings on the left side of my blog), so you can use the swissmiss promo code SWISSTEN.
Anna Corpron and Sean Auyeung of Sub-Studio launched a new site this morning called the Working Proof. It is an online print gallery and shop with the mission of promoting both art and social responsibility through a series of limited-edition prints.
Prints are affordable (always under $100), and each print is paired by the artist with a charity to which they will donate 15% of each sale – creating what they believe to be a product with not just aesthetic, but social value. Their charities support a wide range of causes including humanitarian outreach, animal rights, environment, and research.
Four friends had an idea to collect gift cards and give them to people in need. They went to a gathering and asked 8 people how much money in unused Gift Cards they had in their wallets and walked away with $50 in Gift Cards to help people in need. GiftCardGiver.com was born.
What about you? Do you have any unused GiftCards? (I do!) It is very simple to get involved:
STEP 1: Use as much of your card as you want (or send a full card).
STEP 2: Write how much is left on your card using a permanent marker.
STEP 3: Place the card in an envelope and send it to the guys of GiftCardGiver.com at:
Gift Card Giver
490 East Side Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30316
They then collect and distribute the cards to appropriate Non-Profit Organizations that can use those cards to help others. This is a grass roots campaign that has created a new form of giving and you are an important piece to the idea coming to life.
Or here’s a cool idea: Throw a party and ‘card’ people at the door:
Big Belly Trash Compactors could make a huge impact in today’s garbage and recycling in big cities, like New York. The coolest part: It has a wireless notification system that will tell a control center when it needs to be picked up. Geeky stuff. Love it!
Does your t-shirt lower your carbon footprint and improve air quality and reduce your utility bill? This t-shirt does. This shirt is part of the Holiday Matinee Artist Series, which means they donate 100% of proceeds from every t-shirt sold to Plant-It 2020. That means every time you buy a shirt you plant, maintain, and protect twenty trees. It’s that simple, plus all shirts are tag-free and 100% organic. How’s that for a designy do-good-feel-good gift?
About the artist: Nikki Farquharson is a left-handed designer living in London, England. She’s obsessed with letters, lines, patterns, shapes and colors. For this project, Nikki wrote a poem where every word ends in the same sound of Holiday Matinee.
Hope Phones takes recycled phones and puts them to work on the front lines of global health. Donate yours to a medical clinic in a developing country today. If you’re in NYC, come and drop by your old phone at my studio as I ordered the shipping material for up to 50 phones. Or, get your own collection materials to start a collection campaign!