Here’s a roundup of some of the stories that have captured Life & Soul Magazine’s attention this week:
1. 5 Indigenous And Native Activists Who Made An Impact In 2019 – Huffington Post profiles five Indigenous and Native activists who have had a powerful influence this year on their communities and in the world.
2. How quickly do fashion materials biodegrade? – The vast majority of materials on earth will biodegrade. The problem is that some, like plastic, will take a millennium to disappear. So what does it mean when a product is labelled as “biodegradable”? Vogue Business asks.
3. 2020 Will Be The Year Of Sustainable Business: Here’s Why – The first fundamental shift we will see in the next year will be some of the world’s biggest companies actively transforming their supply chains to become “circular,” under pressure from ethically-minded consumers, says Forbes.
4. Chew On This: Farmers Are Using Food Waste To Make Electricity – Dairy farmers in Massachusetts are using food waste to create electricity. They feed waste into anaerobic digesters, built and operated by Vanguard Renewables, which capture the methane emissions and make renewable energy, NPR reports.
5. This world map rates countries by the sustainability of their food systems – Food systems are going to need to be resilient to withstand climate change’s effects on agriculture. Looking at 20 factors, researchers now have a big picture about which countries are most under threat, Fast Company writes.
6. How Tesco, Sainsbury’s, M&S and other UK supermarkets are reducing plastic waste this Christmas – From ditching glitter to removing black plastic packaging, this is what UK stores are doing to take out plastic this December, the Evening Standard reports.
7. No-waste cooking: used orange and almond cake recipe – The Guardian features a zero-waste recipe from Amelia Wasiliev that makes use of used orange halves.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com
A mural created to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable energy has been created in Turin. From Barcelona based Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada. It is a piece which, according to the artist, “alludes to the importance of acting now to assure a positive outcome.” Called ‘Promise’ it features the image of a young girl. She is…
At first sight, the Pure Spiritual trend might awaken preconceived ideas about organic materials and earth-based dyes. But on closer inspection, what differentiates Pure Spiritual from other nature-based trends is its ability to go far deeper. Instead, this trend also shows how technology can be embraced for the greater good, and what opportunities exist for individuals to use technology in a way that intersects with nature.
It’s a trend which reconciles the past with the present, evocative of a recent project that similarly explores the natural world. Resurrecting the Sublime is an ongoing collaboration which “allows us to smell extinct flowers, lost due to colonial activity.” The work of many, the project is created by artist Dr. Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, smell researcher and artist Sissel Tolaas and the team at biotechnology company Ginkgo Bioworks, encompassing engineers and researchers led by Director Dr. Christina Agapakis, with the support of IFF Inc.
It all started with specimens of three flowers stored at Harvard University’s Herbaria, which each had small amounts of DNA extracted from them. Using this DNA, the Gingko team predicted and resynthesized gene sequences that had the potential to encode for fragrance-producing enzymes. With these findings, Tolaas was able to use identical or comparative smell molecules in her own lab to reconstruct the flowers’ fragrances.
Outside its origins in the lab, the project has taken on a physical form and appeared in galleries around the world. From a solo exhibition as part of the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne to group shows at the Centre Pompidou, the Barbican Centre and beyond, previous iterations of the installation have included a vitrine with smell diffusion, limestone boulders and animations. While the project’s foundations focused on our olfactory system, the overall experience actually engages multiple senses.
In the context of today’s global conversations surrounding climate change and sustainability, Resurrecting the Sublime feels more pertinent than ever. While the collaboration began with the question, “Could we ever again smell flowers driven to extinction by humans?”, it invites audiences to not only reflect on what we’ve lost, but what we must sustain for the future.
For most of its existence, the home textiles business—sheets, comforters, towels, et cetera—has been all about more. That took the form of everything from ever-higher thread counts (defying any known weaving technology) to bed-in-a-bag put-ups that approached the triple digits in their number of pieces, and towels that outweighed some bantam-weight boxers. More was better.
But recently, as evidenced by the wares on display at September’s New York Home Fashions Market, the industry has started to go in the opposite direction. After decades of excess, the business is finally discovering that less is, in fact, often more.
The twice-yearly trade show, held mostly in closed showrooms along Manhattan’s lower Fifth Avenue, is where big-box stores like Walmart, Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and their retail brethren start buying next season’s goods. While shows in traditional market centers in Atlanta, High Point, Dallas and Las Vegas all feature higher-end soft home resources and bedding products, it is in New York where the bulk of the business in this $25 billion market segment is done.
Over the past few seasons, this sector has been in transition—working to bring to market products that appeal to the new generation of shoppers more concerned with attributes like sustainability, transparency and naturally sourced materials. It’s been an ongoing evolution, but the fall show made it apparent that the industry is heavily drinking this new Kool-Aid. In market introductions from suppliers large and small, several themes prevailed, reflecting these new sensibilities in core bed and bath products.
Sustainability and circularity: Bed and bath products have always gotten a bad rap for using too many natural resources in their production—water and land primarily—but the industry is making a concerted effort to move to a more sustainable model that emphasizes both recycled final products and individual components. Circularity, based on renewable resources as well as recycling, was a buzzword heard often in many showrooms, even if not everyone clearly understood what it meant.
Traceability: With the vast majority of home textiles products—at least 90 percent by most estimates—coming from the Asian production powerhouses of China, India and Pakistan, understanding the manufacturing chain for home textiles has often been a challenge. Using DNA marking, RFID tagging and other new technologies, vendors are now able to trace the raw materials in their products back to the growing fields, giving retailers and consumers alike a look into the entire production process.
Certification: Because there are no real regulatory or safety standards governing most soft home products, it’s always been a free-for-all on certifying products. Now, some international third-party organizations like Oeko-Tex and Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) are gaining traction, often at the urging of retailers who want to offer a point of differentiation for their products. None of these labels are as well-known as established ones like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval or consumer electronics certifications, but they are rising in market prominence and placement.
Natural fibers and fabrics: Even though synthetic materials like polyester and memory foam are industry staples (suppliers and retailers have been wildly successful selling “micro-fiber” bedding even though it is essentially a descendent of polyester double-knit fabrics from the disco era), the raw material spectrum has dramatically increased recently, with tree-derived cellulose, linen, bamboo and other natural fibers. Cotton still maintains its overwhelming market share—but there, too, differentiators like Supima, Egyptian and Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) offerings are gaining in importance.
CBD: As part of a broader effort to jump on the health-and-wellness bandwagon, several companies introduced bedding products containing CBD extracts, either applied topically to the fabric or infused into the fibers. Without making explicit health claims—still very much illegal under U.S. laws, even as CBD itself is legal throughout the country—companies certainly implied that these products were good for you. The first wave will hit the market possibly as early as this holiday season, giving the industry a better read on consumer acceptance.
All of this attention to technology, innovation and product performance stands in stark contrast to earlier eras. Yes, there was fashion and, yes, there were plenty of designer names, but today the industry clearly is taking a different tack—one that strips products down to their essential elements, prioritizing origin and ethics over thread count or frills.
In fact, the only real exception to the less-is-more dictum came in the form of a novelty fad product, the weighted blanket. Countless companies showed heavy-weight blankets and comforters that supposedly promote better sleep. In that case, more is more. But nearly everywhere else, the less the better.
Warren Shoulberg is the former editor in chief for several leading B2B publications. He has been a guest lecturer at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business; received honors from the International Furnishings and Design Association and the Fashion Institute of Technology; and been cited by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and other media as a leading industry expert. He was also a guest on the BOH podcast, and his Market Watch columnsoffer deep industry insights on major markets and product categories.
Photo by – Browse bathroom ideas sustainable design solution. Its Reef line includes the vanity top and shower pan shown here, made of 100 percent recycled material sourced from the construction industry’s supply chain. The material is recyclable, formaldehyde-free and solvent-resistant. Photo by PIXIE progetti & prodotti – More bathroom photos The water-resistant wallpaper shown…
Latitude 48° N is the new outdoor collection of DELIUS – a collection which is a leader in its field. It not only comprises all the most important outdoor requirements but it is also flame-retardant.
Latitude 48° N are the coordinates of Paris; this is the city where the idea of an innovative Inside-out collection was born and where it started its voyage around the world.
DELIMAR outdoor fabrics were developed for hotels, restaurants, lounges and pools. IMO Certificates are a prerequisite for the use on cruise ships. The fabrics are not only flame retardant but they also contain important properties for outdoor use such as chloride- and seawater fastness, an excellent light and weather resistance.
The designs can be machine washed at 40°C and they dry quickly so that bacteria and mould cannot develop.
DELIMAR fabrics are free of harmful substances and do not cause allergies, they are anti-static and water-repellent. All articles of this collection are made out of the innovative fibre Polyolefinic FR; the positive properties of this fibre are permanently inherent.
Latitude 48° N is characterised by Parisian chic which impresses both indoor as well as outside. The transition from indoor to outside becomes harmonious. Lively designs are complemented by structured plains and melange fabrics in exciting colours. The collection offers four succinct designs: a structured stripe, two graphic designs and a fabric in 3-D-optic. Two wonderfully structured plains form the perfect link between the designs.
The collection consists of six exciting colour themes. Colour combinations such as lime and aqua as well as orange and pink reflect cheerful summer colours. The combination of navy and a strong white is a marine classic. The classical design colours black, white and silver grey appear modern and futuristic. All five colour themes are combined with natural tones.
• weather resistant
• high colour fastness to sea water and chlorinated water
• high light fastness
• extremely wear-resistant
you may see our whole collection online at https://www.delius-contract.de
The Elemental Collection: This collection is designed to honor the presence of the primal forces of life, these beings are called The Elementals. The energy of natures expression. The beings of EARTH are called The GNOME. The beings of WATER are called UNDINE. The being of AIR are called SYLPH and the being of FIRE are called SALAMANDER. These elementals are the building blocks of nature. They exist in every aspect of nature and within every person. We cannot exist if any of these elements are missing from our life. They charge and energize us. They provide the fuel we need to feel alive. They work with every aspect of our being. Learning and being aware of them is the key to bring balance to every aspect of our life within and around us. If one is overly active then other it causes an imbalance.
The collection is designed organically to capture the essence of these magnificent beings bringing an awareness of the expression of nature through design.
I would encourage and invite everyone to learn and read about the Elementals. The more we understand them the better we can create a sustainable world. They are here to help and guide us to bring balance within ourselves. We are not separate we all are connected as one. It is our responsibility as a citizen of the world to learn to work with nature which is within us. When we shift what’s within us is when our physical world will change.
This collection is sold in all kinds of products. You can buy them at: