Future Fashion: 3D Fabric from Your Printer and Multi-style Clothes

I perused Pinterest looking for inspirations, new DIY crafting projects, and future design. My click-fest eventually led me to Ecouterre and this 3-D printed coin necklace. You can order one pre-assembled or buy the DIY pattern from Shapeways, the 3D print items web store.

Michiel Cornelissen's 3D printed copper coin necklace

Is this the future of fabric? What then of the future of fashion? Slow Fashion? DIY?   Convertible Clothes? Cottage Industry Handmade? Upcycled?

Zoe Grace Fletcher  imagines core items decorate-able with interchangeable knit accent pieces. One blouse 12 ways, each niftier than the rest.

Then there is the portable closet by Renée Lacroix and Zahra Ash-Harper. It features 10-durable, stylish, eco-friendly pieces that do quintuple duty (wear each piece 5-different ways!). The entire collection fits into a carry-on for GreenPeeps on the Go, so that the fashion forward, eco-conscious, cosmopolitan sophisticate can travel with hundreds of outfit options in one carry-on bag.

I am excited to see what future fashion emerges victorious. The current ideas are numerous, innovative, interesting and very different from our disposable fashion culture. Who would have imagined that environmental consciousness in fashion would produce new aesthetics, new fabrics, new colors, new levels of durability, portability and add an ethical conversation factor…(wink, wink! that’s the point!)

Fashion and technology are courting, and may one day soon unite to form widely available and affordable Future Fashion: thrifty, stylish, accessible and low-impact.


Naturally Plastic Food

Union Carbide Ad 1946 Plastics for food preservation

What science didn't know then was that plastic coatings in food containers enter the bloodstream, and has been linked to cancer.

Think: In 1948, manufacturing companies had no idea about the possible long-term effects of their plastics on human health or waterways and ecosystems. In 2011, manufacturing companies DO know the long-term health, social and environmental impacts of their products, yet they still produce them, to great profit.  What do you think about this ad that calls food encased in plastic and soaked in nitrogen “natural”?

Feel: Advertising plays on our emotions, putting us in the right frame of mind to accept their messages, even when we disbelieve. How do you feel about the fact that known harmful substances are still manufactured, traded, sold and bought, sometimes with government subsidies and tax breaks?

Grow: Knowing what we know scientifically and anecdotally about the harmful effects of plastics and synthetic chemicals in our food, what new opportunities for food packaging and processing can we make for ourselves. What are our avenues for growth that would stimulate profound change?

Did you know? Consumer choices matter, but the quantity of what’s produced far out-paces what we can possibly purchase and consume. The primary responsibility is with the manufacturer. Don’t be fooled, even when you buy the recyclable products, not every state / county / city can process every single type of recyclable item you dispose of. Just because it is recyclable does NOT mean that it WILL be recycled. The treadmill of production just continues to create things to sell to us. It’s up to us to demand that the mill stop producing so much STUFF!

Want to learn more? Read Ken Gould’s book The Treadmill of Production.

Book: Treadmill o0f Production by Kenneth A. Gould, David N. Pellow and Allan Schnaiberg

A quick, informative, well-researched read by Ken Gould and friends. I've studied with Ken and can vouch for the caliber of information int he book.

The coal industry gives their two cents…

Hello Thinkers!

(Watch the latest Thisisreality.org Anti-Clean Coal ad campaign. Its short and funny!)

I know, long time no hear from! But here I am, today was a news day and I must react to the madness in my inbox! I came across a blog posting on www.thisisreality.org about the coal industry’s reticence to fund and develop clean coal technology that would make possible the capture and storage of coal pollution. The thrust of the article is essentially that coal companies have admitted to incredibly low spending on clean coal research and technology. The article cites various sources that provide this information, including a statement from “the CEO of Duke Energy, a major producer of coal power:

Asked how much Duke Energy has invested in carbon sequestration technology so far,” Rogers said, “We have not invested any dollars in the technology, per say. We have spent a lot of time and money reviewing and analyzing the various technologies.” “

Well, to this, I say “REALLY?” Of course the coal companies are not going to invest in clean coal technology. It isn’t realistic or ‘good business’ for them to do so! We live in a capitalist regime which is based on models of surplus and scarcity. Usually we HAVE a surplus, but corporations and manufacturers make it seem scarce for as long as possible so as to keep prices high. For example, think about how the hottest technologies, iphones, wii’s etc begin with a short supply and premium prices. Over time, there are more of them and the price drops. From the debut date, the producers have the stock ready that they don’t make available. The pretense is usually one of scarcity or ‘rareness’ so that people will spend early and much for elite, early access to the product.

So is the same with coal production and distribution, we have been mining and burning coal SINCE THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION…at least in massive climate changing quantities, for sure. In over one century of mining, isn’t it reasonable to expect that the coal industry would have amassed a gargantuan surplus? For them to truly fund clean coal technology now, they will have lost all the potentiated surplus that is the coal that has already been mined and not sold. It will only be  when all possible coal stores are exploited that business will fully and deliberately look toward alternate forms of energy on which to capitalize. I posit, that until that day, coal companies will continue to set aside only 2-cents of every profit dollar toward clean coal technology. It is not a profitable research venture to fund right now, and this clearly shows that coal companies are not concerned with climate change as much as they are enthralled by the prospect of continued profits using their antiquated energy product.

What do you think?