Here at Green Prophet we’re big fans of environmentally friendly design. While it is greener, of course, to be a minimalist and avoid purchasing new products altogether – that sort of extreme attitude works for only a limited number of eco folks. For the rest of us, we can alleviate our consciences by supporting sustainable products.
So what is sustainable design?
Sustainable design (which is sometimes also referred to as eco design, green design, or environmentally friendly design) is the design of objects, buildings, you-name-it in compliance with the principles on environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
On Green Prophet, we’ve featured a range of sustainable designers – ranging from those who upcycle existing waste materials into new products (thus avoiding having perfectly good materials end up in landfills and eliminating the need to use additional resources), to those who create products that generate their own energy, to those who use resources harvested organically with sustainable agricultural practices. The possibilities are endless.
To recap some of our favorites, here’s a hitlist of 10 sustainable Israeli designers that deserve our support.
1. Elanit Neutra, handbag designer extraordinaire, encourages us to get more mileage out of our purses by creating her designs out of recycled tire inner tubes. If you think her designs are only suitable for female auto mechanics and other various tomboys – think again. The chic black tones and geometric ridges of the tires make for an unforgettable fashion statement.
2. In other sustainable accessories, Inbal Dayagi has created an alternative to the energy-guzzling iPod. Her space-age looking boom box that is based on the aesthetics of the hula hoop not only looks cool, but its wheels recharge the music maker’s batteries as you groove along. Groovy sustainable grooves.
3. Street cool is also a factor in Abu YoYo‘s line of bags, wallets, book covers, kitchen accessories and purses made out of nothing other than street-side advertising – billboard material. Abu YoYo uses the existing designs and logos on the materials and takes them one step cooler. Considering the fact that about 6,900 meters of the toxic plastic substance are produced and disposed of in Tel Aviv alone every month – she’s doing us all a green and beautiful favor.
4. Men’s suits have never been more sustainable than with Israeli clothing company, Bagir’s, Eco-GIR line – where every suit is made of out 100% recycled materials (namely, 30 PET plastic bottles). Now that’s what I call Eurotrash. Good Eurotrash. And for those men not brave enough to wear a plastic suit just yet, Bagir also makes suits out of organic cotton.
5. For the ladies looking to build a more sustainable wardrobe, Cotton’s organic clothes are soft on the environment. Cotton’s motto, Individuality, Comfort, and Care for the Environment shows in the company’s actions: they use only organic cotton, produce all of their clothes in Israel (eliminating unnecessary transportation and carbon emissions), and feature environmental messages in their window displays and catalogs.
6. In the sustainable art scene, Inbal Limor recycles ubiquitous and omnipresent plastic bags into high art. Using the plastic bags that her family and friends religiously collect for her, she transforms the material into sculptures and frame-able artwork. Lucky for us, because otherwise these nasty non-biodegradable bags would end up in some gross landfill.
7. Yoav Kotik, another Israeli recycle artist, uses mostly aluminum cans, caps, and paraphernalia as his medium. Having recently exhibited an exhibition of recycled spring flowers at the Periscope Gallery in Tel Aviv, Kotik also creates light fixtures, home accessories, and jewellery made out of Israeli beer caps.
In the artist statement accompanying his recent show, he explained that he wishes to challenge the concept of what is considered garbage. We couldn’t agree more.
Lots of people these days make light of trash, not understanding how serious its effects are on the environment. Merav Feiglin turns that around and creates wonderful, whimsical, hilarious Trashlights. Combining bizarre and unusual materials such as shaving brushes, Barbie dolls, coffee grinders, and rubber alligators, her lamps truly have something for everyone. Sustainably speaking, her creations prevent these unusable items from ending up in the trash if they are your thing.
In terms of design, since many of the elements are old, her lamps have a warm retro feel. Nothing trashy about that.
9. In other trash design, Erez Mulay creates wastepaper baskets made out of… wasted paper. Pun intended. The materials used in his clever design reflect the function of the product itself (and find a use for hard-to-recycle glossy magazine paper). Even better, Mulay hires people with emotional disabilities to make the baskets – thus making his products environmentally and socially sustainable. Well done.
10. The last of our ten sustainable Israeli designers is Tel Aviv based design studio, Junktion, which stands at the intersection of waste and whimsy. Using whatever discarded materials they find in the city, they reinvent existing materials in clever, funny, and thought provoking ways. Our favorite is the suitcase-turned-medicine cabinet. (The bicycle chair, at the top of the post, isn’t too shabby either.)
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