Make way, make way here comes a ramble-y post from Ciara. This is unplanned, unrehearsed and me being my impulsive, scatterbrain self. Do you remember that Father Ted episode where Ted says that thing about that rabbit working the controls in Dougal's mind, well just as I was finishing that previous blog post about biomaterials, the rabbit controlling my mind was whizzing around coming up with a concept. Possibly unoriginal, and probably said before but I thought: does eco design rely on egotist consumers?
Now, hear me out because if this fact is true then I am just as much an egotist consumer as anybody else in question. As I was constructing the last post, I was looking on Sprout watches website and the products they sell. They supply a number of watches, some look how you'd imagine a funky watch to look..
..and some of them look.. well.. ECO...
I was looking at the watches and the company ethos and thought
"I would love one of these for myself"
but then I also thought "it would have to be one like this". May the court take into account that I am currently referring to exhibit B. So, why, members of the jury, did I think that? Both of these watches are ecologically designed. Exhibit A is made from corn resin while B is made from cork. Did I prefer the natural aesthetic of the second or if I was going to spend my money on an eco-friendly watch, would I want it to look eco-friendly? Do thrive in the knowledge that I have made the choice to by a cork watch while you, Mr suit-wearing businessman, are destroying our planet with your CO2 guzzling Rolex. To I relish in the fact that my watch is noticeably green and in seeing it you know 'hey, this smashing young lady is an eco-warrior, you go girl'. Did you know I'm a vegan too? Did you know I have one of those 3 minute timers in my shower? Yeah, I'm pretty fab, me. Well subconsciously, maybe I do, but who cares. Ego sells.
Personally, I do prefer the aesthetic of the cork watch, I like having certain items that are a little out there and eye catching. I remember buying this paper-bag like textured backpack from Sports Direct because my mum thought it was hideous but I thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. It looked like a brown paper bag but was water-proof and had a plastic-like texture and people often wanted to touch it when they saw me with it. I like making certain statements and maybe I do with my ethics.
I don't like 'eco' products that look like the original. I want my product to have a natural flare. Why would I want to by a pen constructed from old pens when I can get a pen that looks like it should be growing out of the ground. I believe the green look is the biggest seller. People like to have their ego stroked, myself included, and some products have a lot of emotional connection to their user. The watch is a great example. These day's we have no use for a watch unless you are literally living under a rock, off the grid, twiddling spoons. I can look at the bottom left side of my laptop and see it's 17.16 or press the home button on my phone. I have no need for a watch so why do I choose to wear one. It's an accessory, it's a part of my outfit and it's an expression of myself. So if I want to present myself as someone who chooses a greener option is that so bad?
Someone could see my watch, know it's an eco-product and want one for themselves without me 'preaching' a word. Product design should be for the greater good in all aspects and each product should tell a story. Even if people get a little defensive if you seem a little 'too' green to them, and I've been subject to it, if it gets them thinking about sustainable choices, what's the harm?
But what about the secret warriors? The ones that make these choices but keep quiet about it. The ones that shy away from admitting they go for green in fear of being labelled a hippy. Screw them. Just kidding, they're pretty cool individuals too but I think to get green heard far and wide it needs to be subtly shoved in everyone's nose (as oxymoronic as that sounds). Instead of taking a Cradle to Cradle 'stop walking around in those shoes the wear is killing us all' approach take a softer, earthier and more stylish approach.
I want to make products that look green because they are green. By that I mean natural and not forced to be something they're not from a material we are drying up and literally killing ourselves for.
Keep 'em green, keep 'em keen.
looking for me?