The Cradle-to Cradle concept, created by William McDonough & Michael Braungart, has expanded further than just the book. Products can now receive official certification for meeting the requirements outlined in the C2C theory. These come in three award levels: bronze, silver and, yes you've guessed it, gold. Following are a couple of examples that took home the gold and silver for inspiring greener design.
Textiles has often been in the firing line as firing in line where sustainability is concerned because of toxic chemicals used in fabrication and also ethical concerns with the sweatshop subject being addressed again and again.
'Braungart analyzed more than 8,000 chemical formulations commonly used in textile production, then selected a mere 38 that he deemed safe for human and environmental health.'
However, in the last ten or twenty years, the implication of green textiles has come into play. Winners of C2C Gold are Designtex have created a strawberry growing fabric.
'Following the “waste=food” principle, the upholstery was designed to break down and return safely to the earth after its useful life. In order to achieve this, every input had to be analyzed, from the raw materials (wool and ramie, a natural plant fiber) to the dyestuffs and other process chemicals used in weaving.'
McDonough and Braungart implement the idea that everything we take from nature we must replace, and then some. They believe success lies in mimicking an ecosystem as nature has no 'waste'. Therefore, as well as tackling the health concerns in conventional textiles, Designtex are making a statement in making sure for all the material they use they can give back to nature in the shape of strawberry growing aids and can proudly take home the gold for sustainable design.
The silver certified C2C product gDiapers describe the message beautifully stating:
'We imagine a world where all products are designed and manufactured responsibly. Where all products are created with the end use in mind. A world that follows the principles of Cradle to Cradle, the world leader in ecologically intelligent design.'
There's that world again: responsible. We need to be responsible. We have been irresponsible for far to long and it far time we design for more than just own on agenda, but that of our suffering ecosystem.
Lumsen, F. (2014). Cradle to Cradle: 4 success stories, from countertops to fabrics. [online] GreenBiz. Available at: https://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/03/20/4-cradle-cradle-certified-product-breakthroughs [Accessed 23 Oct. 2016].
C2ccertified.org. (2016). Designtex Fabrics - Innovation Stories - Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. [online] Available at: http://www.c2ccertified.org/innovation-stories/designtex [Accessed 23 Oct. 2016].
gDiapers. (2016). Cradle to Cradle: better by design. [online] Available at: https://www.gdiapers.com/blogs/blog/106160070-cradle-to-cradle-better-by-design [Accessed 23 Oct. 2016].
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