conservation

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Design

Discarded Fishing Nets and Other Ocean Trash Repurposed Into Running Shoes

June 8, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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Image via Adidas

Stitched with thread produced from discarded fishing nets, Adidas‘ newest shoes are a collaboration with the ocean activist collective and company Parley for the Oceans. The idea for the shoe was hatched last year, but was more of a idealistic prototype than a ready-to-wear option for the masses. Today however, Adidas is releasing fifty pairs of the sneaker, a shoe composed of more than 16 old plastic bottles and 13 grams of gill nets.

This limited number of pairs is due to the difficult task of taking the collected trash and spinning it into fiber suitable for high performance shoes. Plastic bottles are relatively easy to transform into a useable material, but when it comes to the gill nets (which emit the smell of rotting fish) the task is a bit more difficult. Not only is the smell difficult to scrub from the nets, but the nylon is extra tough and requires being ground into a powder before it can be reformed into a material fit for the Adidas sneaker.

To collect these environmentally damaging materials, Parley partners with small countries that have large ties to marine pollution—locations like the Maldives, Grenada, and Jamaica. After partnering, Parley team members help clean up fisheries and other oceanside spots while teaching locals alternatives to using plastic in their businesses. The materials collected by Parley are then distributed not only to Adidas, but also institutions such as Parsons School of Design, which might help change the way new generations of designers think about incorporating these materials into future designs.

An announcement will be made soon on how to win one of the 50 released pairs of the collaborative shoe on Adidas’ Instagram.

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Image via Adidas

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Image via Adidas

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photo credit: Giacomo Giorigi / Sea Shepherd Global

 

 



Art

The Audubon Mural Project Attracts 314 Endangered Birds to the Facades of Manhattan

December 14, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Endangered Harlem, by Gaia

Since October 2014, the streets of Upper Manhattan have become an unexpected destination for rare sightings of some 314 endangered birds. The Audubon Mural Project is a collaboration between the National Audubon Society and Gitler &_____ Gallery to commission murals of climate-threatened birds surrounding the old neighborhood of John James Audubon.

So far 20 artworks have been painted on storefronts, building facades, window panels, and retractable security grates. The number of species depicted isn’t arbitrary, it reflects a report from last year highlighting 314 birds most threatened by climate change. The growing list of involved artists includes Gaia, Iena Cruz, Hitnes, Lunar New Year, and many others. You can learn more about the artworks and the birds depicted in them, including a map of where to find them, on the Audubon Mural Project Website.

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Photo: Mike Fernandez/Audubon

The Swallow-tailed Kite mural contains 12 other climate-threatened species. The church tower to the right of the mural is the location of John James Audubon’s final resting place.

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Swallow-tailed Kite and other birds by Lunar New Year. Photo: Mike Fernandez/Audubon

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Black-chinned Hummingbird, by Ashli Sisk. Photo: Mike Fernandez/National Audubon Society

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American Redstart, by James Alicea. Photo: Mike Fernandez/National Audubon Society

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Fish Crow by Hitness

 

 



Design

Discarded Plastic Fishing Nets Retrieved from the Ocean Used in New Shoe Prototype

July 6, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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Adidas is now designing shoes from our oceans’ detritus, recently producing the world’s first prototype with parts constructed from ocean plastic and illegal deep-sea gillnets. The athletic apparel manufacture partnered with Parley for the Oceans as collaborators, a group of creators, thinkers, and leaders who design projects that aim to end the destruction of our oceans.

The community explains, “Our oceans are about to collapse and there is not much time to turn it around. Nobody can solve this alone. Everyone has to be a part of the solution. And collaboration is the magic formula.”

An ally of Parley, the Sea Shepard Conservation Society, collected the materials for the shoe while tracking an outlawed poaching vessel off the coast of West Africa. The concept for the shoe was then created in just six days, the prototype showcased at the UnxParley launch event in New York on June 29.

Parley explains that this concept is only the beginning, but is an example of how impactful creative collaboration is. “The problems we face are many, but so are the solutions. Stay tuned to learn more about how Parley will end ocean plastic pollution.” Although the partners have explained that this specific concept might never be commercially available, Adidas plans to introduce recycled plastic into their manufacturing process by early next year. (via My Modern Met)

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photo credit: Giacomo Giorigi / Sea Shepherd Global

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Photography

Foggy Forests of Ancient Trees Pruned for Charcoal in Basque Country Photographed by Oskar Zapirain

June 19, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Oskar Zapirain's photographs capture eerie forests cast in thick fog, hazy light descending upon the foliage in the same green shade that blankets the floor in moss. Zapirain has been attracted to this landscape for years because of the homogenous light as well as the way it forces the viewer directly into a mystical atmosphere.

The forest Zapirain features is a beech forest in Oiartzun, Basque Country in Northern Spain. This particular forest is unique due to the history charcoal production within the region. Instead of clearcutting like we do today, the trees were instead pruned to preserve the trees and maintain the integrity of the forest across generations. The trees have since regrown with short trunks and dramatically long limbs that shoot outward like arms from almost every angle, adding a ghostly feel to each of Zapirain’s photos. You can explore more of his work on Flickr.

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Design

WWF Ads by Murilo Melo

August 19, 2011

Christopher Jobson


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I can’t get enough of Murilo Melo’s work apparently. These are two additional posters he designed for the World Wildlife Fund that show a dead tree and barren reef with their component wildlife removed and displayed alongside them asking you to imagine these ecosystems without plants and animals. Beautiful.

 

 



Design

Almost Extinct Calendar

June 16, 2011

Christopher Jobson

The Almost Extinct Calendar designed by London firm The Chase for the BBC Wildlife Fund just picked up accolades at the 2011 D&AD Awards. The calendar displays an endangered animal for every day of the year and is not something I’m particularly eager to hang on the wall, but instead a grim reminder of the inevitable fate many species will soon face due to human interference in their environment. Not too get all soapboxy, but at a time when our culture’s attention is dominated by the internet, television, and other forms of media, it seems the creation of a successful environmental campaign is nearly impossible. That’s what I love about the direct nature of this. At a single glance, without even being able to read, the meaning of the design is painfully clear. Using the interactive calendar you can click to learn more about each animal and then make a donation. (via creative review)

 

 



Design

Need/Want Glass

April 29, 2011

Christopher Jobson

The Need/Want Glass from Alesina Design encourages you to think about wasting water every time you take a drink. By holding your finger over a hole in the glass, you consciously permit yourself to have more water than you might “need”. This is all subjective I’m sure, and if you could somehow apply the concept to watering your lawn or taking a bath it might be even more effective. Still, got me thinking. Each glass is hand finished, numbered, and signed. Available here.

 

 

A Colossal

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Brick Man