As humans, we are the sole species craving newness and innovation. Unfortunately, while this trait lead us to create the civilized societies we live in today, there is no denying that our environment suffered because of it. With such an increased focus on newness and consumerism decade after decade, we have reached a point where our planet is filled with trash. It goes without saying that now more than ever we need to create with the intention of reversing this damage and not creating any more “excess”.
In an ideal situation, our creative direction and designs could actually contribute to the clean-up of our world. Rather than creating through a process that requires waste to be disposed of in order to create a product that will also eventually end up in a landfill at the end of its life, we could source materials and find inspiration from materials that already exist and create designs that can be reused forever. It is by no means a simple solution or a quick one. It is, however, the only solution. It requires a total systemic change in the way we consume as a society today, starting with the decisions we make as retailers.
There is a small but growing movement in different fields of creativity to design with materials that have been discarded. From cutlery made from coffee beans to entire homes made from discarded shipping containers, the idea of reusing existing materials in design is not a new one, but as this approach to design becomes more and more popular, we are already seeing the massive impact that this approach can have on our environment.
One of our favourite examples of this is Ian Berry and his denim creations. At first glance, many believe that Berry’s works are blue-toned photographs or indigo-coloured oil paintings. Even at touching distance, many viewers don’t realize that they are looking at many layers, and shades, of denim jeans. While at first using denim as a medium was simply an experiment, he quickly found he had a deep connection to the material, and especially other people’s old denim. He sees it as “something that unites us all”.
His work is breathtaking, and we were particularly inspired by Berry’s installation of “the secret garden” in Sweden. We (along with the rest of the world) are mesmerized by the way he was able to represent “plants turning back into plants” by creating intricate flowers and vines hanging from the ceiling.
Berry Posing with his work at the Textile Museum in Sweden.
Check out more photos of Berry's installation here.
At BEDI our ethos involves designing and creating with scrap materials, from retired airline seats to seat belts and regenerated fish nets, this process is an integral part of our DNA.
For our first flagship store, we decided to kick off with an art installation. Made from “trash” or biodegradable plastic and discarded fish nets. We have draped the materials around our new space and across our walls mimicking the look of waves in the ocean, or the long pleats of an elegant gown. The irony in the display is these materials are examples of the raw materials we use to create our own bags and jackets that are also usually pulled out of the ocean. Being able to display them in an elegant way changes our perspective of them - at one time, these were discarded as garbage. Now, they are displayed as art, and even worn to keep warm. If we could change the point of view for all trash, or “raw materials”, what creative solutions could we come up with to reverse the damage that has been done and to clean up our planet?
We’ll be open in the coming weeks, stay tuned to find out when you can pop in to be a part of our next chapter.