everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

Gimme Shelter

I have posted about the Ecouterre website a few times – generally when something on their eco fashion / sustainability site catches my eye as being at the extreme end of the wacky scale. So when their recent e-newsletter featured a post called 10 Wearable Habitats to Shelter You From the Apocalypse, I thought it was worth checking out. Not always practical or attractive, but I guess that’s not at the top of your priority list when you’re seeking shelter from the apocalypse, right?

Apparently, this jacket / sleeping bag combo is the result of a collaboration between London designer Tom Dixon and Adidas, in an attempt to create a “complete wardrobe for every possible occasion”. I presume that this piece is only part of the wardrobe collection, as I do not believe that it caters for every possible occasion. A black tie function, for example. Or, you know, working in a normal office. Or really, any place that requires your legs to be covered in something other than your bedding. It is a good idea if you’re looking for a jacket you can sleep in, though.

Dress it up for day or night.

Dress it up for day or night.

Then there is this ‘Portable Home’ that was designed by three students from Middlesex University in the UK. It’s a peculiar looking white frock that turns into a tent. And you get to wear a cool pointy hat too. Not sure how comfortable your dress would be with all those tent poles hanging around, but it’d be very handy in case you needed a tent on the run.

A great party trick - watch me turn into a tent!

A great party trick – watch me turn into a tent!

And from another British designer, Lucy Orta, comes ‘Refuge Wear’. It’s a great concept and apparently one of Lucy’s designs enabled four people to join their silver jackets together to become a multi-person tent. Pretty amazing stuff, but I really like it because it looks like the tent may well be alive. If I was the boss, I would add some arms, just for the effect.

Hello there.

Hello there.

And now to my favourite. Veasyble. From what I can gather (their website is in Italian), it is like a paper accordion style thing. That you can carry around and then PUT OVER YOUR FACE. The website is full of bizarro images – a lady on the train, with a small paper accordion covering her eyes; a lady on the steps in a busy city, with a paper mask covering her whole face. But I like the one in the image below as I can imagine how good it would be to use in the real world. Forget ‘talk to the hand’ or the old fashioned ‘I am not listening to you – la, la, la, la’. With this, I can show you that I’ve had enough by silently expanding my paper accordion and disappearing into my own cocoon. I don’t think it’s sound-proofed, but someone would have to be very persistent to keep talking once you were in here.

Say what?

Say what?

But I couldn’t leave out the Sleep Suit. American Forrest Jessee (yes, really) has designed this suit and according to his website, there appears to be a great deal of science behind the textile used and the design of the suit. So I do feel a bit guilty for liking it because it looks funny. I couldn’t find my favourite image of the suit to use here – it was a lady dressed in the suit, slumped over her computer keyboard, resting peacefully in an otherwise bustling office. And let’s face it, who wouldn’t want a suit that could make that happen?

ShelterSleepSuit

You can check out all of the wearable habitats from the Ecouterre website here. If only I could have ordered a sleep suit in time for the Camino – now THAT would impress the other pilgrims in the hostel!

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The one about Snoop and the gun bracelets

Ok, so firstly, I need to confess that I didn’t know that Snoop Dogg had changed his name to Snoop Lion. But rest assured, I’ll be looking into it. That aside, I recently saw an interesting post on the Ecouterre website about Snoop Dogg/Lion supporting an MTV initiative to recycle US guns into jewellery. And that sounds like a much better use of the metal to me.

Word, Dogg. Errr, Lion.

Word, Dogg. Errr, Lion.

Jewelry for a Cause is the place where you can buy the limited edition MTV x Caliber bracelet. Here’s how they explain the concept: “The bracelet carries the unique serial number of an illegal firearm turned in to the Newark Police Department during a recent gun buyback. The item is part of the Caliber Collection, a line of jewelry that is made, in part, from the steel of reclaimed illegal guns. Proceeds from each sale of the MTV x Caliber bracelet will be donated to the Newark Police Department to help fund future gun buyback amnesty programs in Newark, NJ.”

The MTV x Caliber limited edition bracelet.

One of the MTV x Caliber limited edition bracelets.

That’s the special MTV bracelet – not really made of recycled guns, but featuring the serial number of a gun that’s no longer on the streets, which is still very cool. But the story is even better for other jewellery in the Caliber Collection – they use actual ‘guns and bullet casings seized by law enforcement’ to make their pieces, some with added diamonds to up the bling factor.

Much prettier than a gun - brass with eight little diamonds (and the number of the Newark gun it came from).

So much prettier – brass with eight little diamonds (and the number of the Newark gun it came from).

You can check out the full Caliber Collection at the Jewelry for a Cause site here.

And back to Ecouterre – if you haven’t checked it out, it’s a pretty interesting site: ‘your online guide to the best ideas, innovations and emerging trends in eco fashion, sustainable style, organic beauty and ethical apparel’. It’s here.

Oh, and if you want to read more about Snoop Lion, his Wikipedia page is here.

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Fashion buzz

The Ecouterre website is all about ‘eco fashion’ and ‘sustainable style’ – I think it’s always an interesting virtual place to visit as some of the ideas are very clever. Of course, some of the ideas are very wacky, which is ok with me too. Like these Pollinator Frocks designed by British artist Karen Ingham. Apparently the population of bees and other pollinating insects is shrinking, which causes all sorts of problems for the global food system.

So why not create a dress that features “electron-microscopy images of pollen”, treat them with “a nectar-like sugar solution that attracts and nourishes bees”? Sure. Now I know exactly what you’re thinking – what about all those other insects that come out at night? Well, Karen has thought of that too – the day-wear frocks are designed to attract bees and butterflies, while the evening-wear frocks are for “nocturnal critters such as moths”. So it seems that moths aren’t just attracted to nice woolly jumpers, or the wallets of stingy people who keep a tight reign on their spending.

Karen worked with a range of scientists and engineers to develop her so-called “wearable gardens”, which closely mimic the aromas and materials of the flowers that attract insects.

I have visions of people wearing their garden frocks to work and being swarmed by bees as they wait at the bus stop. And on the way home in the evenings, moths gather around the fashionista like flies at a picnic. But then I read that Karen encourages people to hang the frocks on their washing line to attract bees, and I am confused. Are they meant to be worn as moving feasts for our insect friends, or are they so powerful that it’s safest to just hang them on the line and leave it at that?

I guess the choice is yours – but I wish you all the best if you decide to buy one and prance around like Mother Nature. Please let me know how it works out. In the meantime, you can read more about the Pollinator Frocks on the Ecouterre website here.

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