- 10:09 am - Mon, Apr 8, 2013
- 75 notes
An Australian design firm worked with a publisher to start redesigning book covers: now, the dust jacket of some new novels in Australia can be flipped around, bent around the book, and sealed to be sent to a nonprofit that gives books to the homeless. The design is flexible, so it can easily be adapted for different book sizes and edited to include a different nonprofit’s address in the region where the books are sold.
More, including a video, here: A Dust Jacket That Transforms into a Shipping Box to Donate Used Books | Australia on GOOD
- 9:09 am - Mon, Apr 1, 2013
- 67 notes
The laudable trend toward free book-sharing setups has gotten plenty of attention, and here at Unconsumption we have highlighted many notable examples — some involving phone booths of all sorts; informal street versions; and of course the Little Free Libraries initiative.
But this particular book-share project happens to have an Unconsumption connection: It’s located in the community Metro Star Garden in Savannah, GA, where Unconsumption co-founder Rob Walker (that’s me) has some involvement.
In fact, if you happen to be in Savannah this Friday night April 5, the Metro Star Library makes its official debut in connection with the monthly Art March. Several of us from the garden will be around from 6-9 pm, showing off the garden and library and just generally hobnobbing with neighbors and Art Marchers. Perhaps there will even be refreshments? Only one way to find out for sure!
Anyway, the Metro Star Library was built at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s Boundary Hall, and came about thanks in large part to the efforts and generosity of SCAD’s Scott Thorp and Todd Yuratich, as well as a number of students. Scott, a professor and the design program coordinator at SCAD, arranged for a bunch of students to sign on for an extra-credit series of workshops organized around building little libraries. Todd, an amazing woodworker who oversees the Boundary Hall shop space and also has his own practice, Miel Manufacturing (don’t miss his very cool “wooden paintings,” made completely from offcuts), led the workshops.
The blue/grey library was the one Todd built as a demo, and the second structure, which the garden is using as an “information” box (which we needed) was created by students Sydney Barnett, Taylor Olenik and Jamie Karaat, who I believe are all fashion majors.
Both structures were designed and constructed entirely from excess materials around the shop — pretty cool!
And they look even better in person. So Savannah folks should come by the garden Friday night!
More pictures of the garden itself (which is also a repurposing project of sorts — it used to be a vacant lot) here.
And of course, there’s much more elsewhere in the Unconsumption archives about swapping, sharing and the sharing economy / collaborative consumption, libraries, and books.
Metro Star Garden Library Debut: Friday Night April 5, 6-9 pm, corner of 38th & Howard, Savannah, GA.
- 8:34 am
- 89 notes
Amy Twigger Holroyd approaches fashion with sharing in mind. In one project, she created garments that could be shared by friends with different body types. By making clothes that don’t constrict in places where people vary the most, a size six could potentially share her sweater with a size 16.
But Holroyd’s projects go beyond one-size-fits-all couture. Her PhD research on “fashion as a commons” is an exploration of how to democratize and disrupt the clothing industry. “If you’re not able to make, you’re dependent on buying,” she says. “And if you’re dependent on buying, you’re dependent on what those people [in the fashion industry] have chosen — the quality of it, the design of it, the aesthetic of it.”
And so, under the umbrella label Keep & Share, she teaches folks how to fix and knit their own clothing, creates and sells long-lasting, sharable clothing, and hacks into cheap knitwear to send a message about the industry.
An interesting, slow-fashion, collaborative consumption-type of idea, for sure.
- 9:22 am - Wed, Feb 27, 2013
- 208 notes
Don’t Buy Those Expensive Jeans — Lease Them Instead
A new program in the Netherlands helps you eliminate wasteful spending on clothes. Instead of owning a pair of jeans for life, you can now just keep them for a year before you send them back to be recycled so you can try something new.
Companies normally use a leasing model for durable goods, such as cars or heavy machinery. But Dutch entrepreneur Bert van Son thinks it could have a role for other products, too—like jeans.
A few weeks ago, Van Son, who owns a small line called Mud Jeans, launched a new service allowing people to rent, rather than buy, his products. He figured that he might not make much money up-front. But it might allow him to gather valuable fabric after use, and perhaps cement loyalty with his customers.
More: Fast Company Co.Exist
- 11:13 am - Sat, Jan 19, 2013
- 40 notes
We’ve certainly dealt with the “sharing economy” and collaborative consumption and similar ideas here in the past. But interesting to read this recent assessment in the Wall Street Journal:
What Internet companies and investors are dubbing the share economy: niche marketplaces for things that get cheaper when people use them together. Lately Internet startups have, in all earnestness, set up businesses to “share” pet care, wedding gowns, child rearing and more.
Got some lousy holiday presents? Re-gift them at Yerdle.com, which describes itself as “a magical place where people share things with friends.”
Like leftovers? MamaBake.com lets you cook and trade dishes with other moms. Need a new dress? Try 99dresses Inc., an online marketplace where people sell their old dresses for “buttons,” or virtual currency that allows them to buy more dresses from other users. It could be ridiculous—or the next big thing.
- 10:59 am - Sun, Jan 6, 2013
- 828 notes
The manifesto from Unstash, a new collaborative consumption site (in beta; sign up for an invite here).
From their About page:
Unstash is a peer-to-peer platform for collaborative consumption. In other words, we exist to facilitate and enhance the sharing experience. Every social circle has a huge overlap in consumer goods that don’t all need to be purchased, owned, and maintained by every individual. 62% of people state that they are interested in sharing consumer goods; they just haven’t had effective tools to do so, until now.
We believe in access over ownership. With a laser focused vision on making sharing easy, fun, and social, we believe sharing can be the new shopping – while helping you save money, deepen relationships, and create a more sustainable future together.
- 9:57 am - Sat, Oct 27, 2012
- 50 notes
Here’s a fun and provocative line of thought for a Saturday:
How often does the kind gesture of sharing your umbrella with a companion end with the two of you awkwardly out of step, drenched instead of dry? Belgian designer Quentin de Coster sought to remedy this by creating a two handled or “BRANCH” umbrella for a sharing twosome. By taking second hand umbrellas and replacing them with a handle of his own design printed by the 3-D company Materialise, de Coster breathes new life into the mundane old umbrella.
De Coster originally created the BRANCH umbrella for the auction “Second Hand, Second Life” put on by the Belgian non-profit Les Petits Riens/Spullenhulp. His communal umbrella is both an invitation to share, but it also encourages you to walk in stride with your partner, and “to be less individualistic and take time,” he says.
More here: The Umbrella Built for Two: A Playful Rethinking of a Mundane Object | Design on GOOD
- 4:06 pm - Thu, Jul 26, 2012
- 19 notes
“It’s basically about moving to a world where access triumphs over ownership, and that unused value — things sitting in my garage — equals waste,” says Lisa Gansky, who has written frequently on the topic and has listed 6,600 such sharing platforms on her site, Meshing.IT.
Not exactly a breaking story, but I liked this quote.
- 11:39 am - Sun, Jul 22, 2012
- 26 notes
So here’s a topic to mull over this weekend: new research on Zipcar drivers that questions whether users of that much-praised service are really motivated by the collaborative/sharing spirit … or something else.
“We really thought this would be very pro-social, pro-collaboration, pro-environment. We were starting with this theoretical baggage,” Bardhi says. And then she and Eckhardt conducted in-depth interviews with 40 Zipcar drivers in Boston. “And when we looked at the data, we were not finding any community,” she says. “People were very utilitarian, very individualistic.”
Some of these people were kind of jerks (our word, not Bardhi’s).
This Zipcar research suggests that what holds the whole thing together is self-interest, not community — and certainly not ideals about the environment, consumerism or sharing.
Granted, Bardhi and Eckhardt gathered their findings among young, urban professionals and students in Boston. And so maybe Zipcar drivers in Minnesota feel and behave differently (as might members of other “collaborative consumption” models like AirBnB). But by studying Zipcar’s target demographic, Bardhi and Eckhardt’s research offers a curious glimpse into the minds (and cars) of Millennials we may be misunderstanding.
Well! I guess my reaction to this is twofold. First, it sounds less than definitive.
But second: Maybe it’s valuable to bring this interpretation to the fore. Possibly it’s the case that beneficial/sharing/etc. services and alternatives need to appeal to self-interest in order to succeed.
I mean let’s be honest, self interest is a pretty major factor in human behavior. If a service figures out a way to channel it into a more good-for-society form, is that so bad?
- 11:57 am - Tue, Jul 17, 2012
- 55 notes
Here’s an impressive variation on the “share economy” idea. It does involve a rental fee, but it clearly makes tools available in an efficient way, with positive results.
Since opening last year, Charlotte’s ToolBank has equipped more than 11,000 volunteers at 500 different projects, lending tools with a combined retail value of $243,000 for only $7,200. It now provides 134 nonprofit agencies with tools.
The Charlotte location is just one of several ToolBanks nationwide. The original, Atlanta Community ToolBank, celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. Baltimore’s ToolBank opened at the end of May, and another is scheduled to open in Cincinnati later this summer. Local nonprofits can rent tools for just three percent of the cost of the tool, multiplied by the number of weeks it’s needed. A shovel that normally costs $30 to buy? A paltry $1.80 cents to rent it for two weeks from the ToolBank.
The rentals fees are just “enough to get people to bring the tools back,” says Patty Russart, who has served as executive director of Atlanta’s ToolBank for nearly four years.
(via The Awesome Power of ToolBanks - Neighborhoods - The Atlantic Cities)