Tagged: environment

Is human hair the design medium du jour?

Hair. It’s renewable and biodegradable, so it’s not the most pressing environmental concern. It’s what it could replace, however, that’s big news.

Sure, human hair can be re-purposed in any number of weird ways (check out these 25, from Holy Taco), but a few new developments show that it can be at least partly useful, too.

Swedish designer Ola Giertz has created some fetching pouffes with recycled PET bottles and, yep,  human hair, to create an altogether silkier seating experience. Meanwhile, students from the Royal College of Art have taken plant-based bioresin and hair trimmings to create ‘Hair Glasses’ – hipster-worthy eyewear without using a single drop of petroleum. 

Or what about this, erm, charming dress, created by hairdresser Jodie Breeds? It seems beauty pageants are becoming more sustainability-conscious, with this outfit destined for the ‘Environmentally Friendly Dress’ round of this year’s Miss England contest. 

With the average person’s hair growing around 6 inches every year, there certainly no shortage of this resilient and versatile material. How long until it someone creates an even more useful purpose for it?

McDonald’s introduces first ‘closed loop’ recycled uniform

Nobody visits McDonald’s to admire the stylish attire of the restaurants’ employees, but that may well change now designer Wayne Hemmingway has gotten his mitts on it.

The new uniform – distinctly Man Men inspired – comprises mustard yellow and gherkin green polo shirts, skinny ties, neck scarves and pencil skirts, with the managers’ uniforms harking “back to a day of really classy air travel”, Hemmingway told the Daily Telegraph.

So there’s the style, where’s the substance? Well, McDonald’s claims that theirs is the first closed-loop recycled uniform in the UK. Environmental consultancy Worn Again helped the design team create sustainable uniforms using only recyclable materials in order to reduce the amount of waste to landfill when they reach the end of their wearable lives. Plus, the old uniforms belonging to McDonald’s 87,500 employees will be collected and recycled into wipers for the auto industry, or used for stuffing for furniture.

The move comes ahead of the McDonald’s-sponsored London 2012 Olympic Games, which has high ambitions of being ‘the greenest games ever’.

Are cats having an ‘apocalyptic’ effect on the environment?

BBC Springwatch star Chris Packham stirred controversy last week after claiming that domestic cats could have an ‘apocalyptic’ impact  on the environment.

In an interview with Radio Times magazine he said: “In Australia, introduced species such as foxes, rabbits, rats and cats have had an apocalyptic impact.

“They’ve decimated the indigenous fauna and as a direct consequence the natural ecosystems of this continent have been damaged.

“In urban areas, cats are the culprits and when they go feral they wreak havoc in the countryside, killing bandicoots, wallabies, quolls and bettongs; the intricate relationships of the entire ecosystem are destroyed and it collapses and dies.

“Although it’s in a very different part of the world, it makes you wonder what an impact Tibbles has on our own beleaguered, battered and badly damaged ecosystems.”

According to Packham, over 200 million creatures are killed by domestic cats each year. This figure could be reduced by as much as 50 percent if owners introduced a ‘cat curfew’, he says.

In response to horrified cat owners’ complaints, he added: “I love cats, I think they are beautiful, a wonderful predator. But what’s the point of feeding birds in the garden if you’re feeding them to your cat?”