Category Archives: politics

The Future of Bottled Water is Dry

Saving our environment is talk. The sale of bottled water has not declined since its introduction. A few facts from the Water Quality Association:

* Bottled water sales and consumption continue to rise, according to statistics released April 9, 2007, by the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC).

* Total US bottled water volume exceeded 8.25 billion gallons in 2006, a 9.5 percent increase over the prior year.

* Wholesale dollar sales for bottled water exceeded $10.8 billion in 2006, an 8.5 percent increase over the $10 billion in 2005.

My goal as a designer is to inspire and lead. It is evident that people are still consuming bottled water. This may be the result of too few alternatives. Forget your Nalgene ( water bottle at home and your next alternative is bottled water. Tap water has earned such a bad reputation, spending 2 dollars on 12oz of water seems normal.

As a solution, I propose:

* Providing consumers with easy Internet based access to the quality of their local water supply.

* A nationwide roll out of water fountains. Yes, water fountains. Prior to the ubiquitous plastic Poland Springs water bottle, your average citizen was happy to use a public water fountain.

Some disagree with me because there is no money to be made by giving filtered water away for free. My reply, because it is not in a bottle does not mean it needs to be distributed freely. An example:

A few visionary restaurants in New York and California have offered filtered tap water as an alternative to bottled water. The filtered water costs the same as bottled water, yet has none of the environmental set-backs.

As the cost of producing and shipping bottle water surges and consumer awareness towards the environment increases, the popularity of bottled beverages will decrease.

I am currently designing filtered water fountains for the public space and welcome the feedback of water drinkers, beverage companies, city planners or filtration companies everywhere. NATALIA

Interesting Links


Simon Collins: Carving a Path to Sustainability

Interview with Simon Collins, Chair of Parsons School of Fashion at The New School on: Carving a Path to Sustainability.

NATALIA: How did you first become interested in fashion?
SIMON: As a teenager it became obvious to me that girls liked boys who looked
cool. Hence fashion called to me

NATALIA: Give folks a bit of insight on what exactly your new role entails?
SIMON: I look after our BFA, MFA and AAS (Fashion) courses, for the first time
they all come together as the School of Fashion. I am charged with
creating links between Parsons and the fashion industry in new and
innovative ways. More than providing interns we will be looking for ways
to provide information and creative thinking – particularly in the
sustainable arena where industry is not yet at the forefront.

NATALIA: Is sustainability important to you. Why?

SIMON: Sustainability is important to me, just as it should be to everyone.
Frankly it’s hard to see how anyone can genuinely not think
sustainability is important. The earth’s resources aren’t ours to use up
and discard, we all have responsibilities.

NATALIA: How do you envision sustainability influencing fashion?

SIMON: It used to be that being ecologically conscious meant you had to rule
out many things. Now new options are opening up all the time and instead
we have a whole range of new materials and processes that didn’t exist
before. Fashion isn’t going to change any quicker than it ever has, but
it is going to adopt more and more sustainable aspects.

NATALIA: What challenges have you had with sustainable fashion?

SIMON: Mainly with business managers refusing to use anything sustainable if
it meant a single extra penny on the price of a product. I could name

NATALIA: What are some of the current sustainable projects you are working on?

SIMON: At Parsons we have our sustainable fingers in many different pies, too
numerous to mention here.

NATALIA: Why do you think sustainable fashion does not get as much attention
as hybrid cars or organic food?

SIMON: Because the ad budgets for those fashion companies using sustainable
products cannot compare to those of the food and auto industries. Until
one of the big fashion corporations decides to actually do the right
thing (rather than just garner PR by talking about it) we will be
reliant on small companies with small budgets.

NATALIA: Where do you see the sustainable fashion in 10 years?

SIMON: I don’t expect to see a revolution. But I do anticipate a slow and
inexorable movement towards sustainability without any design
compromise. Only when it looks the same and costs the same (as
unsustainable) will it truly take off.

The Politics of Innovation


In our ever-evolving virtual world there are few borders. Technology and innovation learned in the first year of college, become obsolete after graduation. “Let us be the generation that reshapes our economy to compete in the digital age,” says Barack Obama.

Barack Obama is the youngest presidential candidate and is greatly aware of the value of creativity, technology and innovation. He uses websites such as Facebook and Myspace to capture and liase with supporting citizens. His campaign has broken records (40 million in a month) by raising funds through small online donations.

“We know that innovation tools like broadband are essential to the economy of the 21st century. We should not be satisfied with our standings slipping year by year. We are the birthplace of the Internet, but our broadband infrastructure is stuck in adolescence,” says Hilary Clinton.

Presidential candidates Obama, Clinton and McCain agree on the value of innovation for the United States. Each candidate has presented a policy to:
Restore government’s commitment to science research and space
Allow full exchanges of information through the Open Internet
Invest in new ideas to provide solutions such as
o    Eco-Friendly alternatives
o    Lowering Health Care Costs
o    Providing New Jobs

That said, which leader do you think will take us successfully into the twenty-first century? I have my vote. NATALIA ALLEN

Show and Tell

blogentry-pic-030708-showandtell.jpg has been a keystone site for me for the past few years. Photographer Nick Knight has developed an amazing platform where the worlds of art design, fashion, photography, theory, films, and just really cool content collide in a thought provoking and entertaining way of digesting fashion, images, and presentation.

Roger tredre, Editor in Chief of WGSN contributed his thoughts in an essay called, “ Fashion’s Ecopolitical Drama”. This is the beginning of numerous essays from theorists for “Political Fashion” a project conceptualized by Nick Knight on Showstudio. Roger’s essay highlights fashion fickle relationship with “what’s new” particularly with the green movement we are witnessing. He stresses that there is no time better than the present to implement our knowledge in a way where it becomes a part of the fashion cycle, and not just a momentary trend.

In this essay Roger tredre states, “For fashion, in particular, fence-sitting is not an option. The hard truth behind the rapid depletion of the world’s resources is that we must learn to consume less. But fashion is intrinsically linked to consumption. From clothes to mobile phones and cars, fashion is the driving force of modern consumer culture. Indeed, the recent retail industry emphasis on “fast fashion”, based on a faster turnover of trends – coupled with ultra-low prices – has encouraged us to buy more, not less.”

How can the fashion world straddle both worlds of consumption and quality? I don’t feel suggesting to others to buy less is the answer. The world is expanding, always offering something new, even if it is not a tangible product. Desire is always going to be there. The fashion world needs to offer a desire for quality. It’s not about consuming less. It’s about consuming intelligently. SOSA