Month: July, 2010

People we’re loving: Rice

Rice is an online shop with a conscience that gives you so much more than hemp trousers and jute shopping bags. SA8000 certified and fully supportive of the UN Global Compact vision, they are first a foremost a socially responsible organisation, but it’s what they sell that really makes them stand out. You won’t find this stuff anywhere else.

Based in Denmark and run by Anglo-french couple Charlotte and Philippe, who were fed up with the hectic pace of Parisian life, with a partner based in Thailand and suppliers dotted all around the world, they have truly eclectic foundations. The bright, warm and happy wares only confirm this, ranging from tablecloths to cushions to candles to picnic boxes. For A/W 2010, Charlotte says, “The colours of the season are pretty cool…jade, peacock green, blue, yellow and raspberry. Velvet fabrics, embroideries and handmade details are both cool and cozy. Our prints are a mix of berries, flowers and peacocks.”

On top of that, this season they are also starting a new collaboration with The Danish Refugee Council, to aid in building and financing a school in Burma/Myanmar and have been busy designing a special range of lunch boxes and melamine products with school prints. For every one sold they will donate 50% of the turnover to the project.

So check out their website, have a listen to their special Rice Song and spread the love.

Owl cushions: top 5

A symbol of wisdom and prosperity, which we could all do with, the owl is having something of a moment.

Have a hoot with these five cute cushions:

Clockwise from top: £6, B&Q; £15, John Lewis; £17.99, Cancer Research; £40, Donna Wilson for Heal’s; £30, John Lewis.

People we’re loving: Rose & Grey

rose and grey

rose and grey

Among other lovely things, Rose & Grey excel at funky retro accessories and I think it’s worth shouting about. Lyndsey and Guy, the faces behind the brand, hand pick each item for sale on their website, which came about for no other reason than that they were worn out by overpriced, run of the mill high street products.  So they jumped straight to the source. And they have achieved their goal – everything is nicely priced and just that little bit different.

And as all good businesses should, they also strive to be as environmentally friendly as possible so your little parcels of joy arrive in fully biodegradable packaging. Most excitingly, they are hell bent on hooking you up with your nearest furniture recycling team, so you can help those a little less sorted than you feather their nests as well.

Tate modern in miniature

Someone wonderful – namely artist Brendan Jamison – took it upon themselves to celebrate the London Festival of Architecture by building a miniature model of Tate Modern out of sugar cubes, and I felt compelled to post on it.

Apparently, at a scale of 1:100, the model used 70,000 sugar lumps. It was clearly such fun that Jamison also created a scale model of Richard Rogers’ NEO Bankside residential development from a further 9,000 cubes:

People we’re loving: Stuart Haygarth

stuart haygarth light

Berlin-based lighting designer Stuart Haygarth transforms mundane objects into unexpected works of art, and boy am I pleased he has slipped onto my radar. Party poppers, spectacles, flotsam, jetsam… all are re-imagined, re-arranged and re-interpreted within a brand new context.  “My work revolves around everyday objects, collected in large quantities, categorized and presented in such a way that they are given new meaning. It is about giving banal and overlooked objects new significance.”

While the complete sustainability of his designs is something to be lauded in itself – and an example to designers worldwide as the question of sustainability continues to divide consumers – the aesthetic results are astounding, and have attracted a wide and varied following. His 2008 Storm Project for Selfridges, above, uses man-made debris to channel the harsh environment of the British coastline, all of which Haygarth had carefully amassed over several years on Dungeness Beach in Kent. Top of my list has to be the central orange sculpture which is made entirely of fisherman’s gloves; 300 pairs to be exact.

Surprisingly, Haygarth’s design above, for Vogue Nippon in aid of UNICEF in 2007, is a children’s night light, full of random plastic items sold in vending machines. Below is his Millennium project, the prototype for which was created from 1,000 used party poppers collected on 01.01.00 after the Millennuim celebrations. It proved so popular that he has recreated the design with different colour schemes.

If, like me, you like what you see, stay tuned. Haygarth is in the middle of an ongoing scavenge on the Dungeness coastline, sorting and categorising all the strange debris he finds, and has already produced four works, one of which – Tidemark, below – is both an installation piece and photographic work, creating harmony and order out of chaos and decay. If only it was that easy…

stuart haygarth tidemark

To see more designs or order one for yourself, visit www.stuarthaygarth.com

Cash vs. credit: fabric bag holders

Woven fabric bag holders, £10 each, notonthehighstreet.com; Cath Kidston fabric bag holder, £5.99, Biggiboshoff on Folksy

Love your rubbish

christmas pudding and goldfish bowl bin bags

£10 for 12 = bargain. Get yours, and tons of other novelty but necessary stuff, at Suck UK.