Following a successful collaboration in 2012, KnollTextiles and the non-profit goods for good (GFG) have teamed up again to help set up sustainable community enterprises in Malawi. For the first project, KnollTextiles sent unemployed tailors in Malawi fabric in order to make fashionable tote bags. It was a win/win for the community — the bags raised funds while the tailors gained marketable tailoring skills. For this holiday season, KnollTextiles will be producing limited-edition bracelets using Ultrasuede fabric in five colors decorated with Swarovski crystals. All sales from the bracelets will be invested in GFG’s small businesses in Africa. The bracelets will be on sale for $29 on the KnollTextiles website at Knolltextiles.com/bracelets starting on November 1st.
I spotted these watches from Japanese brand Q&Q during NYCxDesign at the SightUnseen Offsite exhibition downtown. Q&Q (Quest & Quality) is a new line of solar-powered watches for the U.S. marketplace. At just $40, the waterproof watches never require a battery replacement. Around the large watch face is a thin band of photovoltaics that recharges the watch for up to three and a half months after a single charge. I’ve been testing out a free watch given out during the show, and I find it lightweight and modern, though the all-white band picks up dirt easily (this is why I don’t wear white pants). If you want to see the watch in action, you can check out Katy Perry wearing it in her new Birthday music video. The watch also tries to give back. For every purchase, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Table for Two, a non-profit that helps deliver school meals to children in Africa and Asia.
Coffee Beer is a collaboration between Anchor Coffee in Kesennuma, a small city in Northern Japan, and the Japanese sake and beer brewery Sekinoichi in Ichinoseki. The beer, which is brewed with coffee beans, is a charity project to raise money for the 2011 earthquake and tsunami (both Sekinoichi and Ichinoseki were devastated during the tragedy). Nendo reused existing beer bottles in order to keep costs low, and covered them with small labels in the shape of coffee beans. As the labels are applied by hand, each bottle is unique, a trait that Japanese consumers will most likely find even more desirable. If you’d like to order some craft beer while supporting a good cause, here is the link. Photos by Hiroshi Iwaski