Made In The U.S.A.

Gag me with a green spoon.

In Adventures on May 23, 2009 at 12:49 am

Time magazine did a “Style and Design” special issue that I conviscated from the office. It’s called “The Green Design 100” and it explores “the people and ideas behind today’s most influential design.” Or so they say.

What struck me as much as the interesting products and buildings and designs was the insistence on describing products as “green” if there was any stretch of a way the label could be applied. It’s a paper-thin veil of greenwash. Didn’t kill baby seals? Green. Didn’t burn down an entire forest? Green. Didn’t poop in the town water supply? Green.

For what it’s worth, the magazine cited eight “companies with a conscience”. They are:

Ikea, because wood is responsibly managed for their products and all the company’s outdoor lighting products will be converted to solar this summer.
John Hardy, because the headquarters in Bali include an organic farm and are built of bamboo and ud bricks.
Ligne Roset, because the French furniture designer “manufactures and compartmentalizes products in a way that helps facilitate the breakdown and reuse of each object at the end of its life cycle.”
Macy’s, because the shopping bags are recyclable, online orders ship with biodegradable packing material and 30-plus stores use solar energy.
Nike, because of the “reuse-a-shoe” recycling program, and factories are working to reduce waste and toxins.
Polartec, because the company makes more than 20% of its products from post-consumer waste.
Tag Heuer, because the headquarters uses natural light to reduce dependency on electrical power and it has collaborated on a watch with Leo DiCaprio to raise money for environmental charities.
Tiffancy, becaue the company is “a pioneer” in the eco-gold and ethical mining movements. And because its distribution plant in Jersey uses solar systems for 35% of the plant’s electricity.

I’m feeling a little cynical, because some of them seem like a bit of a stretch. Especially the Tag Heuer thing.

On a completely and utterly unrelated note that has nothing to do with the list above, the most expensive space for advertising on a magazine is the back cover. This issue’s back cover has an ad for a lovely Tag Heuer timepiece.



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