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How designers can solve global problems

image: Getty Images It was our privilege to be invited to speak at AGDA's Pecha Kucha event at Sydney Design Festival last week on the theme of 'positive impact'. Pecha Kucha means 'chit chat' in Japanese and requires each presenter to tell their story in 20 images, for 20 seconds each. It's a challenge that got us thinking about the most concise way to share our thoughts on how thinking creatively can solve some of the most pressing issues of today – indeed, how creatives may be those best placed for the job. We wanted to share what we've learned so far on our journey with Seljak Brand. Designers play a pivotal role in creating a more meaningful future because the current model...

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Daniele Constance on how to give your old clothes a good afterlife

Image: Dani Cabs We chat to Daniele Constance, co-founder of Suitcase Rummage, about how to responsibly extend the life of your things even when you don't want them anymore.  Suitcase Rummage is a roaming, used-clothing-and-other-stuff market where everything is traded out of suitcases. It has chapters in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. Karina Seljak: What are your tips for finding – and responsibly buying – treasures at Suitcase Rummage? Daniele Constance: I think the best tip for Rummaging is that you have to do just that - rummage! Don't be afraid to put your hands in the suitcases, pull things out, inspect them, chat to the sellers, ask if they have brands you like. It's amazing the amount of the good quality second...

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Nadia Hernandez: igniting action through an exploration of culture

Image: Kurt Davies We’ve done a lot of work with artist Nadia Hernandez over the course of Seljak Brand’s life. From our logo to tote bags, you can see Nadia’s influence everywhere. We work with her because she inspires us to be positive and active about what we believe makes a more restorative and inclusive world. We caught up with Nadia to learn more about why she makes art, her creative process and what inspires her. You’ve always got such an interesting array of projects on. From city council to commercial (and live!) murals, to your own exhibitions with textiles, paper construction and oil painting, you have so much output — which is cross-medium and also very collaborative. What are you working on right...

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Hejhej-mats: a closed loop yoga mat made from waste

Sophie Zepnik and Anna Souvignier are using offcuts from foam production of mattresses and furniture to make yoga mats. Originally hailing from Germany, the pair met while studying in Spain and went on to pursue sustainability studies in Malmö, Sweden. It was here that they were confronted with the idea that most yoga mats are made using unsustainable practices and that many of the mats produced from natural materials involved deforestation for plantations or exhaustive resource use. As keen yogis, this didn't sit well with them and the vision for a closed loop yoga mat was born!  Sammy had a chat to the hejhej-mats founders to understand how they started, what drives them and their closed loop goals for hejhej.  Tell us about...

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Seljak Brand is accelerating the transition to the circular economy: our first impact report  

It's been 18 months since launching Seljak Brand so it feels like a good time to let you know how far we've come. In a nutshell: Last financial year we donated $9,135 worth of blankets to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne  Since launching, we've used 1072kg of waste material to make our blankets  About 2000 people have engaged with us in talking about circular models at conferences and events 100 000 Australians have been exposed to closed loop business practices thanks to the press we've received  We've crowdfunded $32,000 to help fund the research and development of using other businesses' textile waste to make more blankets. We're looking forward to continuing to explore systems change and ways to create beautiful and sustainable solutions for the future. It's...

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