Adaptive Intimates…It’s About Time

While there is certainly room to applaud Victoria’s Secret with this news, we can also say it’s about time. Victoria’s Secret is collaborating with Runway of Dreams for an adaptive intimates collection. This initiative, highlighted in the “2024 State of Accessible Marketing” (SOAM) Report by dozanü innovations, represents a pioneering move in making fashion more inclusive.

The launch of the adaptive fashion line in collaboration with Runway of Dreams underscores a transformative period in the fashion world, emphasizing the importance of accessibility and inclusivity. Rachel Burton, Director of Operations and Strategy at dozanü innovations, praised the initiative for its innovative approach and the positive impact it has on redefining industry norms. The campaign is celebrated for its inclusivity, featuring models with disabilities and employing clear, accessible communication, which promotes fashion as a form of self-expression for everyone.

Victoria’s Secret’s venture into adaptive fashion, as documented in the 2024 SOAM Report, marks the beginning of what will, hopefully, be far more recognition of the many ways that women (and men) can be sexy. For decades Victoria’s Secret has only shown one type of women on the runway, and it is exciting to watch and to see if this new initiative opens up the runway for many more expressions of beauty.

Getting Ready for the Superbowl….Bathroom Breaks

As people around the country get ready for the upcoming Superbowl, they are speculating about who will win, about how much the tickets will go for, and about whether Taylor Swift will make it from Japan on time; not many people, however, are probably speculating about the….bathrooms.

But you can bet the venue has spent a lot of time and money thinking about, worrying about, and testing the bathrooms. With 65,000 fans coming to Allegiant Stadium, there are certainly a lot of worries about the facilities. Before the facility opened in 2020, they actually conducted what they call a “Super Flush”, where they flushed all 1430 toilets and urinals at the same time to make sure that the plumbing would work and hold.

If you think about it, while time is money, bathroom breaks are a lack of money. When you’re waiting in line to go to the bathroom, you are not buying food at the concessions and t-shirts at the various stalls – and the arena certainly wants you to spend your time on these activities. Bathrooms have become an art, and one that involves architects, arena managers and others. The more bathrooms there are, the closer they are to the users’ location, and the more clear they are about which are occupied and which are free, the faster people will be in and out.

As Julie Amacker, the director for CAA icon said in relations to the Super Flush they conducted years ago, “We don’t ever want there to be 60,000 or 70,000 people in the building and have the system fail. This is one of the last boxes to check that says we’re ready.”

Aiding Kids in Nairobi, Kenya One Bunk Bed at a Time

If you were a designer offered the opportunity to create furniture for a school in one of the poorest slums in the world, what would you design? It would need to be long-lasting, hearty and simple. Italian designer Giacomo Moor’s recent project in Nairobi, Kenya, illustrates his real-world answer to that question. Tasked with creating furniture for the Why Not Academy, a school in Mathare, one of Nairobi’s oldest slums, Moor collaborated with the Italian NGO LiveInSlums.

Moor’s design philosophy centered on “simplification.” The resulting modular bunk beds, benches, and tables are a testament to this approach. Constructed on-site from locally sourced wood, the furniture requires minimal tools — a chisel, a carpenter’s square, and a pencil. One of the best features of the design is that it includes interlocking joints, eliminating the need for metal fasteners and making the assembly process intuitive and accessible to the local community.

The project, named “Design for Communities,” involved locals in the furniture-making process, ensuring that changes were made on their terms. Kevin Ochieng, a local tile maker, was among those who helped build the prototypes.

While Moor’s designs were very practical, they are also quite lovely to enjoy. They feature clean lines and a padlock system for the joints, contributing to their visual appeal. His approach also considered the availability of materials like eucalyptus wood, ensuring sustainability and adaptability of the furniture for future needs.

After Moor’s return to Italy, Ochieng and others continued the work, maintaining communication with Moor via social media to ensure accuracy. This collaboration highlights the empowerment of local communities through inclusive design practices.

And the success of the program didn’t end with the school. Moor now sells both assembled and disassembled versions of this furniture in Europe, and a percentage of the profits are supporting the Nairobi school. His next venture with LiveInSlums will involve redesigning the school’s kitchen, following the same principle of simplicity and community involvement.

Sustainable and Beautiful Furniture of the Future

Most of us are more concerned with finding furniture that we enjoy (and finding the money to buy it!) than we are with finding sustainable furniture. But these efforts shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. One company, Krill Design, a forward-thinking Milan-based company, is proving that it’s possible to have it all. Founded in 2018 by three architects, Krill Design envisions a world where furniture doesn’t meet its end but rather undergoes a perpetual cycle of reuse and recycling and they have a groundbreaking biomaterial, Rekrill, to serve this vision.

The secret behind their eco-friendly furniture lies in the utilization of discarded fruit peel, orange seeds, and coffee ground waste – materials often relegated to landfills. This innovative approach not only minimizes waste but also produces a patented plastic-like biomaterial that Krill calls Rekrill.

The manufacturing process involves drying and crushing the food waste into a fine powder, which is then combined with a biodegradable plastic alternative known as polyhydroxybutyrat (PHB). The result is a versatile filament that, when fed into a 3D printer, offers an amazing range of stylish and functional products such as bookends, stools, clocks, bowls and more.

Krill Design’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond the crafting of furniture. Through collaborations with renowned brands like Sanpellegrino and Four Seasons, and participation in initiatives like Co.ffee Era in Milan, Krill has demonstrated the versatility of Rekrill in creating wine coolers, trays, drink holders, and organizers.

Of course, at the moment, the major downside to Rekrill is its cost as compared to conventional plastics; obviously, the environmental benefits are undeniable, and the model for other companies and for Rekrill’s own designs, outstanding. For every kilogram of Rekrill utilized, one kilogram of carbon dioxide is offset, making it a compelling choice for those who prioritize eco-conscious living.

It will be interesting to see how the world opens up and changes as Rekrill continues to use environmental concerns, 3d printing and other options for furniture design. And to watch others follow suit.

Tools and Tips for the Aspiring Cook

Tools and Tips for the Aspiring Cook

Are you looking to up your cooking game in 2024? According to the New York Times, some kitchen essentials are an important first step. Simply purchasing a larger cutting board will streamline your cooking prep, help you organize your ingredients, and minimize cleanup. A sharp knife pairs nicely with your larger cutting board, and there is no need lay out a sizeable sum for professional knives. Find an affordable options with a sharpener and start slicing and dicing!

If you are to invest in anything, a heavy skillet will guarantee you an impeccable sear and will cook your food evenly. Look for a skillet made from cast iron, stainless steel, or enameled cast iron to ensure incredible high-temperature cooking. Another welcome addition is a versatile sheet tray, preferably one with rolled edges that prevents warping over time. Sheet trays are perfect for everything from baking and roasting to dry-brining proteins.

The cooking process begins with carefully reviewing the recipe. As you work through the recipe, focus on visual, auditory and olfactory cues rather than timing. While swapping ingredients can impede baking results, savory cooking can accommodate substitutions, such as switching root vegetables or hearty greens.

Finally, make sure to taste your food at each stage! This is the optimal way to make sure your food is seasoned well, and will enable you to correct mishaps and save your dish.

Best of luck with your cooking journey! Remember to be patient and kind to yourself, and to share your delectable dishes with loved ones.

Strava Releases 2023 “Year in Sport: The Trend Report,” Revealing Workout Motivation in Different Generations  

Strava, a digital platform with a community of over 120 million athletes, released its, “Year In Sport: The Trend Report.” The report surveyed 6,990 individuals, both in and out of Strava’s community, and provided insights into the exercise habits of people across different generations as well as observations on the evolving workout trends for the year 2024. Gen Z was found to stand out with differing habits, motivators, obstacles and interests when approaching physical activity.

One prominent takeaway from the report is the importance of social connection as a primary motivator for exercise. This appeared as a cross-generational response, but was particularly notable for Gen Z with 77% responding that they a stronger bond to seeing friends and family’s activities on Strava. Gen Z is also 29% more likely than Millennials to exercise with another person.

The report highlights Gen Z’s distinct exercise behaviors; they are 31% less likely than Millenials or Gen X to work out because of health concerns and more likely to pursue athletic performance. While 39% of Gen Z Strava users started a new job and 30% relocated in 2023, they were still 32% more likely than other generations to say they’re in better shape than last year.

Zipporah Allen, Chief Business Officer at Strava, notes the impact of Gen Z’s values of community, activism, and connection in an increasingly digital world: “Over the past year, we’ve seen Gen Z as the primary source of community growth through new clubs on Strava. They’ve also contributed to the increase in sports, like running, despite having the most barriers to staying consistent. This shows exercise will be a central value for this generation, which is why they’re already turning to Strava as the key platform to stay motivated and connected.”