GREEN WASHED GOOD WILL

Still addressing the recycling mania that awesomely enough is taking a bigger and bigger part of our every day lives; the H&M World Recycle Week – any opinions?

Me and Maja went to Juno PR:s event Recycled Links Live this Friday where a panel discussed sustainable fashion and the complexity around it. A garment can be sustainable in the way that it lasts forever and doesn’t lose its value over time. And a garment can be sustainable due to the way it’s produced. The second part is what this week originally was about: Fashion Revolution Week. It’s a huge thing over the world right now, but in Sweden in particular, or at least in Stockholm, I experience that H&M:s look-alike event is completely stealing the show. The collaboration with M.I.A. called World Recycle Week. Bring garments to the store and you get 50 SEK extra off additional purchases. Happy consumerism. Lol.

But it got us thinking: people still need incentives to get involved. To take that extra effort and recycle. Helpers High isn’t (always) enough.

But come on H&M, choose another week. Don’t just try to hide your sucky production behind discussions about something else. Be transparent and stand for it. I believe this could (hopefully soon?) give you a tougher backlash than if you simply admitted you haven’t solved the production issue yet, and used another side of the company to start this good initiative for recycling. And what’s more important: Let there be a movement fighting for better working conditions in fashion! Movements are inspiring and opening people’s eyes all over the world. Let people understand that they can have an impact on the way things are produced.

Who-made-my-clothes

What comforted me – well, what was welcoming considering things always feel so black and white and that we all are eventually gonna die because humans suck – was something Lisa Corneliusson, co-founder of Make it last said. She talked about her realisation that all initiatives are good. It’s so difficult for companies to make everything correct and we must welcome every effort instead of pointing out everything done wrong. Highlight the positive struggle; let them get credit for trying. It inspires more to dare to do something. But in the manner media today tends to depict companies, the ones who are actually trying to create a positive impact often get shit for missing details. While the ones who keep on doing nothing stay safe in the shadows.

Except for when companies do good in order to silent something bad *cough cough*.

xLinn

ITS A FIRE, ME OR THE WARDROBE?

Talk with Sara Hasselqvist, Beckmans College Of Design
Sara is a first-year student at Beckmans design program and has the last month created new products out of recycled clothes for Fashion Transformation Day hosted by H&M. Yesterday at brunch between pancakes and mimosas I took the opportunity to pick her brain on the subject of sustainability and recycling.

Sara Hasselqvist

What are your thoughts about the project?
Well, I just think it’s amazing that it happens. H&M is such a large brand and has the opportunity to reach out to so many people with this message which is incredible.

Has your own lifestyle changed or been affected by this?
No, not really. This is something that has been close to my heart for such a long time. For me sustainability aspects are old. But I think it´s new for other people to think along these lines.

I have had the benefit of growing up with these ideas from the start. Westerns are privileged in many ways and having sustainability as one of our core values is one of the things we benefit. This was clear at Beckmans; as a homogeneous group of people with similar backgrounds the topic didn’t spur any debates since thinking from a sustainable point of view comes naturally to all of us. As a group, we don’t really represent the society.

(Alma Yttergren, a sports journalist, jumps into the conversation)

You mention that you are a homogeneous group of people at Beckmans, in what way will this influence fashion and design of the future? (Alma asked)
I believe the future will have an increased focus on sustainability such as choice of materials and techniques. It’s important that future designers take this responsibility.

This is something I struggle with a lot. We designers are to create new products with the aim to sell (of course) but from the sustainability aspect, to influence people to buy “new” is not a good economy for the planet. We have to unite social and environmental aspects as well as economic viability when making new products. There are big shoes to fill.

Back to the project, the weirdest item in it?
A frog costume in fleece material that we sewed pears out of! But mostly it was socks and underwear. We cut and sewed from the garments as they were, we didn’t for example dyed or coloured anything since it is environmentally unfriendly.

At last, do you have any private recycling tips?
Tradera and Blocket! (Maria Claesson calls out over the table)

(Sara) I never buy clothes to buy “new” clothes, I love the clothes I have. My boyfriend asked me the other day who I would save in a fire, him or the wardrobe? (hahaha) and I couldn’t choose. My best tip is to buy clothes that you really love!

Thanks a lot, Sara, really inspiring! Now I know what I’m gonna dedicate my Sunday to – clear out my wardrobe separating my loved once from the others. And to see what kind of recycling project they can become a part of!

xMaja

Brunch_Just-wow

Photo cred: Maria Claesson

RECYCLING THERAPY

When meeting your peers sorting glass and plastics at the recycle centre, you feel connected with each other. We all believe in recycling for a better world. Prior the walk to the recycling centre, it feels like a duty. Boring. But afterwards, I fly high on the streets feeling like a superhero! I care about the earth and I’m making it better!

I know for a fact that it isn’t just me who gets these rushes when recycling or doing good. As Joey in Friends puts it “There are no selfless good deeds”. The reason behind the rush of doing good, also called altruism, is explained by our amazing brain. By the way (to be correct) the definition of altruism is actually more about “people caring about other people” but hey, isn’t the planet a kind of friend aka a person? Anyway, there is a phenomenon called “Helpers high” which is the effect produced by our brain when doing good. The brain releases endorphins (feeling of happiness) which explains why I almost flit back from the recycling centre, feeling invincible.

In my opinion, this is a good thing. To be selfish and do stuff only for yourself is natural and human. But knowing that you can get the same rush from recycling your old wardrobe as you get when running a mile is amazing! Doctors are already recommending exercise as a part of recovery for different kinds of health issues, for example depression. And I say – add recycling and good deeds to that recommendation. Call it “Recycle therapy” (patent pending) if you may. There is science that indicates that volunteers live longer than “non-volunteers”, but I think the research in this area is in its embryo so I stop at that note. But that’s just incredible, to live a longer healthier life by helping others (and our beautiful earth) is a real win-win situation.

I have gathered some cool recycling projects to be inspired by for future recycle therapy sessions.

Wow #1 Pistol Lake makes sports wear out of eucalyptus and water bottles. Great way to recycle and it must smell awesome!

Wow #2 Liam – the recycling iPhone robot who dismantles your iPhone into all its different pieces and materials for recycling purposes.

Wow #3 At last, I have to mention H&M world recycle week. You can have a lot of opinions about H&M but creds for making the whole world talk about such an important subject. Looking forward to seeing what the students of Beckmans create for their pop-up store Remake since my awesome creative friend Sara is a part of the project.

xMaja

World-Recylce-Week

Be selfish and save the world!

EMPATHY FTW

Omg all these articles about Millennials?! I appreciate the tone starting to switch from lazy and lost souls to “ah that’s why they work like this!”. People are so fast to judge and I don’t get why “they” don’t use their empathetic skills straight from the beginning instead of becoming upset and even angry because of what they believe to know about Millennialls. We’re just humans and if you try to place yourself in our situation you can reach so much more understanding so much quicker.

Although, I couldn’t put it better myself than these guys commenting on Adweek:

Skärmavbild 2016-04-13 kl. 16.02.10

Because at the same time almost everything, ofc because its data <3, it’s so true! Just like Carlo Lopez says in the picture above. And as humans, we love to diagnose ourselves. Discovering reasons that explain and justify our own behaviour and feelings. Travelling to Asia back and fourth a couple of times simply to “find ourselves”.

With so much trouble understanding this giant part of the population, it’s almost like saying you’ll never be able to understand a minority because of the lack of research and data there often is on a smaller group. It’s wrong. What’s most important is being able to step into someone else’s situation, and trying to fully understand what it’s like to be that person. What causes that constant lump in my stomach? Why am I so happy I can’t stop bouncing? Yes, empathy.

A planning myth is that in the States women are believed to be more suitable as planners because it’s in their nature to be empathetic. Haha! I know guys can be stupid, but I also know that every single one can learn. There is hope!! But then again preconceptions like that have to be crushed.

I’d like to believe that the ability to lack empathy is a step towards evil. Even Socrates wrote about it. In short he proposed that it’s the lack of knowledge, and not the human nature, which is the source to evil. Long story short; the lack of insight. And as the Millennial I naturally am I love to be egocentric and use this as a statement to imply that you can’t be a good planner unless you’re a good person. *self-realisation*

So instead of backstabbing each other, see the positive sides and just try (!!) to understand. The world would be a better place then. And Millennials would probably feel better entering your workplace.

Let’s wrap up all my rambling with a tip! One of my favourite personality tests is 16 personalities (www.16personalities.com). Naturally there’re clusters demographic wise, but the data you get for yourself is interesting deluxe. At least if you’re a nerd like me and most of Millennials. Probably something for an astronomy fan too, or what would you say Maja?

Btw, we’re both ENFP’s.

xLinn

MIRROR MIRROR ON MY FRIENDS

If spent a whole weekend together with my friends I would probably come back to work with some new personality traits when it comes to either my body language, choice of words or talking pace. I have realised that I’m a real parrot when it comes to friends and if I have been with someone for an intense period of time I’m most likely to copy some of my friend’s behaviour and personality traits.

A weekend with Maria makes me walk with my hands intertwined on my back or an intense work week with Linn makes me use hand gestures to a greater extent and perhaps I will skip a little when I walk. Sometimes I feel I don’t have any traits of my own, ergo my parrot-like behaviour. Luckily when I hear my friend Alma copy my Eddie-Murphy laugh I know I got some for others to absorb.

This behaviour is called mirroring and is a non-verbal way to say “I like you, I feel the same”. People who mirror other people may not be as obvious as me but it’s a common behaviour amongst us all and we do it subconsciously. Smile – smile, frown – frown. You get the deal.

Did you know that there is a concept called “Dancing brains”? In my opinion the sincerest form of mirroring. I read about it in the book “Choose right – A guide to great decisions*” by Katarina Gospic and she describes it as when two people are connected and close, their mirror neurones dances with each other. Like a cobra who follow the snake-charmers flute, as she puts it, people can be in crazy harmony flawlessly following each other’s movements with their bodies and minds. It’s kind of a beautiful thought how our brains dance together when we feel connected.

I don’t know about you but I feel like dancing after writing this.

xMaja

* The Swedish title: Välj rätt – En guide till bra beslut, Katarina Gospic. A great read about our amazing brains. She makes brain science sound like child play.

Parrot_02

 

IT’S SO FLUFFY I’M GONNA DIE

You know when you see the cutest kitten ever and something inside you breaks? It hurts and all you want is to chew its little paws, nibbles its ears and just cry at the same time?

You’re not alone.

Yep. There is a scientific reason why grandma had to pinch your cheek every single time you met as a kid. And maybe why she stopped too…

The more adorable, the more it triggers your dark sides. The phenomenon is named cute aggression. It’s a thing, and it explains so much. Research has shown that aggression is the mind’s natural response when it’s overwhelmed with cuteness. Your mind experiences so much that your body doesn’t know what to do with all the sensations, and therefore it has to find ways to express it. At least that’s how I understand it.

If you think about it, there aren’t really any appropriate ways to let out extremely positive emotions. I mean, when that newborn nephew appears in you palms would you laugh? Scream? Be quiet? No. But what else is there really to do with all the things happening inside you? Cuteness overload indeed.

Maybe this can answer to why it feels so good to crush your bff’s ribs after not seeing him/her for long. Why crying when “too” happy. The body simply needs an outlet. It isn’t rational enough to stay quiet. What a relief, imagine what a boring world we would live in if it was.

Heard about Uber puppies? Collaborating with different animal welfare organisations, together they highlight the huge amount of puppies in need of new owners. Talk about branding! Even though one can debate whether ok to ever use living tiny creatures (<333) in communication.

But still, give me a puppy to cuddle and I’m yours. After crying a bit of course.

xLinn

Pug

THE SHAME OF THE MIDNIGHT SNACK

It’s Thursday at 22.24 O’clock and I’m standing in the cold outside a street kiosk waiting for my vegetarian hamburger. I look around the street for people, not anyone I know, just people. The otherwise busy street Rörstrandsgatan in Stockholm is completely empty. It’s just me and the man behind the kiosk walls making my dinner. I’ve just come home from an after work at Laika with my college and friend Linn and her friend Alexander. We drank beers and talked about work, life and other things. This particular nice event was the reason for my burger situation. I was starving since a beer diet sound good in theory but in reality, it’s working the opposite ways – you get even more hungry. Not on the first two beers, about then life is good. But on the third you start to crave something to actually chew on.

After a couple of minutes outside the kiosk, I get my food and I start walking towards my apartment. I hold the burger close to my body and constantly look around me. What if somebody sees me? Buying junk food on a Thursday night all alone, what a shame! As I start running the final stretch to my apartment (half the reason is that I’m ridiculous hungry, half the reason is to come home to a safe non-judgemental place) I’m starting to reflect on my weird behaviour. Why I’m I ashamed to buy a veggie burger when I hadn’t eaten since lunch? I would be crazy not to buy it! When it comes to it, I reckon that I have always been ashamed when I have been eating food late at night. I ask myself why?

We have all been hit by the desire to be perfect and together. A together person doesn’t eat junk food in the middle of the night or binge watch Friends for the hundredth time. A together person has healthy food in the refrigerator and definitely watches something new that nourishes them and make them grow as a person. I guess buying junk food alone late at night goes against my image of the together person I want to be (or used to).

I have in my adult years let go of being perfect and all that stuff you were worried about in your youth. But sometimes the traits of the image still live inside me, hence the burger shame. The next time I’m gonna try to eat it proudly on the streets, facing my fears. And yes, I’m at my about hundredth rerun of Friends still being amused.

xMaja

joey giphy

 

 

THE END OF AVERAGE

You know when all those niche target markets triple down into the world and suddenly everyone is having the same weird green coffee drink and quit using outdated words. Mmm a planners wet dream.

To reach the mainstream evokes the question of the average consumer, is there really such thing? That would imply there’s a short cut past the niche markets straight to mainstreamity. There’s a city in Germany, Haßloch, where apparently the population is considered the average consumer. The town is used as a test market for the entire of Germany. Walk into a supermarket and it’s back to the future, live there if you want to try on an imaginary world.

Quoting my favourite Urban Dictionary; “An average consumer is someone who loves Harry Potter, hates Twilight, prefers Google to Yahoo, and enjoys playing with their socks during church.”

Well, good luck peeps. To succeed at that market is as easy as writing a hit song. But hey, it might be you!

The current discussion about target groups and personas is resulting in us turning to segmentation based on values and preferences in life rather than demographics and age. About time. Classics as newspapers and telly are questions of generations, but as that (they…) fade out the point of age and where you live start lacking in interest. The remaining channels are more based on interests and statements. I’m relieved we finally don’t focus so extremely much on whether only cool kids are allowed to wear that awesome dress or how that fancy prosecco is made for my gay friends only. How movie trailers are depicted differently depending of the colour of the skin of audience just makes me sick.

I believe we’re soon gonna hear about completely new methods of creating personas, and I’m sure one will be from us. Imagine always making personas as cat memes or flavours of ice cream.

Introducing:

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 16.10.42.png

Who’s story would you rather listen to?

Yes. Thought so.

Nisch markets are the shit and I’m pretty sure the average consumer is dead, such as the residents of Haßloch’s treats.

By the way, two Olympic weightlifters are from Haßloch. Typically average, right?

xLinn

TRUE PASSION FOR TRUE CRIME

Wow! I just love it when the whole world comes together to talk passionately with each other about an important (and sometimes less important) subject. The thought of millions of people sitting in front of their blue-lit screens (aka the modern day campfire) alone but still connected with the world, getting engaged in a subject is exciting as well as fascinating.

Right now that subject is true crime firing the logs of the world’s campfires, with the Netflix series Making a murderer mainly sparkling the dialogue and engagement in the genre, driving it to a commercial peak.

True Crime is hardly a new thing. One of the most recognized books within the genre is ”Helter Shelter” published in 1974 (I wasn’t even born!) by American attorney Vincent Bugliosi telling the story of the murders by Charles Manson a.k.a The Manson Family. And there is account less of more stories to partake of. Also in my home country, Sweden, we have been obsessed with true crime pod casts for years, published by the Swedish public service (Sveriges Radio, P3 dokumentär). The genre claims to be around 150 years old, so why is it trending now?

I have a theory. Or rather a magical math equation: reach + awesome brand = world wide success. Yes, it’s Netflix I’m talking about. There are endless of great and interesting stories I miss every day because they’re hidden from me. The Internet may have it all, but if I can’t find it I won’t watch it. And no, I don’t have time to research great content. Aired on the big TV-channels and published in their schedules, I bet there are great stories to consume, but since they don’t sell it to me – I miss it. Oh, I don’t own a TV if I forgot to mention. On the other hand, if Netflix produces a series and publishes it on my account, I’m gonna watch it. And probably lots of people have done the exact same thing as me. The consumer trust Netflix has achieved with a next to flawless play experience to high-quality content enables them to make me interested in whatever subject there is, and that’s just wow, what a power! I wonder what they want the world to talk about next year?

Back to the subject true crime. Okay, now we have watched it and love it. But why? Why do we obsess about it?

There are a lot of mixed emotions cooked up in a true crime story which I believe is one of the triggers. There are horror and curiosity, compassion and rage. All sorts of strong feelings playing with our body and minds. Compared to for example a comedy that mostly serves us laughter and sometimes a bit of deeper affection, but the engagement stops when the episode has ended. The rush just isn’t enough. The emotional cocktail we receive from a true crime story makes us want more. But also the natural human curiosity to the odd and the extremities of the world have fascinated humans since.. yeah forever. The stories are for most of us beyond our understanding and that feeling of not understanding it makes us curious. And to play a detective during the episode is also kind of fun.

xMaja

Steven-Avery

Cred: Wikipedia, Picture of Steven Avery from Making a murderer, Netflix

THE PROBLEM SOLVER BEER, YES I WANT ONE!

Skärmavbild 2016-04-02 kl. 14.07.48Cred: www.theproblemsolverbeer.com

I love to solve problems, and I also love beers. So when I came over this Danish beer “The problem solver” I was happy as a lark! Based on science research it claims to make you more creative when drinking it. Why? Sometimes we have a hard time letting everything and everyone around us go, which makes it more difficult for us to concentrate on a specific task. But with a sip of a thirst quenching beer makes us more relaxed and, therefore, abler to focus on the task to be solved. However, one can not drink any amount of beer. The creators of the beer have a nice way telling us by marking a line on the bottle on how much you can drink based on gender and weight. Maybe not the beer for a first date but surely when burning the midnight oil at the office.

I assure you that we will see more of this trend, to accomplish a different kind of state of mind and mood by what we eat and drink. Looking forward to more creative outtakes.

xMaja