INNOVATION, SUSTAINABILITY AND INCLUSION: the keywords to the future of design

The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic has radically changed the way we work, use technology, and relate to others, bringing society’s attention back to the impact of man on nature more than ever before.

In the future, it will be more important than ever to work on creative ideas able to bring innovation into our everyday life, without forgetting to focus on topics that are on the international agenda, like the exploitation of ecosystems. It is indeed important to focus on the consumers’ needs but it is also important to work on solutions that are sustainable and inclusive.

“Young European designers are committed to questioning the pillars of society, to highlight the defects of our business models and production processes, to rethink the problem of the exploitation of ecosystems by experimenting with new materials, innovative production models and alternative solutions that are crying out for digitization, multifunctionality and collaboration in the name of sustainability and inclusion”, explains Korinna Mollá of Aitex, leader of the Implementing Team of WORTH Partnership Project.

WORTH Third call winning projects are a good example of how this can be done, as they worked on innovative ideas, without forgetting those focal points.

Among all the projects focused on these topics, if we think about sustainability, “Modifiable Vegan Bag Collection”, for example, worked on a collection of bags made with bio/vegan leather created from apple waste focusing on the fact that the leather industry is one of the most polluting in the world and the number of customers who are reluctant to buy animal leather accessories is growing. The garment can be also created with a special eye to the environment as done by the project “Agogic- Be prepared for more”, women’s outerwear that combines style, technology and sustainability In this case the 4 garments in the collection, have been created using only materials of responsible origin, high performance and eco-friendly materials such as recycled nylon, Primaloft and Polartec Power Air.

Sustainability also means to extend the life of products, so they will not be thrown away, that is what the WORTH Projects ENAONA and VIVID worked on. The first projects idea is a collection of shoes with modular jeweled heels and recyclable components, combined in a unique design. The shoes of the ENAONA collection give a unique experience to the wearer, offering comfort and wearability as well as the possibility to reuse them and add a personal and distinctive touch. Style and sustainability often do not go hand in hand, which is why it is sometimes necessary to invent innovative solutions that can combine them. The second project, VIVID, featured curtains for interior decoration whose appearance changes over time thanks to the particular mix of materials used to make them. The aging of the curtains, in this case intentionally designed, makes them highly innovative. The idea is not only to create a design that is interesting, but also to encourage a debate on sustainability and the relationship we have with our assets over time.

The other keyword necessary to focus on is “inclusivity”, the WORTH project REFRAMD, for example worked on a collection of glasses created focusing on the design and production of glasses suitable to be worn with total comfort by people of colour. They started from a basic observation: glasses are not usually designed to fit people with low and wide nose bridges and found a solution that combines style and practicality. The project Nova Underwear also focused on inclusion, but in this case they started by observing that very often medical/orthopaedic devices do not help a patient regain their everyday life. The project then worked on an innovative collection of bras for women diagnosed with breast cancer. Usage of skin care fabrics, and mineral fabrics with can stimulate microcirculation and skin tone, can aid the healing process and provides comfort during treatment, combining a design adapted for post-surgery but which is also fashionable.

If you are going to work on your next design project, think about sustainability and inclusion and do not forget to add a personal touch!

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