Design that makes a difference
One of my hobbies is being a nutrition geek. That doesn’t mean that I always live like it or eat like it…but I find it fascinating how nutrients affect the body and how the body responds to its environment. For a new experiment I am spending at least the month of January if not longer eating vegan. I am mostly curious to see how my body responds and if I feel a marked difference or not. I love animals (which Yukon is thankful for) but I am mostly interested in the nutritional benefit…especially considering some of the *delightful* genetic predispositions I have…
Since I can’t do much without my design wheels spinning I have been wondering how my little experiment will impact design. Since a hard-core vegan tries to avoid using anything animal-based I began wondering what products I use as a designer that are. Since this list got long quick I decided to focus on 3 major ones and some alternatives.
While at first look wool may seem ‘innocent’ in that sheep don’t have to lose their lives to give of their fluffy fashion, if we’re sticking to a truly vegan outlook it’s still off-limits. Wool has a lot of benefits; it’s highly insulating, flame resistant, and extremely durable. So what could compare? While cotton shares some of the same qualities while maintaining a softer hand, it lacks the flame resistant quality and some of the durability. Polyester is a great go-to fiber for so many things. It’s an extremely durable man-made fiber that can be fabricated into such a wide variety of fabrics and finishes that it makes me wonder why we use anything else sometimes! There are many poly blends & weaves available now that make great wool alternatives. Other options include rayon, hemp, acrylic and even bamboo!
Ah silk…perhaps touted as the most luxurious fabric of all time. Silk is made from the spinnings of the silk worm cocoon. While some may say a worm doesn’t fit the classic ‘animal’ mold, keep in mind that many vegans don’t even eat honey because it comes from bees. And for the silk to be extracted from the cocoon, the cocoon is ‘disolved’…meaning…well, you can figure that out. So if we’re going vegan…we may as well go there! Rayon or a rayon blend is typically the best substitute for silk. It’s a blended fiber that is both man-made and natural and has a lustrous finish similar to silk.
This is perhaps the most obvious of the three. Leather is a popular covering for furniture, walls, and even sometimes floors. Leather is also used for trims, pillow, lamps and countless other accessories. It’s clear that an animal needs to lose its life for leather. There are many leather alternatives available now and they only keep getting better.
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, omnivore or carnivore there is a diet…and an interior to suit you!