Meme tracking: Is the manufacturing industry ripe for a renaissance?

I phrase this as a question, and I’m reluctant to put a time scale on it, because the forces at play are so large and unpredictable. But there are some interesting trends emerging, which may be part of a bigger movement.

The consumer world that we’ve enjoyed for the last 50-odd years (cheap plastic goods; disposable clothes; an endless stream of new electronic gadgets) is made possible by cheap oil and off-shored labour.

The oil and labour won’t last for much longer. The question is, are we going to move away from this world before rising prices force our hand? Continue reading “Meme tracking: Is the manufacturing industry ripe for a renaissance?”

Vision, passion and realism

Yvon Chouinard working in his shop in Burbank, 1965 [IMG_2765]

Whether you’re setting up a new business, developing a new product or creating a marketing campaign, if you’re involved in any creative endeavour, you hear a lot of advice about two things: vision and passion. You must have a clear vision of where you want to be — or the thing that you’re passionate about — because it gives you focus and drive; it’s something for a tribe to rally around; it makes your story ‘remarkable’. Continue reading “Vision, passion and realism”

Waste and nutrients

Today’s Daily Shoot assignment was:

Illustrate an aspect of modern culture today. Make a photo that communicates the feeling of abandoned or discarded.

I thought that was a leading assignment. It naturally suggests a negative emotional response. My first mental picture was of an abandoned person or a broken child’s toy left in the gutter. I didn’t want to go down that route, so I went outside and took a picture of our composting bin.
Continue reading “Waste and nutrients”

Walking the talk: Levi’s vs. Etsy

Two contrasting stories of brand authenticity today. In this month’s Contagious magazine, the opening editorial talks about Levi’s attempt to lever its heritage through its Go Forth campaign:

Levi’s is just one of many large, lumbering American brands … that have returned to their roots for succour. The country was built on honest labour and the pioneer spirit and there seems to be a hankering for that simpler golden age of manufacturing, artisanship and good old-fashioned elbow grease.

Continue reading “Walking the talk: Levi’s vs. Etsy”