The contour Coca-Cola bottle has to be one of the most iconic beverage vessels in the world.
But even when something is that established, it doesn’t mean it can’t be given new life sometimes when there is a great concept.
It’s a kind of eco idea fused with classic Japanese artisanship. The bottles will be “up-cycled” from degraded glass contour bottles. After all, Coca-Cola bottles are already collected, cleaned and recycled. But still some of course deteriorate over time and these are the ones that will now be turned into this superb new tableware range, courtesy of Oki Sato and his team at nendo.
Sato says: “We were captivated by the particular greenish-blue tint, fine air bubbles and distortions that are a hallmark of recycled glass, so decided to create simple shapes that would enhance these traits. But we also wanted users to feel a remnant of the distinctive bottle in the new products. Our solution was to create bowls and dishes that retain its distinctive lower shape, as though the top had been sliced off.”
“The dimpling on the bottle base that keeps the bottle from sliding is not ordinarily a strong visual feature, but it’s part of a bottle’s identity nonetheless, and visible to anyone who picks up the bottle to drink. Keeping these ring-shaped dimples on the base of our bowls and plates doesn’t just retain their non-slip quality, but also helps to convey important messages about the way that glass circulates between people as it’s made, used and recycled for further use, and about the connections it makes between people in this process.”
The actual creation of the final products has been entrusted to a small workshop in Aomori in northern Japan, known for its glass craftsmanship utilizing local traditions.
The resulting bowls and dishes are on sale priced from around ¥5,000 ($60) to nearly ¥15,000 (nearly $200). They will be on display as part of Design Tide Tokyo 2012 later this autumn (October 31st to November 4th) and then on sale at highly select stores in the capital in strictly limited numbers.
Fashion brand amadana has come up with this pseudo eco bag, the BAGTTERY, part power source and part quasi-luxury apparel. It sounds like a character from Game of Thrones but it is meant, you’ve guessed it, to be “bag + battery”.
The idea is that busy, busy shopping girls on Omotesando want to charge up their phones or tablets but stay on the move — and of course look good.
You can boost your phone to “around 2.5 charge”, courtesy of the USB battery inside the leather bag. It makes things a bit hefty though; the bag weighs in at nearly 1.5kg (3.3 lb)!
We’ve seen a few of these kinds of charging products before, from cheap USB bags and so on made by the likes of Thanko, to more impressive innovations in the Sanyo Eneloop series of mobile rechargeable gadgets.
This is clearly a cut above the rest; the price of this fashion accessory can set you back as much as ¥88,000 (over $1,000), depending on the top end store where you buy it.
This reminds of us of the eco bag boom, which also saw lots of fashion items emerge to suit energy-conscious consumers.
Japan’s eco trends are always fun to watch. You are never sure if you are looking at something really innovative — and frequently you are on the tech side — or just silly. The eco mottainai boom over the last few years has definitely veered that way, with every sundry item being labelled and sold as “My…” (chopsticks, bag, coffee tumbler etc). A marketing gimmick isn’t needed for something that should be common sense!
The March 2011 disaster was a real chance for Japan to rebuild, creating sustainable smart communities in Tohoku, and replacing aging hulks of nuclear reactors with off-shore wind farms, geothermal energy plants, tide power generators and so on.
The jury is still out — and for the foreseeable future — on whether the regional and central governments can defy their sclerotic stereotype and deliver a viable alternative for the next generation.