Skillful design can drive sustainable, high-impact social change for good. Nowadays, more and more designers are aspiring world-changers as well. Being lovers of creativity and originality, designers tend to think outside of the box when it comes to social contribution.
Market-driven solutions to social problems are increasingly becoming the norm. Good branding and design is often the answer to practical issues and increasing engagement with communities. Products and services that are meaningful and designed to suit people’s needs often inspire. One of the most powerful things a designer could do is to empower and change minds through creativity, and generate new solutions through constructive collaboration.
Here are three amazing creative ideas that are changing the world for the better:
Osborn is founded by a couple who have a background in arts, painting and printmaking. They aim at making sustainable shoes that are both stylish but are also socially positive. All Osborn shoes are handmade in Guatemala using U.S. thrift store fabrics and traditional Latin America materials. Their social consciousness leads them to focus on the cultural preservation of traditional weavers, embroiderers, spinners, block printers and dyers’ skills and craft. What results is fair trade and good design in the best combination.
Bamboo bikes sound rad, but you would be even more impressed to know that it is an item created to build up the Greensboro, Alabama community and ultimately end rural poverty. The business originates with a partnership between a nonprofit called HERO that builds affordable housing within Alabama, U.S. and former designer Pam Dorr. Handmade from locally grown bamboo, the idea of bamboo bikes started with residents in the neighbourhood complaining about an overabundance of the material. The bike-builders cut down bamboo growing just a block away from their shop, walk back over and build bikes. It is an incredibly local business and gives the bike store workers (mostly students) gain fair wage, so that they might ultimately be able to live in one of the affordable housing HERO offers.
In 2013, experience design firm GenesisXD created the brand KLINK Coffee, which aims at making communities safer and families stronger by providing gourmet coffee sales jobs and training for people returning home from prison. The word ‘KLINK’ is slang for a prison cell, but also refers to the clinking of cups when we are toasting in gatherings. This brand expression gives it a reference to the corrections world but also carried a celebratory tone. The social enterprise raised social awareness and drove business results through selling coffee at the same time. Since mid-2013, over 18 people returning home from prison have been experiencing transformational changes through KLINK that gives them hope and dignity.
GenesisXD, an Experience Design firm, helps our clients stay ahead of the curve with interactive mobile apps for marketing communications.