Monday, 27 January 2014
Rethinkthings review of late 2013
For those who have been keeping up with our activity, you will know that we have been exploring many new avenues in 2013 including make it yourself and downloadable products (MIY), screenprinting and bespoke commissions. This culminated with a shift in focus from wholesale to retail trade at the latter end of 2013 with a week-long appearance at Liverpool’s Urban Winter Village (container market) in December and the introduction of the new Mental Baggage series by designer Lance Walker.
Christmas saw us present dozens of REthinkthings products and work by other noted designers to Liverpool’s first shipping container pop-up market, the Urban Winter Village at Williamson Square.
Kaspa lamps, Bauhaus birdfeeders, Scumbags and Accent teatowels were among the attention grabbers at the UWV. Despite one day of howling wind and rain we loved the opportunity to meet so many people and show off work by creative British designers. We also got the chance to meet lots of other stallholders, many of which were new British brands with serious creative vision, it felt refreshing to gain feedback direct from end users and the whole experience gave us real insight and food for thought going forward.
As part of the year-end fun we ran a huge sale on many items on our web site. Many of these are still discounted for a limited period (whilst stocks last), to advantage of these, click here.
The headlines coming out of Downing Street and Washington DC this year have had a certain Orwellian quality to them. Unprecedented news of widespread eavesdropping, constant surveillance and the omnipresent directive to fear terrorism at any moment has us in a constant state of anxiety.
Combine that with the news last spring of austerity measures, here and in other European countries, while the ultra-rich are hiding their money away offshore, the new economic and political landscape becomes clear and its making many of us indignant!
Designer Lance Walker joined us in late 2013 with a series of cotton tote bags bearing contemporary versions of the Newspeak slogans that featured heavily in George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel 1984. Presented as bold statements of the official party line, these bags espouse the current party slogans:
SURVEILLANCE IS SERVICE
FEAR IS SECURITY
AUSTERITY IS WEALTH
These new bags were launched at the Urban Winter Village last December and have been selling steadily as public focus increases on such topics. Make your statement against thought control with one (or all three) of these statements parodying the party line - purchase here at the introductory price of just £5!
Aside from new product launches and pop up stores, Director Ilsa Parry continues to remain involved with the promotion of a wider mission for design. Her manifesto for Rethinkthings and her own consultative approach to creative work remains strong as she continues to seek opportunity for sustainable engagement and creative awareness through commercial activity. Ilsa Believes that design has the power to transform the frame of mind, and as such she was asked by BoConcept last November to host a 40 minute talk on what constitutes good design. You can read more about this here: