Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Paradigm Project: Stoves

Posted by Penny on February 29, 2012
Food, Not-for-profit / No Comments

I really think The Rocket Stove by The Paradigm Project is probably eco friendly design at its finest and simplest. As The Paradigm Project states, almost 50% of the world’s population uses open fire for cooking and heating. As romantic as an open fire can be, when they’re the only option and are used en masse, day in and day out, they lead to respiratory problems, pollution and deforestation.

The Paradigm Project’s plan is simple (and grand) – to distribute 5 million stoves in developing countries by the year 2020.

Their stoves are simple and are still woodfired, but great design means they’re more effective than cooking over an open fire. Read more about their stoves here. Of course more effective stoves mean less wood is used, which is a great thing. When I think of eco-design I usually think independent businesses using eco-friendly materials to create gorgeous things – I’m glad to be reminded there are so many different types of design.

The Paradigm Project has a really neat website with a tonne of info (and infographics!) so go check it out!

Get involved here, or even fund a stove!


(Images via The Paradigm Project).

Interview: Jess van Den – Epheriell Designs

Posted by Penny on February 27, 2012
Australian Design, Interview / 5 Comments

Jessica van Den is a busy and super-cute lady. I first ‘met’ Jess online several years ago on where she was selling jewellery and I was selling purses. Since then Jess has created a wonderful blog, Epheriell Designs, full of design, vintage cuteness and business tips. (Seriously, go check it out.) Jess created and edits the crafty & handmade zine, *bespoke*. She creates two jewellery labels, Epheriell and Vintette, and you’ll find interviews and columns by Jess about the internet. And she has great hair. I asked Jess a few questions…


How did you get started making jewellery?

Well, kinda by accident, really! I started crafting back in 2008, which began with knitting and crochet. Then, I started making simple beaded jewellery. But it wasn’t until I first started working with silver, hammer and an anvil that I found my true passion – silversmithing!

Cloud Ring by Epheriell

Your jewellery is predominantly made of recycled sterling silver – can you explain what recycled silver is and why you use it?

Recycled sterling silver simply means that no newly-mined silver has been used in the refinement of the metal I use. Instead, the silver has been refined from old jewellery, old photographs, and other industrial processes. So, what was once waste metal is made new again, and turned into something beautiful!

It’s just as ‘pure’ as newly-mined silver, as it is processed in the same way, to the same level of silver purity (in the case of sterling silver, that is 92.5% silver).

*bespoke* zine issues 3 & 5

Your creativity has journeyed from jewellery beginnings to creating and editing *bespoke* and blogging daily at Epheriell Designs – how did it all happen?

I could tell you the epic tale, but I’ll go for the short version ;)

I was blogging and running my Epheriell store as a hobby from 2008, but in late 2009 I got married, and my husband and I decided to buy a van and convert it into a camper. We were going to make a year-long trip around Australia! Alas, I started having serious dental issues in early 2010, and – long story short – we were delayed going on our trip month after month. I had quit my previous job, and so, while we were delayed, I decided to throw myself into my ‘hobby’ full-time. Fast-forward to now, and it’s all turned into a thriving full-time business.

And no, we never did get to go on our dream trip, but we’ve done plenty of shorter trips in our beloved van!

What’s next in 2012?

Well, I’ll be releasing 2 new ranges of Epheriell jewellery – in Autumn and Spring – and I’ll still be blogging daily at I’ve got a few other projects in the works, but whether I can carve out the time to make them reality remains to be seen!


Thank you so much Jess! Can’t wait to see your Autumn collection for Epheriell! Check out more from Jess on Epheriell Designs – keep up to date with Jess’s about page too!

Image of Jess from Epheriell Designs (thanks!)

Petition to Apple

Posted by Penny on February 23, 2012
Uncategorized / No Comments

Social sustainability and workers rights are important to me. I knew that workers were being injured, badly overworked, and committing suicide whilst working for Apple in Chinese factories. But I still bought my iPhone because it’s a great piece of technology, but I do feel guilt!

I’m so glad Sum of Us have started this petition to Apple, and it’s getting great media attention ahead of Apple’s shareholder meeting today. Go sign the petition, and hopefully something will come out of the meeting.


Read more: Wikipedia, Washington Post and Computerworld.

(Image via Sum of Us.)