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Towels for Sustainability

News: Oct 15, 2019

Sustainability is a concept that is well established and widespread in Sweden, but that is not necessarily the case everywhere else in the world. With the hope of spreading some of the Swedish environmental awareness to the university’s international guests, Welcome Services decided to create a kitchen towel with a message giving tips on how to find a more sustainable lifestyle.

Welcome Services usually gives international guests who have arranged accommodation via the university’s guest housing service a welcome gift. It is typically promotional merchandise, like a reflective wristband or a tote bag.
“We always aim to give away something practical that is useful to the guest,” says Julia Godborg, administrator at Welcome Services.

“We wanted to make use of the competence that is available within the university”A kitchen towel is absolutely useful to guests who will be staying in the university’s guest accommodations, but they can also be used to spread information and to inspire. To find a suitable and inspiring design a competition was launched among the students at the Academy of Design and Crafts (HDK).
“We wanted to make use of the competence that is available within the university.”

The contestants were given free reins as long as they stuck to the theme, which was a sustainable society. The creator behind the winning entry would be paid and get his or her name on the towel. Nils Nävert, who is an administrative officer at Welcome Services, says that the students, which they spoke to at HDK, were happy to be involved.
“And they were happy about the theme.”

Among all the competition entries, two finalists were selected. However, deciding between them proved quite a challenge and at Welcome Services, it was instead decided that one of the final motifs would be used, as planned, on a kitchen towel for those staying in the university guest housings while the other one would be used on a towel for international students.
“The competition entries we got differed a lot from one another. One of the final entries had a kitchen motif which we thought would be perfect in our guest housings and the other one had a Gothenburg motif which we thought would be suitable for the students,” explains Julia Godborg.

Lisa Nordgren, whose towel is given to those who will be staying in a guest accommodation, created her motif during her last term studying at HDK. There she attained a master’s degree in design, focusing on product design.
“I like drawing and illustrating as well but it’s more of a hobby.”

On the towel, a cartoon character is standing by the stove, surrounded by kitchen utensils and tips on how to be more sustainable in the kitchen. Among other things, Lisa Nordgren tips about sorting and recycling garbage, always using a sink plug to save water when doing the dishes and that the Swedish dish pyttipanna is great way to make use of leftovers.
“Seeing as the competition revolved around a kitchen towel, I though a kitchen motif would be appropriate. The advice I give has to do with cooking and recycling.”

"It feels good to be able to spread some environmental awareness"

The motif for the towel that is included in the international students welcome packs was created by Amanda Larsson. Earlier, she has studied the design program at HDK and created her competition entry while taking a standalone course after graduating. Her motif depicts Göta Älv and the Gothenburg harbour entrance with the Arendal shipyard in the background.
“Gothenburg to me is the river and the silhouette of the cranes. The towel works as a Gothenburg souvenir for students, and does not only give tips about sustainability.”

Amanda Larsson describes her graphic style as colourful and playful, and she likes mixing it with messages that are more serious. On the picture, you can see a fish, a seal and a seagull in Göta Älv but also a plastic bag and other products that do not belong in the water. These are mixed with tips on how to be kinder to nature.
“The issue is important to me and it feels good to be able to spread some environmental awareness in a positive way. I tried to shape the messages on the towel so they would come off as friendly encouragements and not as rules to be enforced.

The towels are manufactured in Sweden and made from eco-labelled and sustainable textile.

Visit Lisa Nordgren's personal website.

Visit Amanda Larsson's personal website.


Originally published on: medarbetarportalen.gu.se

Page Manager: Carina Krantz|Last update: 11/22/2017

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