Something a Little Different from Us

November 24, 2019

snowy owl framed print

We're expanding our product range while reducing our carbon footprint. I know, sounds like an oxymoron, right? More products, less carbon. Yeah, sure! But we’ve been working on this for a while now, and, actually, we are sure.

To understand the logistics, consider our current products. Each one is made of cotton from non-gm cottonseeds grown on organic farms using sustainable methods. Thanks to careful monitoring by the GOTS organization, the cotton stays in this organic state through farming, manufacturing, and shipping all the way to us.

There’s only one problem: shipping generates a helluva lot of carbon emissions.

When we say all the way to us, we’re talking about a monumentally long way. Halfway around the world to be exact. From India and Pakistan to North America. That’s a lot of mileage. That’s a lot of carbon wending its way into the atmosphere.

In fact, international shipping is one of the major contributors to GHG emissions and climate change: 3% of global emissions and 10% of transport emissionsInternational shipping emits 940 million tons of CO2 annually, and that figure is expected to grow in coming years. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), these emissions will increase by between 50% to 250% by 2050 if nothing changes.

dera design shipping

Something had to change

Some days, we’re afraid to think too hard about the future; on other days, we’re not. On one such day we knew change was needed. To substantially reduce our carbon footprint, at least some of our products, if not most, had to be made locally.

So instead of expanding our line with the sorts of products we know and love—who doesn’t love organic cotton products crafted with care in spectacular India?—we’d source and manufacture products right here where we live.

You may be rolling your eyes and thinking, well yeah, obviously. But it wasn’t always obvious to us. India has a venerable cotton industry and is the main base for the GOTS organization. How could we not make products there?

Call us what you will, the idea that we could make products locally was still a revelation. And, as it turned out, a fortuitous one.

Dera Design St-Armand Montreal hand made paper

Once we looked at what was available, we found some pretty amazing local stuff. Stuff like paper handmade from cotton T-shirts. Wonderful thick cottony paper that wouldn’t add to anyone’s GHG load. We were all in. We didn’t have to look far for artists and printing methods that would do justice to such fine materials, either.

Kickstarting Imaginations

However, designing new products can’t just be about convenience and reducing carbon footprints. Our products had to have some pretty awesome features, too. They had to make a room more welcoming, spark a child’s imagination, and bring quality that stands the test of time.

dera design creative process

Brainstorming was the next stage. We dug deep into our own childhoods and came up with a ton of design ideas. Some of us loved simple designs as children, largely because they allowed the imagination plenty of room to roam. Others preferred complex designs that had the power to draw the mind into another world.

All of this diversity was good, though. Childhoods are enriched by imagining worlds beyond the ordinary, beyond the possible. Feeding the imagination with a diverse diet of eclectic images made sense. And no, that’s not a highfalutin way of saying we couldn’t decide on a single style. We think eclectic is an awesome style and a great decision.

So, with that wrangling behind us, we’re all set to roll out our designs in the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned for our eclectic mix of beautiful wall art printed on all kinds of cottony paper—we’re excited to show you.

 Dera Design Fantasy Flight, Girl

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