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Rags to Revenue: Creating New Startups From Textile Waste

Every year, around 13 million tons of clothes, shoes, sheets, and other textiles end up in U.S. landfills. Your old t-shirt isn't just taking up...

Every year, around 13 million tons of clothes, shoes, sheets, and other textiles end up in U.S. landfills. Your old t-shirt isn't just taking up space at the dump, it's also releasing methane—a greenhouse gas 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide. In San Francisco, where the city is on a mission to achieve zero waste by 2020, textile waste is still a problem. But the City of San Francisco hopes that citizens can help solve it—while creating new local jobs at the same time.

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Classic Books with Inspiring Design Messages

Some remarkable reads that will inspire you to see solutions where others only see problems.

Here is a list of some remarkable reads that will inspire you to see solutions where others only see problems.

\nThe Garden of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges

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It seemed like a brilliant idea: when social entrepreneur Simon Berry wanted to figure out how to get medicine to remote parts of Africa, he designed a special package that could fit in the empty spaces between bottles of Coke. Coca-Cola, after all, has built a distribution network that can get almost anywhere. Berry's design, the Kit Yamayo—filled with a treatment for diarrhea that can help save children's lives—won the Design Museum's Product of the Year award earlier this year because of its innovative plan for delivery. But it turned out that piggybacking on Coke's trucks was just the first idea.

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Four Designs for Resilient Neighborhoods After Sandy

After Hurricane Sandy tore through the Rockaways in Queens, New York, nonprofits, developers, and the City of New York joined to launch a...

After Hurricane Sandy tore through the Rockaways in Queens, New York, nonprofits, developers, and the City of New York joined to launch a competition for a designing neighborhoods that can better stand up to rising sea levels and future storms. The FAR ROC competition asked for a new design for a part of Far Rockaway that was slated for development several years ago; the original designs were never built because of the financial crisis, so now there's an opportunity to put together a more resilient choice.

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Humans are responsible for putting out over 33 million tons of carbon dioxide every year, thanks to driving, growing food, making products, and everything else we do. How can we bring that almost incomprehensibly enormous number down to zero?

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For all of the problems our smartphones solve, they come with some serious baggage. Conflict zones like the Democratic Republic of Congo still supply key metals used in manufacturing. Phones are sometimes assembled under unfair labor practices—from child labor to the violence, riots, and suicides that made Foxconn infamous. Phones are usually hard to repair, so if something goes wrong, it's often easiest just to get rid of it and buy a new one (and with new designs out as often as manufacturers can manage, even if there's nothing wrong with your phone, you probably want a new one). Last year, 1.7 billion new phones were sold.

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