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Mario Carlos
Barista at Menotti's & Fashion Industry Creative — Venice, CA

Instead of just grabbing a coffee to go, it’s better for me to go into the coffee shop, spend 10-20 minutes of my time, sitting down, having a coffee there, seeing who makes it, having a small interaction. It’s not just the idea of getting something, it’s the idea of the process it went through and how it got to be made and whose hands it touched. I think that adds value to it. I mean, I’m getting older and I’m trying to find ways to keep adding value to what I do in life in general.

We have so much power in purchase as people. As consumers we can purchase whatever we like with the money that we make and instead of making quick, instant-gratification choices, we should actually start looking into what we purchase. And you know, actually purchase things that are going to be of value to us and are going to be carried along with us from generation to generation.

We have so much power in purchase as people… we should actually start looking into what we purchase.

I’d like to flip the world on its head when it comes to design and make something that’s counter towhat’s going on. Just something that’s different than the throw-away culture. Something that’s going to be more sustainable, more long-term. And that goes across all areas of design. Whether it’s fashion, whether it’s furniture, whether it’s doing small architecture projects or branding projects.

Frank Gehry, the guy who designed the Walt Disney Concert Hall, purchased a house in Santa Monica and instead of demolishing the house and redoing it in his style, because he actually liked it, he ended up adding to it. He just added these sections of like corrugated metals and stuff that kinda gave it a different look and made it his. And I think that for me that is very important. Like, taking something that you walk into a thrift store and find that’s from the 70s and maybe it doesn’t look so crazy cool or anything like that, but the fabric is nice and it’s still intact. You know, it looks like it still has 10-20 more years of life in it. Why not just take it, redo something with it and put it back into the world? Hopefully somebody will like it enough to pick it up, instead of producing more and processing more.

 

It’s better when you can take something that’s already out there and just like re-vamp it and make it new.

Like cotton…it’s becoming a lot more hurtful to the environment to keep planting more cotton, to keep taking more leather from live animals. It’s better when you can take something that’s already out there and just like re-vamp it and make it new. Paint over it, take it apart and put it back together. Which is how I learned how to make clothes. I took everything apart that I used to own and I’d put it back together—just to see how it worked. Yeah, seam rippers were big for me. Scissors—all that stuff.