“One of man’s greatest inventions is bottled water,” said Virgil Abloh, creative advisor in sustainable innovation design for Evian since 2018, during a conference call. “It’s an ultra deep concept. You can unravel a simple object and tell the story of mankind. Humanity is the essence of the collaboration with Evian and the design aesthetic of Abloh. Abloh insists on designing with a keen eye for detail while provoking reflections around humanity that are both practical and figurative.
Evian is on another round of ethical designs for water bottles, launching the very first unlabeled bottle in France in early 2020, and before making a glass bottle design by Abloh which was launched alongside the Activate Movement initiative. Virgil and Evian offered a grant of 50,000 euros for design innovation projects oriented towards sustainable development for participants aged 18 to 35.
Now a new 100% recycled plastic bottle will be launched in America. Abloh says, “I look at him like a sculpture. A 2.0 intervention on an already convincing object with a convincing context – bottled water.
Water has come a long way, from scraping rivers with tin cups to bottling water for transport. Evian and Abloh’s idea of reworking the consumable water bottle, in this case, is also a necessity.
Modernity is in Abloh’s DNA, seeking to provoke thought that leads to circularity and reinvention. Like his idol Marcel Duchamp, famous for making art from existing objects, Abloh creates in the vein of evoking the same puzzles. If it exists, it must be used. Whether it’s a thought-provoking work of art, or a practical object, like a water bottle, it can be made, remade, and exists like new.
Evian and Abloh have created a 100% recycled plastic water bottle [from rPET]. Archived bottles are methodically designed and recreated from recyclable polyethylene terephthalate. The hammered effect on the bottle signals a previous life of the container. The Imprints are a reissue of the original Evian bottle.
The collaboration was developed over a rigorous period – approximately 2 to 3 years of conceptualizing with Evian – within the black-led design company of Abloh, Alaska Alaska, based in London. Abloh viewed his agency as one that “gives creativity to all kingdoms. He continues, “A lot of what you see goes from hand casting to conceptualizing, rendering, prototype, until you see it as the end product. ”
Beyond art, fashion, beauty and music, for Abloh, Evian’s collaboration is purely industrial. The architecture graduate defines it as a “sensibility of modern design that can be applied to anything”. Abloh says that “we have enough information to understand how we humans affect our land.” Design is “to be responsible only if we take new information into account”, he says.
The first of its kind, and it has changed over time, evident in the European release. “We originally released a glass bottle – this is the first bottle design from scratch, and [it] also initiates this movement towards a circular approach – a bottle made from a bottle. We can see how modern design can account for its impact on global sustainability.
Modernity and humanity perpetuate the concept of the Evian bottle. Abloh states that “sustainability is the way humans relate to each other. Modernity in [my] studio opens the door to thinking about sustainability. It is in his efforts to create room for conscious design, making something new from existing materials, and for “more black designers, artists, in the creative world”.
Logic and logic drive the design process for Abloh. “You can imagine the rigor with which I have to think of a complete 2D and 3D model,” he describes. “I do my collections in the same way. My Louis Vuitton and Off White have a sustainability and inclusive component – a diversity-inclusion component – integrated into [my] practice.”
Much of what turns Abloh on is the stoicism in his approach to design. “A conversation with myself, a reluctance to join a consensus or an understanding of what to do,” he says. Abloh doesn’t just ignore standards, he takes a look at every step of creating an existing object.
“I can tell you that 99% of my career, most people didn’t care what I was doing or where I was – when you come from a background that doesn’t guarantee you will participate. ” Abloh’s reflection on her journey explains why her inclusion awareness is important.
“People read my diary. [On] each page is an output. It puts a notion in the world to make it a better and more inclusive place. It was my intention since I was no one, ”Abloh says.
He has already started the Post Modern Scholarship Fund. Raised $ 1 million, with help from Evian and other partners, Abloh funds scholarships for students of black, African American or African descent. Evian and Virgil Abloh will work for a circular future for young designers and artists as well as for the consumable plastics industry.
Abloh shared his sentiment with the next generation saying, “I want them to see it so they know they can do it too. This is my primary objective. When I was younger I only had Michael Jordan or a skater like Stevie Williams that I admired because I can see it printed in a magazine. I have not seen architects, artists, designers, who breathed the same air as me, who let me know that I can also occupy these spaces.
In a covert operation, Abloh leads by example with the Evian Bottle Project. Giving way for future generations is the essence and main goal of Abloh. He goes on to say, “People can get bogged down in the finer details of the release. Realize – the bigger picture is what [I’m] do it for. ”
Abloh continues, “Once we open up avenues of design and art, these spaces, when they are more diverse, are better overall. I use my career as an opportunity to open and keep the doors open. This is the main function of Post Modern. Stock Exchange.”
The collaboration with the Evian bottle reinforces Abloh’s modern design aesthetic, “practical and figurative” as he describes it. He further explains his point: “In today’s fashion, the use of materials and the production of clothing is the main factor. We reuse dead stocks and post-consumer goods. We also use old stock that has never been used before.
As fashion can be more sustainable in many ways, Abloh approaches the concept of sustainability with its fashion collections. “In a figurative sense, this year I launched this concept in my collection – not doing [items] less valuable because they are older. My work at Louis Vuitton, for example, is a collection. Most recent [items] are not necessarily [more] precious than those that came before it.
The concept of sustainability has expanded beyond “recycle, reduce, reuse” into a realm of practical solutions for humanity. The 100% recycled plastic bottle [from rPET] is the second cycle of innovation and creativity for this project. Evian and Abloh work for zero plastic waste and a generational education that is inclusive and looks at the world with an ethical eye. Whether in fashion design, industrial design and beyond.