MiÅn — '06 Ecodesign Award Winning Footwear
MiÅn is a relatively new company. A subsidiary of Timberland. It's chief designer is Martin Keen, who lent his name to another footwear company of the same name. Anyhow, MiÅn is a very Twenty First Century looking sandal. What you might expect the Jetsons to wear on the weekends. Or some might see it as a high performance pair of Crocs. But the Industrial Designers Society of America (ISDA) saw it as a leading light in EcoDesign. Awarding it a Bronze Award in their '06 Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). Though, strangely, the awards site is shy on details about how they came to this conclusion. They talk vaguely about "radical reductions in energy use and waste generation." And mention a "repertoire of ecologically sensitive materials", but only note one: a corn-based film. Plus they cite a "first ever" Eco Metrics label modelled on the FDA nutrition label. (Great idea, but think others, like Worn Again, have been doing this before.) Don't get me wrong, ........ I think the MiÅn is an innovative, cool looking shoe, I just wish its eco side was more obviously explained. For example, the environment page on the MiÅn site says "Unfortunately, footwear manufacturing is not yet a "green" process, but we're looking for ways to make it better, wherever we can." Yet goes on to talk more about their renewable energy credits that offset CO2 used in production, and the warehouse that gets 60% of its power from its own solar panels. Dig around elsewhere, you have dig, and you'll learn that MiÅn Solutions is an upcoming festival that "will recognize films that inspire environmental activism and stewardship at a local or regional level." So while there seems to be much that is worthy in both intent, and in action, there appears, at least to this observer, to be a shortcoming in communicating all this.
With ecodesign, the message is, in most cases, as important as the product and the processes. It helps make informed purchases, and aware customers.