The bracelets are made from bright yellow beads and are elegantly simple. The inspiration behind their bright, one colour design is the notion that small, simple things actually do have the power to change the world if enough people believe in them and want to change society for the better. The proceeds of the Live Design Transform Life bracelets will go to the World Design Capital Fund, which supports over 460 transformative local design projects and develops local industry.
Social aspects of design
Over the past few years, the trend-setting Design Indaba has focused increasingly on the social aspects of design, emphasising environmental sustainability, social equality, development of local industries and other contemporary issues of concern.
Relate Bracelets, a non-profit organisation, has been a frontrunner in this arena. With its array of bracelet designs that support 52 causes, Relate introduced its innovative approach to effecting positive change - wearers support causes they care about, while spreading awareness of these causes to the people around them. One third of the money is also spent on earnings for unemployed youth and pensioners who make the bracelets, and various social enterprise and upskilling projects.
The decision to exhibit at the Design Indaba is part of Relate Bracelets' desire to engender a forward-thinking attitudinal shift within the world of design, and society at large. It quite literally wants people to wear the change they want to see.
"This is Relate's way of spreading the idea that you can be both chic and humanitarian at the same time," says co-founder Lauren Gillis. "The two are not mutually exclusive. Being stylish should go hand in hand with supporting worthy causes and uplifting communities. We want more people to start realising that caring about the world around you is a fashion statement worth making. We hope that, through our work, more people will be inspired to become modern change-makers."
Each Relate bracelet carries the signature 'R' bead, a way of saying that Relate is absolutely committed to accountability and transparency. Bracelets will be available at the Relate Bracelets exhibition stand and also at the online store, www.shop.relate.org.za.
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