What does Design mean to you – a frou frou consideration or an antidote to a problem?

Minna Impio & Mari Martikainen of Mifuko

Minna Impio & Mari Martikainen of Mifuko

Mifuku Colored Necklace

Mifuku Colored Necklace -$40. Made from recycled magazines & newspapers & varnished to a high shine.

Sorry for the long silence, but we were so busy with the launch of FUTURE NOTION that we simply didn’t have the time to post. Do check it out, mak a coupla comments on your favorite items and do share , tweet & tumble.

However, we have so much to share it will take several posts to spill everything..so, in typical all over the place fashion, we’d like to start with something dear to our hearts – how design can solve a problem, add value and enrich.

One of the designers that FUTURE NOTION is showcasing is Mifuko. Meaning “pocket” in Swahili, they have a really special story and are a shining beacon of the good Design can accomplish.

Based in Finland, the brand is helmed by Creative Directors and Co-founders Minna Impio & Mari Martikainen,  working on a Helsinki / Kenya axis. -To put it simply, accessories & lifestyle product is conceptualized and designed in Finland and manufactured under Fair Trade terms in Kenya.

The brand’s main aim is to preserve traditional Kenyan artisanal techniques & handicraft while injecting a Scandinavian sensibility into product design. Oftentimes, the artisans might be skilled, but they lack design sophistication which results in cannibalization of sales between very similar looking products. Thus, Mifuko saw the opportunity to use design as a differentiating (& winning!) factor so that goods produced can stand out from the run-of-the-mill souvenirs.

Check out one of our favorite products, the Mifuku Necklace. Bright & Colorful, it looks like its made of beads or ceramic, when in actual fact, it is crafted from  from recycled magazines and newspaper. The paper beads are rolled from recycled paper and each bead is different and unique & the colours and tones vary according to whichever magazine is used. Once the beads are varnished, they shine beautifully and the small glass pearls between them add extra sparkle.

How awesome is that – upcycling, Scandinavian Design sensibility, enriching lives and sustaining a business. This is what Design is supposed to be about!

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