Set across three days, 22-24 May 2018, Clerkenwell Design Week returns for its ninth edition, hosting the best in design from the UK and beyond, and featuring a wide range of talent from the area from young entrepreneurial start-ups to well established design practices. Each year, Clerkenwell Design Week displays new projects and commissioned installations located within high profile spaces across Clerkenwell.


This year, sustainability is a key theme with a major project being Your Tote Counts.  Chelsea College of Art, in partnership with CDW, is addressing the issue of a surplus of cotton tote bags replacing plastic bags. The design students at Chelsea College of Art came up with tote designs, which were then sent to judging, with a panel including: Max Fraser – CDW content editor, James McLachlam – Editor of Icon magazine, Danielle Pender- Editor of Riposte magazine, Joe Joiner- Creative Director & Designer and David Barnett- Chelsea Collage of Art Course Leader, BA Graphic Design Communication. They picked 4 winners and 5 shortlisted designs to go to public vote on @Clerkenwelldesignweek.

In 2008 the UK Environment Agency (UKEA) published a study of resource expenditures for various bags: paper, plastic, canvas, and recycled-polypropylene tote bags, and found that cotton tote bags exhibited the highest and most severe global-warming potential by far, since they require more resources to produce and distribute. The UKEA study calculated an expenditure of a little less than two kilograms of carbon per HDPE bag. For paper bags, seven uses would be needed to achieve the same per-use ratio. Tote bags made from recycled polypropylene plastic require 26, and cotton tote bags require 327 uses. – Yikes!

A Screen Press installation will be situated outside Farringdon Station, where visitors can bring unwanted totes to be customised with designs created by Chelsea College of Art students giving them new a new lease of life. Visitors here can donate to this year’s Charity Partner, Maggie’s, which opened at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in 2017 with other donation points located throughout the CDW route.

In addition, an exhibition at Design Fields will display a collection of favourite tote bags, chosen by a selection of designers and design writers.

Register here for the show and remember to bring your evergrowing collection of tote bags along… Yes, all of them!

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