The city of Leuven has announced that it chose three products made by local creative entrepreneurs as their promotional gifts. Three sustainable and innovative projects were chosen to represent the city in a gadget. Expect Leuven-branded sustainable handkerchiefs, climate neutral bicycle bags and unique silver pins to pop up real soon.
No major contract for big international merchandisers in Leuven. The city gives young and creative organisations who link innovation and sustainability in everything they do all the love they need. "We want to show this with several initiatives taken bij the city", council member Vansina mentions. "That's why we chose to work with local organisations who have fresh ideas when it comes to promotional gifts."
One of these gifts are Huff&Puff's customised handkerchiefs. Their mission is simple: make the world's most beautiful hankie. After suffering a collective cold on a skiing holiday, five childhood friends decided they were sick of the same old handkerchief designs and blasted it into the 21st century. After a - more than successful - crowdfunding campaign as well as attending fairs, textile printing and sewing workshops, they introduced their own, contemporary collection.
The handkerchiefs don't just look the part, they're also eco-friendly and made from lyocell, a highly absorbent fiber originating from the eucalyptus tree which requires twenty times less water for production and the chemicals used are 99% recyclable.
Leuven-based collective Nèh aims to unite a unique group of creative Leuvenites to 'do what we love together'. One of these things appears to be the creation of bicycle bags and backpacks. The fabric used for these bags actually consists of old banners used by the city of Leuven for several events they hosted in the past. Every bag is a unique hand- and Leuven-made example of how a used object can be recycled.
Nèh also designs and produces tote bags; cotton fabric bags with a design which refers to a famous sight from Leuven. The tote bags are fully sustainable as well.
And then there is LINK, a piece of art conceived by Leuven-based designer Bram Kerkhofs. Bram is a member of BatimentA, lecturer and researcher at Luca School of Arts and prize winner in RTBF's 'C'est du Belge'.
LINK is a collection of 50 silver miniature figurines of Desiderus Erasmus that can be used as a pin or a brooch on a piece of clothing. Every figurine is a piece of jewelry that can be wore by both men and women. On the other hand, it is an artefact that can serve as an artistic piece or a work of art belonging to a larger entity. This piece will then be a projection of a network of individuals connected through the possession of every figurine.
Next to that, LINK represents a world on micro and macro levels; a subtle wink to Leuven's groundbreaking past, present and future in nanotechnology thanks to organisations like imec.