It was the longest-awaited, the earliest and the coldest morning in my life for an interview. The combination of 9:00 a.m. and -22 C⁰ was nothing but a sign for a winter hibernation. Well, I am not a Grizzly bear, though.
After moving up the meeting day at least for a dozen times, me and Lithuanian designer Ignas Survila, finally agreed for a morning coffee.
“Hey, let me pay,” I said in the line, “I‘m stealing your time.”
“No, we are both stealing each other‘s time.”
I wasn‘t sure what he had in mind, thus I passed.
Ignas is a founder and CEO of a brand new business City Birds, which designs, develops and sells kick-scooters for a colourful city commuters – city birds.
City birds are city folk that love to rush. Do they rush sustainably?
To move through the spacetime we need some power. As a real city bird, the best way to skip busy traffic is to use muscle power and fly around the streets. However, despite the fact that investment in kick-scooters means investing in greener future transport, it could lack forethought for cradle to cradle design logic. “City folk using kick-scooter feels contributing to eco-movement,” says Ingas, “but the whole production of kick-scooters is completely unsustainable in terms of materials used, logistic management and products‘ disposal.“
Here hides the secret of sustainable rush – the core of sustainable business is its product. In this case, the sustainability of a kick-scooter Pigeon shows off is being as minimalistic as possible without any unnecessary additives, which also makes it super light – only 3,3 kg.
“Resources are depleting, thus the whole world is getting minimal, including people‘s wants. It shows us that we must feel interested in creating minimal design, which would concentrate on what‘s necessary,” Ignas comments.
As soon as there is no clear definition of what sustainability is for everyone, because it‘s constantly changing depending on understanding of the level of the crisis, as well as who, when and where you are in your community, region or country, or anywhere in the world, thus after this conversation, definition of sustainability has acquired a new meaning. At least for me.
I understood that sustainability can reflect as a respect and a responsibility to a home country in terms of advancing country‘s design identity.
From the whole business development, brand image and communication perspective, it was a way easier to grow the company in Switzerland, where he found his investors. But one of the main condition of developing business together was the ambition to open the main office in his home country Vilnius, Lithuania.
“The main purpose of this decision is to contribute to Lithuanian design identity, because it‘s still uncertain,” – he said, “I want to show the value design can give for the business, communication and people which are stuck in daily routines. We need something more to represent our identity, not just by Lithuanian basketball.“
After short-term studies in Lapland, he noticed that the main Lithuanian design dilemma is about lacking well-known Lithuanian designers and their products. Meanwhile, Finland has plenty of them, and which are basically the authors of Finnish design identity creation. In respect to this, almost every Finn decorate their home with Marimekko curtains, iittala vase, etc.
Seems he took it as a challenge.
His team is already thinking how to add the value and foster competitiveness in making long-term strategy to invest in a more sustainable production and shipping management – to produce not only in China, but in Europe in order to reduce product‘s carbon footprint.
Furthermore, soon the office from Geneva will move to Vilnius as planned from the beginning.
But most importantly, after a year and a half of hard working they finally received a safety confirmation, which means that the bulk trade of Pigeons is about to start this month and, naturally, they soon appear on the pavements.
Rawk the world, Ignas!
Image courtesy of P I G E O N