ORBIT Creator Editions: Zed and Chris of Tropical Futures Institute

In this edition of ORBIT: Creator Editions we had the pleasure of interviewing Zed and Chris from Tropical Futures Institute.

Zed is an anon designer and patternmaker who breathed life into the 0xTote. Endearingly named the “can-do” bag, it was created with the attitude of “whatever comes your way, you do your best to do it.”

The 0xTote is a tailor made drop for the FWB community, a product of co-creation between Zed, Tropical Futures Institute, dsptch and FWB. Join us on this interview as we delve into the story behind it.

In this interview…

🟥 The origins of Tropical Futures Institute and Chris’ early inspiration for design coming from his mother being a jewelry designer
🟥 Zed’s inspiration for the 0xTote coming from her morning commute and the freedom of being able to design something personal and having it prototyped as intended
🟥 How pre-ordering a digital object before manufacturing the physical item it is connected to can open up new possibilities
🟥 The issue with fair distribution of profits in the design industry and how Crowdmuse is solving that
🟥 The unassuming yet deep “can-do” attitude of the 0xTote
🟥 Fashion evolving into a more conscious and localized experience where consumers are empowered to collect items that they resonate with

Some highlights from the interview include Zed describing what the bag means to her…

*“I can think of a Chinese phrase. I'm originally from China. It's called “néng gàn”, which literally translates into can do… I guess it takes on the meaning of an attitude where whatever comes your way, you do your best to do it. I was rereading the Joy Luck Club this summer. There's an immigrant family in there who are described as “néng gàn” where whatever comes their way, they make the best of it. *

Obviously, this was something I designed reflecting on my morning commute where I'm just trying to get from point A to point B without any obstacles and without having to waste time. Everything about this tote is designed for convenience and to help during this commute to carry all of the things and to make things easier. Also, the material is designed to be long lasting.”

"Whatever comes your way, you do your best to do it"
"Whatever comes your way, you do your best to do it"

Chris shares his vision for the future of fashion…

“I hope there's more discovery of independent designers, creators, artists. If you're in the middle, it's extremely hard. It's either like you're super mass or ultra luxury, or you're micro niche, and you have your own narrative within your own community. And I just hope that the scales tip towards people.

Sure, you'll buy or whatever your Uniqlo base, but then you're going to also buy something from a designer that you actually know or is a friend of a friend, or it's an artisan that's made something locally. I think that's sort of the hope, where it's sort of like a reverse globalization in the sense that the supply chain is either conscious or it's localized or it's just more considered, where it's not some global system that stands.

Although obviously making this bag, we still deploy certain systems, but it's not like tapping into the system of design that produces something for a big brand store. There's much more, I think, local forces, for example, the bag is sewn in LA, it was released at FWBfest. So yeah, if there's anything I would like to say, it's probably just, like, hoping that more people tilt towards supporting what's in your first or second degree for independent creators.”

The 0xTote, a "can-do" bag that solves all your daily problems.
The 0xTote, a "can-do" bag that solves all your daily problems.

and Zed illuminates how refreshing this approach to co-creation was compared to working in a traditional company.

“For me, I've always worked as a part of a company, designing for a company to have something, a design that's so personal and so created by me. Because when I'm working as a part of a company, there are a lot of voices that go into a design. The creative directors, the merchandisers, the people who are in charge of commercial product, it always has to hit a certain price.

And then for this tote bag, the original design that I had come up with is pretty much the one that we ended up prototyping and offering. So that part where something I prototyped basically made it to market almost as is. And also the support from Crowdmuse, also from dsptch, to actually realize it was very exciting.”

Join us on our journey as we unlock more insights from creators.

The 0xTote is available to collect exclusively on Crowdmuse.

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