Posts Tagged ‘condron’

Between 22 and 25 October the art world turned out in force to celebrate the 36th FIAC in Paris. 210 galleries exhibited the work of 4,200 artists, with works prominently housed at the magnificent space within the ‘Grand Palais’ and at the ‘Cour Carrée du Louvre’ – the world famous museum known by all and visited by many.

I can assure you that seeing a series of paintings by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon in real life is pretty impressive, especially considering the way our AQUAPAX cartons seemed to blend so perfectly into their incredible surroundings, but my personal favourite was a piece of art created by Kader Attia. I saw this on my walk between the Grand Palais and the Louvre, where the outdoor projects in the Tuileries gardens were some of the most creative and large scale pieces on show.

Cymbales, tiges de bambous

The artist in question had created a work consisting of cymbals, installed slightly above water level in a large octagonal basin. The cymbals were all displayed in different angles, so each produced its own resonance, when affected by rain, wind, or indeed the sound of coins being thrown by enthusiastic visitors. The weather in Paris was spectacular for my visit, so I didn’t get to see how the rain impacted the piece, but I certainly ‘got it’ and to directly quote the artist ”Nature always transcends culture” – at least for me it does! leaf me alone i'm reflecting

The core sponsors for the FIAC event (for the past 4 years) have been the Galeries Lafayette, which has a common ambition as the FIAC, to promote creative energy and to see the whole city come to life for art. AQUAPAX at Galeries Lafayette1
AQUAPAX has recently partnered with Galeries Lafayette, which is why AQUAPAX was the water sponsor for all of the exhibitors during this magnificent art festival. Roll on 2010, especially if the weather is as wonderful as 2009. AQUAPAX at Galeries Lafayette2


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There’s a degree of hypocrisy among many well meaning folk with fundamentally good intentions but closed minds. They hear or read a little about something and become disciples of the cause, without really understanding anything about the process or ‘thing’ they’re advocating.

Everything is fundamentally recyclable or capable of re-use for some purpose other than which it was originally created, and at the risk of being called a heretic, being recyclable is not ‘the holy grail’ when making a product choice. The order for thinking people who really want to minimise their planetary impact should be (a.) do I need to consume this? (b.) is this the most sustainable option? (c.) am I compromising my personal tastes or quality standards? (d.) do I have the means to afford my choice?

Embracing product sustainability as opposed to base level recyclability is the next step we need to teach the masses, which is quite a technically challenging communication to execute.

Most folk don’t want detail; they’re happy to know a little about something and to close their minds to any ignorance. That is human nature, so we shouldn’t knock it, but I do so appreciate consumers who take the time to ask why, and who more importantly, open their minds to listen to the answer.

To bring today’s piece around to bottled water (as you’re expecting me to); portable packaged water is a unique product within a media driven customer psyche. The ‘moral’ decision for ‘planet conscious’ consumers is whether to ever buy into this product category at all. Bear witness the small Australian town of Bundanoon’s recent headline grabbing bottled water ban, which I’ve previously blogged on.

Considering the alternatives are either fattening, contain sugars, additives or alcohol, most thinking people will accept the necessary evil of a pure beverage as a distress solution when there is no tap accessible. That doesn’t oblige consumption; it simply allows choice for when one doesn’t choose to hydrate with any of the aforementioned alternatives.

As customer focussed businesses, retailers and caterers are obliged to service customer needs, so they cannot be criticised too severely for stocking this product category, however, their commitment to CSR should be challenged…

A well thought out CSR policy must drive a sustainable procurement approach – one where satisfying customer needs in an ecologically sensitive way, without compromising product quality, is appropriately weighted on the ‘decision scorecard’ being used.

A parochial approach to bottled water so often leads to customer choice being restricted to whichever bottled water is packaged closest to where it’s being consumed, irrespective of its quality or true ecological impact. This geographic weighting ignores the genuine attributes of products which often come from further away, yet are proven to ‘cost less’ on any correctly weighted ecologically motivated score card.

Think inside the box – we’re only custodians of this maginificent planet, and it really does make sense! 🙂

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It was world environment day on Friday and this coincided with the Burgess Hill eco-fair at St. John’s park today. I know the 2 are hardly in the same league, but the sentiment is certainly in the same arena.

This was the second eco-fair in St. John’s park, with the first being 2 years ago when the heavens opened and everyone got thoroughly soaked. Last year it moved over to Horsham, which was a pretty good success (ignoring the big beer tent selling equally big beer brands and traditional plastic bottled water) and today was an equal success as the weather defied the forecasters to remain wonderfully bright all day.

Lot’s of seemingly genuine ecologically sensitive/sensible people in attendance and who knows what the longer term outcome is in terms of their engagement with their traditional retailers? We shared a stand with the Transition Towns Team for Haywards Heath and despite a few issues with their tent instructions, I had a pretty good time all things considered.

Big week ahead, so not much time expected in the office – doesn’t time go quickly when you keep a full diary – I should be getting used to it by now, but it still seems almost surreal… A bit like blogs and twitters really (see my tweets on the right) but I try not to dwell too deeply on that or I might go down a strange road trying to figure out the condron business model… Too many years in corporate life you see 🙂

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OK, hardly a press announcement, but it is ‘earth day’ after all and this is our contribution…  Can only hope the site condron picks up on it and we get some ratings for our efforts.


stay happy – it is a beautiful earth after all and it’s down to you (and me) to keep it this way… 🙂

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Not quite sure what’s going on when a relatively small business like ours attracts a call from a VAT inspector but that’s exactly what we’ve got booked in for 2pm tomorrow. I guess it’s because we asked for some money back last quarter (legitimately) but there’s still an anxious feeling about having to go through as much as someone  might care to see in order to satisfy them we’re legit. The worst fear is how long I might have to spend on the subject and what if they don’t have any sense of humour? I’m not sure I know how to be serious for much longer than 2 hours…

On the video front, my pal Al recommended a fantastically talented individual called Maximilian Mortimer to shoot the Aquapax video showreel for the imminent IOD Annual Convention at the Royal Albert Hall. The Institute of Directors conferences are always pretty excellent events and I do hope a certain ‘Sir Stuart’ in the audience ‘gets it’ this year, considering our response from last year’s sponsorship when ‘Sir Bob’ was there, was pretty uneventful.

It’s not so much that people don’t get it, it’s that they consciously choose to trade down to the lower cost plastic option which really gets me. I know it’s laboring the point a little, but it’s the same mentality that keeps sweat shops in business around the world; businesses who don’t care enough to read beyond their own immediate bottom line.

Back to Max, he’s been a pleasure to work with and I’m chuffed with his production which I hope you can link to from here soon. I’ll also pop a link across on the ‘blog-roll’ on the right, in case you might care to help share the video around society. Considering a lady from the valleys has had a hundred million hits with her apparently excellent singing voice, It’s going to be hard to impress anyone unless Aquapax can get a video viewing hit rate at least above a thousand – not counting the 2,000 who will see it at the Albert Hall…

Keep smiling – Friday’s just around the corner… 🙂

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