THE CAUSE // BE ORIGINAL AMERICAS
Post Election Day (or post apocalypse, whatever term you choose to go with) we are going to go out on a limb and guess that you, like us, have had enough political jockeying and spray tanned blowholes to last a lifetime. Personally, we still consider ourselves socially minded, but need a small break from hammering at the myriad deep-seeded issues unearthed over the last twelve months.
So, for the time being, we are turning our focus to causes and people that align with our own values ... causes that we believe do universal good and are hard to argue against (no. more. arguing.). One such cause is Be Original Americas, a crackerjack organization on a mission to stop the counterfeiting and reproduction of original designs. BOA is fighting against the infringement of other people's ideas, as well as for the education of consumers based on the hypothesis that most customers would not choose to purchase knock-off items if they knew the story, creative process and hard work that went into producing the original design.
Hard to argue with that, right?
Kartell's oft-replicated Master's chair, originally designed by Philippe Starck
BOA's mission statement reads "The value of authenticity cannot be underestimated or taken for granted in the marketplace. Through an extensive program of lectures, workshops and roundtables, the campaign goal is to establish a set of industry standards that encourages consumers, the architecture/design community, producers, dealers and media partners to fully support creativity and authenticity in order to invest in the future of design, incentivize innovation and give back to the industry and the people it serves."
Herman Miller's iconic Eames side chair, another knock-off target.
The cause counts big brands like Alessi, Kartel, Cassina, and Herman Miller among its charter members, but it also represents dozens of smaller furniture and goods makers that have built companies around their original works, which collectively employ thousands of people in the U.S. and beyond. BOA also cites a scary statistic from the International Chamber of Commerce that estimates more than 2.5 million jobs have actually been lost to counterfeit goods.
Ligne Roset's Togo sofa, originally designed by Michel Ducaroy in the 1970s.
There are lots of ways to support BOA, the easiest being a commitment to purchasing only original pieces -- there are plenty to choose from in all price ranges. Or, take it one step further by joining BOA, either as a member, a supporter, or a follower, and make a donation that will go toward the organization's educational and outreach efforts.
Now that that is done, go grab a glass of wine and fire up your Netflix account. Your brain deserves a nice, long break.
*All product images courtesy of respective design houses.