Recycling efforts, biodegradable lifestyles, and budding eco-heroes; these terms are now closer than ever before in driving home the dual message of sustainability and responsibility in response to rapid urbanisation.

If you are going to walk the green talk, immerse in a hands-on approach at this year’s MINI EXTRAODDINARY. Returning for their second edition from 22 to 24 November 2019, 10am to 7pm, the exploratory trail will be spotlighting issues on sustainability with 16 different stations in the heart of Chinatown.

MINI EXTRAODDINARY: An Ecocultural Trail

Those who joined their inaugural trail will remember MINI‘s focus on community building through the creative use of space (pop-up bookshop at a fishball noodle eatery, anyone?). Each experiential journey is part of the brand’s initiative to go beyond the automotive, tackling the different aspects and challenges of urban living. While this year’s hot topic often has brands focusing on amplifying environmental concerns, MINI EXTRAODDINARY will be introducing a cultural slant, where national heritage meets contemporary efforts to create ripples in the cause.

The shift from creative re-purposing of space to burgeoning innovations in the field of sustainability is especially fitting for the brand. “There’s no doubt we are living in extraordinary times, facing an unprecedented waste problem, climate change, food security issues,” says Kidd Yam, Head of MINI Asia. After all, sustainability is not new to MINI, it constitutes as the brand’s ethos.

“The first MINI was conceived in response to a fuel shortage during the Suez Crisis. 60 years on, we are still grappling with diminishing resources and the situation is now even more dire. With this year’s MINI EXTRAODDINARY, we hope to shine the light on a more sustainable path moving forward.”

GUARDIANS OF THE FUTURE

In the spirit of cultural sustainability, the historic district of Chinatown itself will also be involved as participants will be rediscovering the area through the course of the multifarious trail. This will also encourage us to rethink about our relationship with local spaces. “One of the unfortunate consequences of modernisation is the erosion of our cultural heritage,” Mr Yam explains. “So we sought to incorporate a piece of Chinese culture in as many installations as we can.” The brand also hopes that the new innovations and materials showcased will steer the businesses of the area towards sustainability.

With 16 different stations, participants can expect to get personal with the emerging developments in the field of sustainability through a variety of free installations and activities. The different stations are:

  1. VEGGIE MIGHT: Take in this oversized installation created in collaboration with ComCrop shows how urban farming can be a much-needed lifeline
  2. PINEAPPLE TRADING STORE: Browse juicy accessories crafted from Pinatex, a leather-like material made from pineapple leaves that are usually thrown away after the fruit is harvested
  3. GUARDIANS OF THE FUTURE: Walk through an archway flanked by a pair of Imperial guardian lions which are grown into shape by Mycotech using mycelium, replacing the use of stone obtained from destructive mining
  4. CHANGING ROOM: Waltz into changing rooms as they show the way with natural fabrics from Arane which are dyed and printed using only plants and their leaves
  5. VERTE COUTURE: Swap fast fashion for green fashion, plus learn how to dye and print fabrics the all-natural way with Arane at this workshop
  6. WITS VS WASTE: Engage in a game of chess where the chess pieces, table and stools are made entirely of upcycled plastic trash
  7. WHAT GOES AROUND: Robries Gallery shows the beauty of recycling with a collection of stylish homeware created out of discarded plastic
  8. KOPI GU: Pick up ideas on how your favourite brew can give our food security a boost too
  9. CHA, CHA, CHA: Take a breather mid-trail at the tea kiosk, and enjoy a cup of Craft & Culture kombucha concocted from Tie Guan Yin or Xiang Pian
  10. MUSHROOM STYLE PTE LTD: Discover a range of myleather accessories from Mycotech, and see how you can develop a killer sense of style without the sacrifice of animals
  11. MEATLESS PACKING DISTRICT: Embrace bak kwa without bak at this station with Brawn & Brains’ recipe towards a meatless future for all
  12. ALL I GOT WAS THIS TRASHY SOUVENIR: Get your (digital) hands on these tongue-in-cheek keepsakes formed from 100% recycled trash by Robries Gallery
  13. SOUP FOR THE ECO-SOUL: Catch the demo of a seaweed-based alternative to plastic by Evoware, one that can dissolve in water or eaten together with the food it wraps
  14. REWRITING OUR FATE: Join the calligraphy masters from Nanyang Calligraphy Centre as they pen auspicious greetings for the Earth and exhortations to look after Nature — penned in Sum Waste ink processed from sewage no less
  15. SCUM & SCRUMPTIOUS: This live food installation presents tomorrow’s protein source — in the tank right next to your seafood
  16. FORTUNE IN A COOKIE: Get in queue for a prophetic experience as inside every spirulina cookie lies a revelation: the fortune of the Earth is in our hands

The ecocultural trail charts a course towards sustainability by showcasing alternative wearables, plant-based materials, and upcycling initiatives that aim to change the way we live as a global community. Ranging from big industry players like ComCrop to independent changemakers, expect a learning journey packed with fashion, food, exhibitions, and homeware to inspire and foster a more intimate relationship between us and our environment.

MINI EXTRAODDINARY: An Ecocultural Trail
When? 22 to 24 November 2019
Entry is free, information on the trail on their website here
The trail will be around Chinatown

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