If you take even the slightest bit of interest in the interior design hashtags on Instagram, you’ve probably heard of bag&bones – the UK’s first private-consumer LED neon company. But did you know that by buying a stylish neon from bag&bones, you could also be helping to prevent breast cancer, battle mental health issues, and save the environment?
Launched in July 2016 by Irish sisters Gigi and Cavanagh Foyle, the London-based neon art label is making waves in the interior design world. The Foyle sisters made remarkably short work of getting their business off the ground – although it was founded less than four years ago with no outside investment, bag&bones neons are now stocked by Harrods, Liberty, and Harvey Nichols, among others.
Good for the environment
Standard neon lighting takes the form of a glass tube with a metal electrode on each end. This tube is filled with low-pressure gas, which is ionized through the application of several thousand volts to the electrodes – making it glow a certain colour.
These traditional neon lights are considered pretty bad for the environment. Although the gases placed within are not toxic themselves, despite popular misconceptions, many of the elements used to make neon signs are toxic – such as argon and mercury. Plus, they’re difficult to recycle and not energy-efficient.
This is where the bag&bones neon lights differ from the traditional technology. The lights made by bag&bones have all the charm and style of standard neons, but much less negative impact on the environment. They take the form of light-emitting diodes – LEDs, like the ones in modern Christmas lights, light bulbs, and TVs – encased within flexible neon tubing. Making them doesn’t involve the use of any harmful chemicals, and they emit very little heat.
This choice of materials makes the bag&bones neon lights more environmentally-friendly and sustainable, all while also making them more convenient – they’re less fragile, more light-weight and easier to install than gas-based neon lights.
Good for the people
As a company, bag&bones is exceptionally committed to helping a number of charities and organizations – and they really deserve more credit for what they do.
Two of the bag&bones lights – the ‘Boobs’ light and the ‘Wouldn’t it be nice’ design – were created in collaboration with Zoe Sugg, known in the world of internet influencers as Zoella. Incredibly, bag&bones donates the majority of the profits from these two products to charity. The proceeds from the sale of the ‘Boobs’ light – which is an inoffensive, doodle-like image of a pair of breasts – go to CoppaFeel!, a charity raising awareness regarding breast cancer and the importance of regular breast examinations. The other sign designed by Zoella benefits the mental health charity MIND, again with all profits donated.
On top of this already impressively selfless choice, bag&bones have also decided to donate all profits from the sale of the ‘Star’ design to the Peter Jones Foundation, and 10% of the sales of the ‘Be kind’ light to People United. As if this wasn’t enough, every ‘Planet’ light sold means the company plants a tree. The bag&bones team also helps out in more hands-on ways – such as leaving the office early every Friday to help out at their local soup kitchen.
It’s truly inspiring to see a business make such a commitment to giving back and helping others, particularly at this highly capitalist time of a vicious rat-race between companies. And it really is nice to know that by buying a bag&bones light, you’re not just indulging and making your living space more to your taste – you’re helping others at the same time.
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