L.L. Bean's New Duck Boots Are Made From Sailcloth

L.L. Bean
L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean has found a way to make their famously resilient footwear even tougher against the elements. As part of a new collaboration with Flowfold, the 107-year-old outdoor goods company is releasing a special edition of its duck boot made with sailcloth, the Sun Journal reports.

Like L.L. Bean, Flowfold is an outdoor gear manufacturer based in Maine. Flowfold makes products like bags and wallets out of durable, water-resistant fabrics, including material originally developed for sailboats. The two companies first worked together in 2018 to produce a line of backpacks, totes, and gear bags made from high-tech material, and the partnership marked L.L. Bean's first-ever design collaboration with an outside brand.

Now, L.L. Bean is featuring Flowfold's fabric in its most iconic product of all time. The top of the new boot is made from X-Pac sailcloth that's both lightweight and super durable. The duck boot keeps its signature rubber lower half and chain-tread bottom so every part of your foot stays dry no matter the weather.

The Flowfold and L.L. Bean collaboration boot comes in three color schemes: brown and olive, navy and aqua, and gray and black. They're being made in small batches—about 156 boots per day for 30 days—and once they sell out, customers may never have another chance to get their feet into a pair. You can purchase your boots from the L.L. Bean store for $139 while they're still around.

People wearing boots walking outside.
L.L. Bean

[h/t Sun Journal]

Boston-Area Students Convince their City to Install 3D Crosswalks


Motorists driving through Medford, Massachusetts may notice something unusual on the street outside Brooks Elementary School. On April 22, the city installed a new pedestrian crosswalk painted to look like 3D objects raised from the ground. The new crossing path aims to make the intersection safer, and it's one of several set to debut around Medford, Curbed reports.

By painting additional, shaded shapes around the traditional white strips of a crosswalk, the city was able to create an optical illusion for drivers. From far away, the flat shapes look like blocks in the middle of the street. The effect is meant to make drivers slow down before they reach the crossing, and to make them more alert to pedestrians in the area.

Two students—a fourth- and a fifth-grader—worked with their teacher and the Brooks Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility to convince the city to add the safety feature. The 3D walkway, designed by Boston artist Nate Swain, will be painted outside three other elementary schools in the city.

Medford is the first city in the Boston area to experiment with 3D crosswalks, but the illusion has been used for years in other parts of the world. In 2016, Shakuntala Pandya and her daughter Saumya Pandya Thakkar designed their own version of the blocks for a highway in Ahmedabad, India, and in Chicago, the crosswalks have been around for nearly a decade.

[h/t Curbed]

These Modern, Minimalist Cremation Urns Double as Planters

C.C. Boyce
C.C. Boyce

Cremation is becoming an increasingly common end-of-life plan, but many have lamented the lack of options when selecting an urn to store their loved one's ashes. Many of these vessels take the form of drab-looking vases that, for some people, serve as reminders of a painful event.

That’s why C.C. Boyce stepped in. The Los Angeles-based designer and woodworker created a collection of “planturns”—urns that double as planters—to fill a gap in the market.

“A while back a friend’s father passed away and they couldn’t find a cremation urn that they liked, so they asked me to make something, and I did, thinking this would just be a one-off custom job,” Boyce said in a video uploaded to Kickstarter. “But when I posted the final product to Instagram, I was flooded with messages from people all across the death care industry—people who took care of pets as well as people.”

Plant urns
C.C. Boyce

Some wanted an urn with a more modern aesthetic, while others wanted a subtler piece that would effortlessly blend with their household decor. The symbolism of death fusing with new life has not gone unnoticed, either.

Boyce spent a year experimenting with different designs and settled on two styles: one that comes in speckled maple, and another that comes in a two-toned walnut and sycamore. All of the vessels have two parts that attach via magnetic pull, so even if the planturn gets knocked over, the ashes will still be safe and sound.

The bottom part contains a hand-waxed muslin bag to store your loved one’s cremated remains, and the top part features a glass or ceramic holder for your plant of choice, whether it’s a succulent or air plant.

They come in three sizes, which will vary in accordance with the amount of ashes you want to store. A small planturn is suitable for small pets, while a large can hold the ashes of a person. Get it on Kickstarter for $225 to $500, depending on the size.