RAD AND HUNGRY supplies lo-fi office goodies from around the world

When travel meets design meets a geeky-cool love for office supplies, you get RAD AND HUNGRY, a Seattle-based start-up that curates limited-edition collections of pencils, notebooks, and other goodies sourced from travels around the globe. I’ve never gotten quite as excited about a gum eraser as I did when recently browsing their collections.

The concept for RAD AND HUNGRY was born from founder Hen Chung’s love for travel and office supplies, as well as her appreciation for everyday design.

“The common thread was design, but unrefined design – ‘local’ in the sense that it’s so basic and part of the everyday landscape that people in that country find it unremarkable,” she says. “The kitschy outdated postcard, the shoes people wear when cleaning house, the cheapest brew, the #2 pencil. We’re taken by the concept that simple, daily items are given new meaning through travel. It transforms the mundane into something inspired.”


RAD AND HUNGRY’s first product line is The Something Mighty Collection, which has been released in monthly limited-edition installments since December 2010. Each collection is available on the RAH website for $16 until it sells out and generally includes a writing instrument, a notebook, and a country-specific mystery item. You can also get the “Low Down” on each collection, a travel blog-esque account of each sourcing trip in Chung’s refreshingly spunky voice. Take, for instance, this blurb from STMT x Spain:

I shuffled through the entire rainbow display of goods but nothing grabbed me. Turned around and then I saw them. Ballpoint pens with so many beautiful details I couldn’t stop jumping! Tested all four colors and couldn’t believe how smooth they wrote. And love, love the rubber body. Turns out the very Italian-sounding company, Milan, is a Spanish company known for their rubber erasers. The curved clip, the raised pinstriping on the back end of the tube, the grooved front tip… a lo-fi ballpoint pen totally tricked out and pimpin’. What’s not to love??

At the moment, only the Spain, Turkey, and Canada collections are in stock, but fans need not fret. Chung has plenty of new projects on the pipeline for 2012, including Rad Bags, blind grab bags filled with leftover stock, and Pencil Pouches, locally-made pencil cases to accompany their existing collections. That, and many more sourcing trips, of course.

[ images via RAD AND HUNGRY ]

Versalette convertible travel garment will revolutionize your packing list

When you’re living out of a suitcase, the less items of clothing you have to pack, the better. That’s the thinking behind The Versalette, a convertible garment from {r}evolution apparel that easily goes from a shirt to a skirt to a dress to… well, basically anything you can imagine. For a female traveler with a packing list of basic white tees and khaki cargo pants, it’s a dream travel piece. Plus, it’s ethically and sustainably developed.

The Versalette launched as a project on Kickstarter in mid-November, and within 14 days it was fully funded. As of Monday morning, $38,120 had been pledged from 470 backers, and the project still has another two weeks to go.

{r}evolution founders Kristin Glenn and Shannon Whitehead are travelers themselves, and they met while living and working in Australia. After several months of friendship, they separated and embarked on their own adventures, traversing five continents independently. But they kept in touch, and in mid-2010 they reunited in the United States to pursue an idea: a minimalist clothing line for female travelers.

Kristin and Shannon traveled to Central America with the goal of working sustainably and ethically to bring their line to life. There, they came face to face with the challenges of incorporating sustainability into a fashion item’s supply chain. But one year, many lessons, and lots of determination later, they’re closer to launching the line, and their story has resonated with travelers and style-setters across the web.

Their goal has also evolved to encompass something much larger than what they initially set out to accomplish: to create nothing short of a revolution toward minimalism and sustainability in the fashion industry.

The Versalette is currently in production and will be made in the USA using 100 percent recycled fabric. Kristin and Shannon have identified 15 different ways to style the item, including as a dress, shirt, skirt, scarf, purse, hood, and more. Really, what more does a female traveler need?

[images via {r}evolution apparel]