Vans sneakers boycotted in Hong Kong after they pulled a protest-themed shoe design from public competition

In Hong Kong, a boycott has begun of skateboard lifestyle brand Vans after the company pulled the above design from their annual Vans Custom Culture competition. In the contest, the public is invited to submit their designs in competition for a cash prize and having their shoe design manufactured. This particular design is themed around the current anti-government protests in Hong Kong and it was apparently doing quite well in the competition. From CNN:

The design, attributed to a Canada-based user named Naomiso, features a red bauhinia, the flower on Hong Kong's flag, and one of the yellow umbrellas synonymous with the city's 2014 pro-democracy protests. Illustrations on the sneaker's side depict a crowd of protesters wearing gas masks, goggles and hard hats.

On Saturday, with over a week of voting still to go, the submission was removed from the competition website. In a statement posted on Facebook in Chinese and English, the brand said that "a small number of artistic submissions have been removed ... to uphold the purpose of Custom Culture."

"As a brand that is open to everyone, we have never taken a political position and therefore review designs to ensure they are in line with our company's long-held values of respect and tolerance, as well as with our clearly communicated guidelines for this competition," the statement said, without referring specifically to the protest-themed design.

The statement drew condemnation on social media from Hong Kong protest supporters, where a number of posts were accompanied by the hashtag #boycottVans.

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Uniqlo's got a KAWS x Sesame Street line for grownups & kids

KAWS has put his imprint on Sesame Street in a new apparel line for adults and kids. The collection will be available online on June 28 and in stores on June 29 at Japanese retailer Uniqlo. Prices start at $14.90 for adults and $9.90 for kids.

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Vintage IBM lab coveralls on eBay

One of my eBay alerts finally pinged! A Boing Boing reader will surely become the lucky owner of these splendid IBM lab coveralls, dated to the late 1980s or thereabouts, which have a buy-it-now price of $170 and ship out of California. Read the rest

Neuron necklace

For €105, the delightful and enchanting silver Neuron Necklace is yours. Its just one of a number of clever items offered by science-inspired jewelry, which include brains, fetuses, spines and thyroid hormones. [Thanks, Heather!] Read the rest

Enamel origami unicorn lapel pin

There's too much to chase, these days, so deputize yourself. The Origami Unicorn Lapel Pin [Amazon] evokes three cool things for me: Blade Runner, pride, and this very website. It's $10, 1.5" wide, 2mm thick and double-pinned. Read the rest

"Smart" athletic clothing laden with bacteria (on purpose)

MIT researchers designed athletic clothing that's laden with bacterial cells that enable vents in the garment to automatically open up when you start to sweat. From Smithsonian:

(MIT bioengineer Wen) Wang and her team found the optimal construction was a layer of latex sandwiched by two thin layers of bacterial cells, each 1 to 5 microns thick, around the diameter of a red blood cell and 1/15th the width of a human hair. These were formed into flaps, and attached to the back of a workout garment. When the wearer sweats, the cells on the outside remain the same, but the cells on the side facing the body absorb moisture and expand, forcing the flaps open.

initially, they used a bacteria called Bacillus subtilis natto, better known as the main component of the gooey, stringy, pungent Japanese food called nattō. Ozgur Sahin, an associate professor of biological sciences and physics at Columbia University, has been using B. subtilis natto in his (unrelated) research into bacteria-using materials because of its tough, strong spores. Wang adopted it because she saw it worked, and because it’s safe enough to be used in food....

One big challenge though is that it doesn't hold up to a wash cycle. Still, Wang says, "This kind of thinking, that cloth can actually be dynamic and responsive, and that response is better for its functions, is generally an exciting aspect of the work, and it can potentially be applied in many other areas.”

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Bleach-stenciled T-shirts with Overwatch themes

Miami-based artist Topher Cody makes T-shirts stenciled with bleach like these cool Overwatch designs. Read the rest

Thai friendship bracelets

"Cheeky, sexy, English-language phrases sought for friendship bracelets at Thai market. Inevitable horror ensues," writes @sliderulesyou. Read the rest