Designing and Making started close to four years ago now, purely out of necessity. Returning to London post-Yoga TTC, post micro life in Egypt, post Arab Spring; money was scarce, though time, energy and fabrics were in abundance
I needed some lavender eye pillows for a new yoga class I'd set up, found the standard through major yoga stores to be quite poor and pricey, so I set about making my own. Sewing was my Creativity activity of choice, that I’d never fully allowed myself to get into, due to standard excuses; no time, no money, no inspiration! I’d long been a collector of bright, bold and beautiful fabrics through my global travels, had accumulated an impressive pile to play with. So when a couple of students asked if I could make them one, shortly one thing led to another and I began also making funky yoga mat bags, yoga journals, bolsters and meditation cushions.
Then I tried my hand trading at grassroots level through London's diverse market scene, including Portobello, Lower Marsh Waterloo, Brixton, Roman Rd Yard Markets, Copeland Park Yard Markets, and various interesting pop up Xmas markets which was an amazing relevation; work and play had merged!
Withing a few months on this magical markets scene I was producing little income for myself plus I’d made a new bunch of like-minded liquid like friends; artisans, makers and designers who were immensely inspiring with their visions and creations. My Creative journey had unexpectedly led me to wellness, so naturally I started thinking of longevity and looking outward. For my wellness to continue it had to go hand in hand with my environments wellness also, which are absolutely inextricably linked.
I wasn't alone either, most designers, makers and artisans I'd got speaking to were going through the same process, which comforted me to know.
So I asked myself a few crucial questions; Who made theses textiles that I was using and where was this elusive landfill site where my waste would go?
Could I find suppliers that were treating workers fair and supplying organic sustainable textiles?
How could I continue to make in a way that could minimise waste and serve the environment?
So I did my best to cut down on buying new, instead sourcing mainly vintage / recycled textiles, swapping fabrics with other textiles artists and minimising waste by sharing my cutoffs with artist friends. I thought of customisation of products rather than just making products and hoping someone would buy, though a lot more involved that needs time to research and implement.. Customisation is definitely a top option which I shall be implementing by early 2019 with some unique new products, as I know from experience if you involve people in the creative process it's much more than a product, it's a personal experience..
Ultimately my search for Sustainable Solutions has become possible through Creative possibilities and partnerships, which leads back to Wellness; yours and your environment's so the cycle continues. Onwards and upwards into the future of Circular Economy.
So I'm stoked to share my little story about my own creative journey and the parallels between myself and others. I hope you enjoy the many varied hands and hearts of our Purple Palm Wellness community.
If you’re an artist with similar Ethos please get in touch!