Category: Ethical

Earth. Food. Love.

Earth. Food. Love is the living proof that stereotypes get it wrong.

Set up by former footballer, Richard Eckersley and his wife, Nicola  Earth.Food.Love is a revolutionary zero waste supermarket in Totnes, Devon, where all packaging is banned.

Customers are expected to bring their own pots, jars, bags to carry their produce home.

Amongst the razor blades and bamboo toothbrushes with replaceable bristles, there’s even a grind your own nut butter machine.

‘We want to live in a world where consuming doesn’t have to cost the earth.  We believe returning to these simple ways will benefit not only our health, but the planet too.’

 

Fingers crossed this is the start of a new trend, coming soon to a High Street near you..

Laters, Kate x

Great Granby x

How do I love Granby? Let me count the ways..

I love it because it’s a creative company that has grown out of a community-led re-building of a neighbourhood in Liverpool.

I admire it because it’s products are made by many hands.

I adore it because it invites chance and improvisation as a friend.

So every product, and every product of a product, is different.

(All pics Granby)

What’s not to love?

Laters, Kate x

The Cold Zone x

The pictures were a little bigger on Pintrest, but that’s not to say the idea isn’t.  This electricity banning underground concept fridge by Studio Floris Schoonderbeek has been added to the dream board for a self-sustaining shack by the sea.  Would lighting be solar..or a candle in a lantern? Nice problems to have.

 

Laters, Kate x

Ikat x

The word ‘ikat’ derives from the Malay-Indonesian word ‘mengikat’ which translates as to tie or bind.

The creative process is an oxymoron where the finished result is a blurred image but the techniques are complex requiring tying, dyeing, untying, re-tying and dying again of the multiple threads in precise colours and positions.

The finished work is fluid, vibrant and capture a certain spirit.

(All pictures Pinterest)

Colourful shadows in a neon-lit world.

Laters, Kate x

Magic Carpet x

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If there’s a theme over the last few post it’s re-invention. And the carpet industry is ripe for it: 400,000 tonnes of unwanted carpet is buried in UK landfill every year.

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Isabel Webb has decided thats where the rubys in the dust lie – she’s taking both domestic and industrial carpet waste and giving it her own unique twist through dying, tufting, embroidery and shearing to reveal new patterns and textures and expose the potential within.

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(All pictures Isabel Webb)

Isabel only graduated in 2016 so this is the embryo of a work in progress. But we like it. And we need more.

Laters, Kate x

Penny Winter x

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Looking through old posts is a bit like looking through an old address book – you see people you must catch up with again.  I wonder what Penny Winter is doing now..

It’s rare that I don’t use my own words for a post…but then Penny Winter is a rare beast and an endangered species.  I first came across her work when exploring one of my favourite Labels Edun – for their SS14 Collection she designed and produced the horn & crystal neck cuff as worn by Helena Christensen above at her workshop in Nairobi and it piqued my interest.  So in her own words – because nothing should be left out – please meet the incredible Penny Winter…

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‘I was born in Belfast and grew up there through our ‘troubles’. After studying costume design and corsetry at LCF I landed my first job at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford where I was making period costumes and pattern drafting for the theatre.I moved back to London and took a similar job at the English National Opera, before the big move to Kenya.My boyfriend at the time was a journalist and we together with our backpacks moved out without looking back.I fell in love with Kenya, he didn’t and left after a few months. 
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(Photo Touko Sipilainen)
My corserty came into play thereafter, I started a small workshop making  18thcentury shaped corsets from vintage Africa cloth, Bacuba cloth from Congo,raffia from Ivory Coast, snakeskin,fishskin, and Maasai inspired beaded corsets.We,(Paul, my now husband and I) travelled all over central and west Africa on the lookout for interesting trims and weaves.People heard about these unusual pieces and I produced a lot of them  for cool weddings, big parties, and people also just bought them to hang in their bedrooms as art.During this time I worked on films such as The Constant Gardener, The Last King of Scotland,and local tv productions.Since then the workshop has grown and we make clothes for the Kenya jetters and international clients. Our signature coat, the Audrey coat which in it’s original form was  handwoven wool/linen with a beaded cuff, has evolved and can be found this season in dark burgundy velvet.We are also known well for our evening dresses which tend to be of a more bohemian style. Our clients include names such as Uma Thurman,Sylvia Fendi, Helena Christensen, and one of our gowns was at Buckingham palace for William and Kate’s wedding evening party.
 African Jewellery, Tribal Jewellery, Kenyan Jewellery, Raw Amethest Labradite Ruby Rubies Black Turmaline Afican Sapphire White topaz Light horn, Dark Horn, gold, faceted Stone, Labradorite, Bone, Moonstone Agate, Rutilated Quartz,Labradorite ring
In 2007 we were approached by SUNO to start their brand here which we got up and running, we produced the first six collections for them. In addition to  the fashion label I co-design and produce the Ashley Pittman collection sold in Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, a feat against odds as we are constantly struggling with power outages,water shortages etc, and the day to day chaos of running a large scale, hand crafted business in central Nairobi. I employ around 200 people who take great pride in selling their work I design in top stores around the world.I work closely with our various teams whether it be a horn workshop in rural Kenya, to downtown chaos, busy and noisy, but always fun. I take most pride in the fact I have through relentless efforts, managed to instill the discipline  and work ethic it takes, to our teams to work in the real world, providing top notch products which they can take pride in, on time, without any form of charity.We are competing with world known brands, except without any of the advantages, in Africa.
This is my first solo jewellery collection, outside of my Ngong House boutique, which is my husband’s small hotel, on the outskirts of Nairobi, just under the Ngong Hills. 
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My husband Paul and I have three children.(Charlie, Leyla and Amber). Apart from our work, we have built a clinic and a primary school, thanks to charitable donations in the Kibwezi area of rural Kenya, where we also have a defunct farm and tree plantation.We found the place around ten years ago on a trip back from Kilimanjairo, camped there and now have large safari tents which we use instead of a house.The clinic now has a catchment area of about 70mile radius, there are absolutely no other medical facilities in this area, and we are currently developing a maternity wing. Holidays are mainly at Amber House Lamu, which we restored from a 300year old Swahili villa, in the Old Town Lamu. My passion is sailing so that’s what I do when I go there.’

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She is one of those truly remarkable people that inspires just by breathing.  I can’t help but wonder when a film of her life will be made…

In awe, Kate x

Jason deCaires Taylor..

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A true global and renaissance man, Jason deCaires Taylor was born in 1974 to an English father and Guyanese mother.  He then grew up with one foot in Europe, the other in Asia with regular diving trips in Malaysia.  In 1998 he graduated from the London Institute of Arts with a BA honours in Sculpture….before becoming a fully qualified diving instructor, underwater naturalist (Note to friends: That’s not a naked diver) and award winning photographer.

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Then in 2006, off the West Coast of Grenada, he created his first underwater sculpture park and a life blood of creativity was unleashed.

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His work explores the slipstream where Art and Nature collide, the grey area between man’s exploitation of nature for industrial means and the acknowledgement of the fundamental power of the earth: As time begins to colonize the forms it creates it’s own architecture, dramatic pulse and language.

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This pulls on something deep within – the mystery of Atlantis, Pompeii, fairytales..even gothic Victoriana.  They’re a dark presence, yet awe-inspiring at the same time.

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Under the water is a world Jason knows, and through his art he aims to highlight the living beauty of the under world to encourage environmental awareness and instigate social change.

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For anyone who’s heart sank at the news this week that 90% of sea birds have plastic in their stomachs, he’s a crusader you want to stand up and applaud.

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His work isn’t limited to the turquoise depths of Cancun and the Bahamas..this mystical beauty can be found in Canterbury…

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And now, from Sept 1 – 30, on the Thames foreshore at Vauxhall, London, adjacent to Camelford House and 87-90 Albert Embankment, is a new example of his work: The Rising Tide, commissioned by Totally Thames.

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It highlights the role the river has played in the shaping of London’s history.  And how easy it’s been for us to abuse it.

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(All pictures from here and Jason deCaires Taylor’s Facebook page)

These could be horses, but they’re oil pumps..animals of industry, draining the land.

A theme as strong and compelling as any story ever told.

Laters, Kate x

Mochi x

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There are many kinds of happiness in the world..I’ve just spent an utterly lazy, child-free weekend with the husband that I refuse to regret as I look aghast at the weeks to-do list, slightly lower down that list of love is my passion for beautiful embroidery and textiles..which is all the more ring-starred when it can be married to intelligent, bridging the distance fashion.

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Mochi is a brand whose identity lies deep in the love of ancient embroidery and needle craft.  It was set up by Palestinian Mochi Ayah Tabai to produce visually stunning, wearable clothes that celebrate world-wide stitching communities.

 

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Handcrafted by local artisans in their own countries, Mochi isn’t a melting pot of ideas but an acknowledgement of what each culture has to offer, from Jaipur, Palestine, Thailand, Uzbekistan to Hungary, all items produced are claimed under their own makers.
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A top from Palestine, so easy with a pair of denim shorts.

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A summer dress from Jaipur, ideal to dress up or dress down.

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Shorts from Uzbekistan.

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A crop top and skirt from Thailand.

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They appeal to my love of the past, of inherent quality and the deep vein of romanticism I have running though my middle.

6919e36881b95bf29832084b6d67d5fdIt’s a refreshing change from the polyester re-runs of the high street…we can have more, pay less and think we’re clever…or we can just put up our hands and say what we really love.

 

Laters, Kate x

 

RE x

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If I was a shop I’d be RE: A magical place where global unloved items hit emotional science and are transformed into objects of desire…like these laundry baskets and washing up bowls made from recycled plastic in Senegal.

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How delicious? These baskets are made by the Mixtec people of Mexican mashing traditional palm weaving with unwanted plastic.

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And there are recycled tin cans from Peru, all given new life. A plant pot – or a pen pot? The choice is yours.

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You head to the site for storage ideas..and end up being amazed by cunning delights like these lights…designed to hold a tea-light and convert any bottle into a table lamp…genius.

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Or these candlesticks holders..spiked to stand in flower pots..or hammered into a log.

Thank God they’re not based in London.  Now where’s the credit card…

Laters, Kate x

Top design x

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The children are on holiday which always make for an interesting dynamic: There’s the eternal conflict between my projects and their needs which sometimes overlap…but not always.  The mornings are usually my time to write, organise and plan whilst they learn to squeeze every ounce from the fruit of boredom. Which sounds desirable, except Charlie, like a heat seeking missile has the unfailing knack of finding me just at the most concentration-needed moment.  Yesterday I was writing a letter to Building Control (he’s here right now..spooky) and there he was at the study door. ‘No!’ I said, holding up my hand, ‘not a step further…do not say a word…you have to give me ten minutes.’

‘But Mummy…’

‘No..I have to get this done NOW. I cannot speak to you’

‘But Mummy…’

‘What part of no am I not making clear? I will not speak to you..yet you are forcing me to speak to you..so I am now getting cross and feeling like a hamster in a wheel because we’ve had thIS same conversation SO many times.  Except now the hamster is dead..no no.I didn’t really say that – ignore me..it’s just I don’t want to formulate words to you, I want them for this – I need to sound like a rational human being. GO!’

‘But Mummy..I don’t want to speak to you..I want to look in this mirror and see how cool I look…’

Hole. Ground. Open up.

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Todays project is a crossover and one for all of us….to tidy up Charlie’s room…which looks like a nuclear war zone. If I were Olga Kostina living in Kamarchaga in the Siberian Taiga his rubbish would probably provide the most wonderful creative outlet. Her work with 30,000 bottle tops is sheer genius.

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Except I’m not.

Blood could be spilt.

Laters, Kate x