One of the most interesting things about taking part in craft fairs is the amazing feedback you get directly from the public. I used to write down every comment, things people liked, things they didn’t like and any questions or comments they had. You miss that when you stop doing retail fairs so it’s always great to have a conversation with a customer about a particular aspect of your business. One interesting point of view raised in a conversation I had recently was someone saying that my fabrics didn’t match their typical view of an eco-friendly or sustainable item and that they were nicely surprised. It made me think, are sustainable and eco-friendly ugly words?
I was asked if I made a conscious decision to make my fabrics look contemporary or specifically chose subject matter that didn’t fit the typical eco look, but that was never my intention. I choose to print on organic cotton and hemp fabrics for quite a few reasons, many are based on a desire not to add to an ever-increasing problem of pollution and waste. As for the designs, I design what comes naturally to me and my influences come from many different areas, both of these things contribute to a job I love and a product I can be passionate about. If I’ve added something positive to the world of sustainability by challenging one person’s perception of eco design then that’s an added bonus.
What comes to mind when you hear the words eco-friendly or sustainable? Do you imagine an unattractive piece of design or something pleasing to the eye?