As a small Australian label, sustainability is of the utmost importance to our values and has been an integral part of our design ethos from the start. Our production approach is carefully planned to minimise waste wherever possible, and we work with other small businesses to breathe life into our leftover materials.
This month, we partnered with designer and artist Kate Hulett, a fellow Fremantle business owner whose shop Kate and Abel is anchored around her in-house hat brand St. Saviours. Kate began creating customised hats in her East London flat in 2009 and grew St. Saviours into a full-fledged accessories label found in London high-street shops until she moved home to Australia in 2013.
After donating some of our samples and seconds to Kate, we caught up with her to see the magic she came up with our materials and get her insights into sustainability and design.
How have repurposed materials factored into your design approach?
St Saviours has always been a small, made to order brand since it began in London. I used mostly repurposed fabrics, vintage fabrics, and items like silk scarves as trimmings.
How did you put our leftover leather to use?
The leather is so beautiful and it felt wrong to slice it up, but that’s what I did! I cut long curved ribbons from the leather to use as trimmings for my hats. It was actually difficult to dismantle the bags as they were so well made.
I also re-donated some of the discarded bags I was unable to use to the Curtin University fashion department for the students there to utilise in their studies.
What are your thoughts on the importance of sustainability in the design industry?
Every part of everything we do needs to urgently become more focused on sustainability. It is becoming less of something that is nice to do and more of an integral part of decision making.
This is not just in design. Thinking about sustainability for all creatives, makers and artists includes choosing ethically sourced materials, designing for longevity, reducing wastage, making sure makers are looked after with better work environments and remuneration, and ensuring supply chains hold similar values.
What would you like to see more of in the design industry?
Making less but making better. Making better is the goal so our customers consume less. It's also important for businesses to use their voice and talk about these issues in a constructive and positive way. This goes for both small and big businesses. Business owners should be acting as role models in this space.
Keep up with Kate on Instagram @kateandabelperth