ABOUTState of Green is a blog showcasing modern sustainable design in Australia and its surrounds. More >>
Become a State of Green sponsor
Currently in Store …..
AS SEEN IN …….
- Product Design students create edgy and sustainable furniture designs using digital manufacturing techniques
- Giveaway: Up Up & Away with Polli’s new sustainable jewellery range
- The PanelPop introduces a new sustainable art medium
- Chapman & Bailey’s Sow’s Ear Challenge showcases sustainable design in a new light
- New stock arriving …and we are a little in love with it!
- Australian Design
- book review
- eco awards
- eco baby + child
- eco brands
- eco design
- Eco Events
- eco living
- eco outdoor
- eco travel
- Eco Xmas
- organic beauty
- organic skincare
- sustainable architecture
- sustainable fashion
- sustainable furniture
- Sustainable textiles
Sites we like …
LINK TO US
Category Archives: Sustainable textiles
Sustainable fashion is going from strength to strength. Once branded as boring, unfashionable and uninspiring, it now appears in high fashion house ranges, and is increasingly becoming part of the common fashion language. Copenhagen based Maxjenny Forslund of maxjenny is one such designer who is creating stand out sustainable fashion, and almost showing off to fashion industry leaders just what can be achieved with a little sustainable design ingenuity!.
On first sight alone, Maxjenny’s poncho’s stand out as a high fashion piece with their bright colours, artistic prints and stylish cut. So are you wondering what the sustainable design features are? When designing the poncho, Maxjenny strove to defy seasonal trends by creating a piece that could be used year round, and that could be made from quality materials – in this case rainproof recycled pet-bottle fibre fabric printed with waterbased ink.
A signature of Maxjenny’s creations is also the limited seams that appear in each creation. Maxjenny instead prefers to fold and drape fabric and says “my inspiration originates from within myself and is highly personal
– for me real fashion is simply art”.
If you look closely at the ponchos, you will see there is no shoulder seam, side seam nor middleback seam. A simple zip runs up the centre, and a little pocket is hidden inside to store your essentials.
I just love this design – It would sit equally well on the sidelines of a local footy match, up high street on a wet shopping day, and would get me to a smart soiree on a damp evening. Love it!
We have a wonderful giveaway for you all today! Kaye Thompson, the fabulous designer behind the brand Pillow Poet is providing one of you the opportunity to win a pair of her quirky organic cotton pillowcases! Pillow Poet is just under two years old, and since launch Kaye has introduced a range of organic pillowcases, in addition to posters printed on bamboo/cotton archival rag stock and lampshades too. What I particularly love about Kaye’s pillow range, is that they appeal to both adults and children, and carry beautiful messages that make it hard not to go to sleep with a smile on your face. Kaye was kind enough to share her story with us in our interview below ~ be sure to read her story, then enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post!
1. When did you launch Pillow Poet?
We launched Pillow Poet at the Melbourne Design Market in July 2011 with the Owl Facts and Parliament Pillowcases printed on Certified 100% Organic cotton. We had an amazing response to the brand, so it was pretty exciting!!
We also had the large Format Art Quality A-Z Poetic Posters, featuring quirky, unusual and oft forgotten words. They’re printed on Archival 90% Bamboo and 10% Cotton rag paper. They look great framed or hanging on oversized bulldog clips. They’re now available in both Large Format and Mini and they make for original and informative wall art! The mini Posters make great Birthday presents!
Pillow Poet has also appeared at Markit at Federation Square, Magnolia Square, Piccadilly Market and most recently at Design Made Trade 2012 – held at the beautiful heritage listed Exhibition Buildings in Carlton. By then the brand had grown to include the “Wake Up In Love” range. Nothing like spreading a little more love around!
2. What inspired you to launch the brand?
As a rule, I’ve always worked on other people’s brands but for some time I’d had an ambition to create my own brand. At the time there wasn’t anyone producing bed linen that was quirky, inspiring and engaging. I wanted to create pillowcases that were fun to sleep on and equally good to wake up with!
I love the idea that Pillow Poet Pillowcases and Posters are now decorating bedrooms all over Australia, New Zealand and as far afield as France, England, Scotland, Italy, Slovenia, Canada and Sweden…just to name a few. Spreading a little genius and love as they go!
I have a small but growing band of devoted Pillow Poet customers who buy pillowcases and posters for themselves as well as presents for friends and family Birthdays, Christmas, Engagements, Weddings, Mother’s Day etc. When they think…I need a present…they think of Pillow Poet! I love that!
3. Why do you use organic cotton?
I’ve been buying organic food for years and I’ve always done my best to be kind to the environment, so I’d never have it any other way! The Pillow Poet brand is aimed at a creative thinking, clever, design savvy and thoughtful buyer. I thought that these people – like me, would want to be kind to the environment.
Most importantly…conventionally grown cotton is one of the largest polluters worldwide. Traces of chemicals used to eliminate weeds and insects remain in fabrics even after washing. These chemicals can affect your nervous system and respiratory system, causing headaches and dizziness, eye, nose and throat irritations as well as sleep, concentration and memory problems! So sleeping in bed linen free of toxic dyes or cotton sprayed with harsh chemicals just makes sense. And apart from that, Organic Cotton is so beautiful and so smooth. Without the chemicals the cotton plants grow stronger and as a result the organic cotton is stronger than conventional cotton. Honestly
once you sleep on Certified Organic Cotton, you’ll never want to sleep on anything else!
once you sleep on Certified Organic Cotton, you’ll never want to sleep on anything else!
4. What can we expect to see from Pillow Poet next?
I’ve got some exciting plans for Pillow Poet. I’m hoping to be able to sell the matching organic white Sheets and Doona covers through the Pillow Poet website soon!
Of course there are always new Pillowcase designs on the drawing board as well but I only just released new designs before Christmas 2012, so I’m getting those out and about at the moment. Mostly I’ve extended the Wake Up In Love range….but there’s a few other fun designs as well.
To go in the draw to win 2 x organic cotton pillowcases by Pillow Poet (RRP: $98), simply leave a comment below telling us which TWO designs you covet (see full range at the Pillow Poet website here). The winner will be drawn at random on Friday 12 April 2013 after 7pm. Goodluck!
* Giveaway is open to both Australian and international State of Green audience.
It’s designers like 2011 fashion graduate Alice Sutton, 23, who give me hope for the future of the Australian fashion industry. Not only are her designs beautiful and wearable; her work is driven by a passion for sustainability.
And for lovers of history and nature, there’s another hook in this yarn. Each garment is woven around a story that’s been inspired by her travels. As Sutton explains: “Our pieces have meaning for the wearer… it’s not just fast fashion to wear for a season, it’s a piece that you would want to wear throughout your whole life.”
This marriage of beautiful design and sustainability has caught the eye of industry observers and Sutton has been chosen to present her collection “Until We Arrive” as one of eight designers to compete this Sunday at Sydney’s trade fashion event Fashion Exposed for the coveted Debut award.
“When I thought about submitting for fashion Debut, I thought my point of difference is that I often explore a place – usually somewhere in Canberra – that
has a lot of history. That’s where my collection comes from. I started looking at insects, the Bogong moth and its journey to and from Canberra, and then start looking at its texture and life cycle. The collection all stemmed from that.”
Alice currently works out of an incubator studio for emerging designers at the Canberra Institute of Technology. “The CIT were amazing. They really push sustainable design and its a massive part of the course. I think it’s a way they have tried to set themselves apart from other fashion courses.”
As we chat by phone, I can hear the joy in Sutton’s voice as she explains her practice of zero waste pattern-making.
“There’s no fabric wasted, no pieces are put into
the waste bin. As you know, processing fabric has a huge environmental impact, so to put it back into landfill just seems so wrong.
the waste bin. As you know, processing fabric has a huge environmental impact, so to put it back into landfill just seems so wrong.”
That she cuts unusual shapes to ensure everything within the fabric roll is used is a testament to her skill. “I’m currently working with a factory in Melbourne and they think I’m the wackiest person ever because of how I do my pattern-making. I guess it’s just a much more contemporary method.”
Sutton would like her designs to be made in Australia to keep control over the process. “Then you know people are being treated in the right way,” she says.
Apart from winning on Sunday, what are her hopes for the future? “I’d love to stay in Canberra. I really enjoy designing here, even though I have to travel to Sydney a lot. I’d eventually like to have my own studio and shopfront, even maybe a coffee shop so people can see you while you’re working.”
Photographer: Kent Marcus
Model: Katie van den Bos
Hair and Makeup: Hayley Boyle
I have long admired Kantha throws – particularly the ones made from old vintage saris, sewn together with delicate running stitch stretching up and down its length. Last week when the opportunity presented to purchase vintage kantha throws made by a disadvantaged women’s cooperative in Jaipur, India, the sale of which supports one woman for 6 months, I jumped at the chance.
Looking through the collection, I was honestly filled with emotion ~ being vintage, each piece wears it scars of everyday living as a former essential piece of clothing. Some have marks, patches and signs of wear, and the unique running stitch throughout each acts as a signature of the Indian woman who took 7-10 days to hand sew the piece together. It is these imperfections in additional to their beautiful patterns, that make each kantha absolutely shine.
And don’t you just love the colours! Each picture depicts the same Kantha throw, flipped one way, then the other. Most feature distinctly different patterns
on each side, giving you the opportunity to mix it up a bit! They are perfectly sized as a light coverlet for a single bed, make a colourful addition to your lounge, and I even know someone who uses hers down the beach as a luxurious rug!.
As each Kantha is fresh out of the Ganges, over the past week, I have taken advantage of Melbourne’s hot summer, and washed each in a combination of Planet Luxe Laundry Liquid and a teaspoon of organic eucalyptus oil, and dried them out in the sun on the clothes line. I can attest they wash up perfectly. They were honestly a sight to behold flapping in the wind drying – alas I didn’t take a photograph!
Each of the Kantha throws above has just been added to the State of Green store, plus a few more! As each is unique and a one off design, if you see one you love, please let me know!
Kantha Quilts: $179
Stephanie Watson is one talented and imaginative fashion designer, who has bucked the trend of spending alot of dough on a wedding dress. Using over 10,000 bread tags collected over a period of ten years , she has created an eye catching, upcycled wedding dress that cost just $36.00.
Stephanie and her boyfriend started collecting bread tags ten years ago after finding a pile of them on a windowsill when they moved in together. If you are trying to do the math on this, don’t think Stephanie and her new husband ate their way through 10,000 bread loaves ~ approximately 3 loaves a day. Friends added to the collection too, and as fate had it, when Stephanie ran short of tags towards the end of her wedding dress creation, her baker cousin stepped in and contributed the remaining required!
Whilst this gown may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it certainly does provoke thought about everyday items that contribute to landfill, and celebrates innovation in re-thinking ways we can re-use materials – bread and butter stuff.
Hold onto your hats ladies and gents as there is a new textile designer in town, and I LOVE her work! Karen Johnston of The Print Society launched her textile homewares business just a few months ago. Over the past few weeks we have been talking on and off as she has been making her wonderful cushions and pom pom sling bags for the State of Green store, and she is an absolute delight.
Born in Sydney to an editor and a draftsman, Karen has over ten years experience in textile printing and design. She first studied Fashion Design at East Sydney TAFE, and later returned to study Textile Design and Printing. Karen uses hemp, yak (oh yes) and organic cotton base cloths, and hand screen prints bright and punchy designs upon them.
I particularly love the different prints and colours on each side of the cushions ~ you can change the look of your decor in a simple flip of a cushion, and their inners are made from sustainable PET (recycled plastic bottles)! Coinciding today with the introduction of The Print Society’s homewares in our online store, is our interview with Karen conducted just this afternoon – so it’s straight hot off the press!:
1. What inspired you to enter the field of textile design? The inspiration to create my own fabrics came years ago when I was studying Fashion Design at East Sydney TAFE. I found that the range of textiles available in Australia was quite limited and it was almost impossible to ensure exclusivity as a younger designer. I knew the basics of screen printing so found myself playing around with different ideas. A few years later I returned to study Textile design and haven’t looked back.
2. You use hemp, yak and organic textiles in your range. Why did you decide to use these textiles? Natural fibres are so much nicer to print on! They are beautiful to handle and have qualities that synthetic fibres just can’t emulate. However, apart from reasons based around aesthetics and manufacturing, I like to use hemp and organic cottons due to the environmental and economic benefits which result primarily from the nature of the crop’s growth cycles and harvesting techniques.
3. What have been your biggest challenges starting a new fabulous business? All of The Print Society’s products are screen printed and made by hand, making production efficiency a difficult balance to strike. So my focus is on reducing time wasters and improving processes wherever possible.
4. What can we expect to see from The Print Society in the future? I’m putting a lot of work into research and experimentation at the moment. I have a strong interest in art and culture, so you’ll see the focus start to move in that direction. I’m also looking at ways to take a more ‘free-form’ approach with screen printing, meaning that there’ll be less use of the rail for repeat printing, and more random placements during the process.
5. Share with us your easy eco living tip: For me it’s all about reducing waste. At home my partner and I are committed recyclers and composters. In the studio, nothing goes to waste, and the furniture was sourced from The Bower Co-op in Marrickville whose mission is to reduce the amount of ‘hard waste’ going into landfill through reuse and resale. Yes my furniture is amazing!
Thanks Karen ~ we look forward to keeping an eye on what you come up with next, and may just have to get a sneak peek at some of those wonderful furniture finds.
I hope all our State of Green readers had a great weekend. The sun was shining here in Melbourne, and put me in the mood for a fresh room makeover for my daughter. After occupying a room with her two brothers for the first 3 1/2 years of her life (see former makeover here), it was time to turn my storage / junk room into a cute girls bedroom.
Once I removed all the bits and pieces stored in the room and vacuumed away a tonne of dust, the room looked twice as big as it used to. I re-assembled my daughters bedroom furniture and put it in place, but it was still missing that certain “je ne said quoi“. Now this is where it is handy (and a little dangerous) to have the State of Green store at my fingertips – I flapped out two of the rag rags we recently got in from Morocco and Voila – It added the required pizazz.
It is quite amazing to think these rugs used to be pieces of clothing, cloth and various other textiles. Thousands of tiny pieces of recycled cloth are neatly knotted in place to form various bright patterns, that are not only hard wearing but are absolutely striking.
Now I have just one issue – I LOVE both of the rag rugs above, and need your help to decide which looks best. I am leaning towards the geometric design in the bottom image. How about you? Leave a comment below and let me know!
When interior decorating, our homes are often bereft of colour – Afterall, white walls and dark coloured couches are safest and will last the longest right? Yes – they make great bones for the room, but without dressing them up a little they can look dull and uninteresting. Today, I want to share with you the wonderful world of the Boucherouite (pron: Booch err eet) Rag Rugs. They not only inject colour and interest to a room, but they exhibit great eco credentials, are carefully and expertly crafted, and are real artworks. Some hang them on walls to admire, others use as a centrepiece feature on the floor. We are particularly excited about these rugs, as we have just received our first shipment from Morocco, and can attest to their stunning beauty.
Made from old clothing and textile offcuts, traditionally artisans in Morocco made these rugs in times of shortage during the 1950′s and 60′s. They have now however developed a bit of an interior cult following due to their expert craftmanship (you should see how neat the backing of these carpets are expertly knotted), graphic patterns and vibrant colour. If you love modern bohemian style, you must visit the SF Girl By Bay blog. She styles interiors with eclectic and unique furnishings – and in many shows how beautiful berber and rag rugs can anchor and transform a room.
Design Sponge are also big fans of the rag rugs, incorporating them into the room makeovers and featuring in numerous blog topics
Do you have a room that is missing the essential ingredient? We have more rag rugs in store (well at this stage only 6), and some berber rugs too for those who are a little shy of colour. Have fun decorating!