With COP26 happening in Glasgow very soon, conversations around being more environmentally friendly, sustainable and eco conscious are taking centre stage. Many of our Artisans make great efforts to work sustainably, lower their carbon footprints and help others to do so. Here's just a few examples:
Katy Galbraith's sustainable mosaic-making practice is both inspired by and incorporates any number of recycled and salvaged materials, including china and glass. She is passionate about encompassing her strong eco/zero waste ethics within her work. Some of her work also makes an environmental statement, such as her 'Oceans' piece, which shows two fish, one made up of the real dregs of toy boxes and scrap stores with items that realistically have no resale value, and the other of blue and white china, some Victorian, some more contemporary, but all discarded. Katy explains "one in pristine blue and white to represent Beautiful Past, the other a mosaic collage incorporating salvaged junk – called Savage Future – as a visual warning of what’s to come."
Cornelia Weinmann also uses items others have discarded in her textile practice, creating colourful, contemporary slow fashion garments. Cornelia says: "Over the last years I've learned more and more about how the textile industry damages the environment by using unimaginable amounts of water and toxic chemicals for the production of cheap low quality garments. And how most of these fast fashion garments quickly end up in landfill instead of being reused and recycled. This motivated me to do my bit and contribute a little to tackling the fashion industry's huge carbon footprint and waste problem: I repurpose second hand fabrics from charity shops and create unique jackets and tops decorated with colourful artistic appliqués - high quality clothing that lasts a lifetime and stands for the value of slow fashion."
Another avid up-cycler is Izzy Gretton, who repurposes fabrics to create her collection of hats and snoods which are stylish and unusual, but also robust enough to cope with Scotland’s climate. Her range of jewellery made with Scottish stones also keeps the environment firmly in mind. "'One of the reasons I work with Scottish stones is that I know their provenance, that they haven't been collected using destructive methods and used exploited workers to finish them," says Izzy. "It fits, then, that I use recycled materials to showcase them when possible. The copper I use has been harvested from plumbing discards, so old pipes and fittings that are no longer usable for their intended purpose. I clean these with wire wool and jewellery pickle to bring back the shine before using in my electroforming system."
Many of our Artisans are also careful to use recycled or compostable packaging, renewable energy, materials that are locally sourced, and natural ingredients, as well as raising awareness of environmental issues and sharing their passion for the natural world through their work.
Julie Godfrey handcrafts indulgent soap bars for her 100% natural skincare collection. She ensures that every stage of production is sustainable, from using eco-friendly ingredients to minimal 100% compostable packaging and avoiding the use of plastic.
Jon Bishop creates hand-drawn designs in a contemporary, original style, as whimsical and imagined as detailed and natural. His cards and prints are all made in the UK. Cards are printed on 100% recycled paper, with the power used in production generated from wind farms. He also uses compostable packaging.
Rachel Hendry handcrafts natural aromatherapy soy candles, wax melts and body care products that are 100% natural, cruelty-free, vegan, and eco-friendly. She uses only ethically and sustainably sourced natural soy wax, pure essential oils, and 100% recycled or recyclable materials for packaging.
Ceramicist Nicola McCabe says: "I fire my work in an electric kiln and have a 100% renewable electricity provider. I try to fill each kiln load as much as I can. All my offcuts, scraps and slurry are reclaimed and re-used. I try to reuse as much packaging as possible and any that I have to buy new is recyclable."
All our Artisans also make sure their high quality products will last a long time!