Latest Pure Design Posts

Friday, 23 May 2008

Waste Not, Want It!

Tweet this Post DESIGNERS from the midlands are challenging society’s throwaway culture with an inspiring collection of beautifully handcrafted furniture, textiles, lighting and jewellery, made from everyday waste. 'Waste Not, Want it!' - is a collaborative exhibition between Design Factory, the region’s leading creative development agency and the Hub. The show will run from 14th June to 20th July 2008.

Waste Not, Want It! highlights how waste materials can be reused, recycled, reclaimed and recreated into sustainable design products and solutions. The exhibition includes designers who use materials, processes and resources that are environmentally sustainable, either in their production or implementation. The aim is to encourage visitors to become more eco-conscious consumers by challenging today’s throwaway culture. Waste Not, Want It! also aims to enliven debates around sustainability.

A series of events, talks and workshops will be created around the exhibition, for more information visit

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Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Craft is for Keeps..(and naturally eco...)

Tweet this Post Nearly all of us have an object at home whose sentimental value far outweighs its worth in cold hard cash. And despite what some may say, savoring your precious object doesn’t make you Gollum from Lord of the Rings! I think it is a really valuable characteristic; one that will help us all to make the most of what we have, and keep it that way for the future.

Most of us are already questioning how our lifestyle impacts on the planet; in particular our consumption of resources such as fossil fuels, food, clothing and household goods. I propose that one of the best ways to reduce our rate of consumption (particularly of personal and household goods) is to invest in objects of quality that last, that we can keep, and that we can share with others.

Having worked in the craft sector for 4 years now, and opened Pure Design, I regularly visit craft fairs to scout for new eco-design talent. This week I met Amy, a maker who has set up an alternative luxury knitwear brand called ‘Keep & Share’. Her mission is to create a sustainable ‘slow fashion’ label, which seeks to reverse the effects of throwaway fashion by creating ‘best friend’ pieces that will transcend short-lived trends and age gracefully. I thought this was right on the money.

And the great news is, there are many more makers and designers who have a very similar outlook to Amy. Susiemaroon, a Scottish eco-designer takes leather otherwise destined for landfill and creates chic floor hides and cushions. An Alleweireldt from Oxx uses old floppy disks, vinyl records and lollipops she has hoarded over the years to create cutting edge jewellery. What many describe as a labour of love (41% of UK makers earned less than £10,000 in 2002) drives these artists to create unique and beautiful pieces of design that we can buy and admire every day. Craft also satiates our desire to collect, with individual pieces acting as souvenirs or memories of a person, place or time.

AND as craft is small scale production, designers are able to keep tabs on exactly what goes into their ‘product’. They can source greener, sustainable materials, often using locally sourced, found or reclaimed materials. They can control production techniques, using non-toxic dyes and chemicals. And with so many artists working from home – they can keep their own carbon footprint right down. Weaver, Angela Morley talks about her passion for nature and natural materials in BBC’s Made in England With these positive eco aspects to craft, and not forgetting the fact that craft can suit all budgets, shouldn’t we all take a little more time to measure the true worth of products before we pay out? And with all the economists telling us we need to watch our spending, I think craft for keeps could be a very sound investment...
Images top to bottom: 1. Susiemaroon, ‘Digitally embroidered calico cushion, 2 + 3) Oxx An Alleweireldt, ‘Vinyl bracelets’ and ‘Diskette bracelet’.

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Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Pure Design launches - May 2008!

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Why not treat yourself to some purely divine design whilst single-handedly saving the planet, and all without having to remove your slippers…

Virtually on your doorstep, Pure Design, a new online eco-design gallery opens this month and offers discerning shoppers a selection of designer home ware, sculpture and accessories that will have you asking, ‘how can something so sinfully stylish, be so very good?’.

Forget the eco-warrior cliché - this chic new gallery represents award-winning designers and artists, and showcases the very best of UK sustainable contemporary craft. Sumptuous silk upholstered cushions, organic calico and lace placemats, and digitally embroidered floor hides are just a few of the new arrivals in the gallery shop. There is definitely no compromise on style here. And if you can’t believe it - go online and have a look for yourself Pure Design are not alone in the growing market of eco-goods, but they are one of the very few that offer top-of-the-range artwork that would be perfectly at home in a London Gallery. Elaine, Director of Pure Design, meets and recruits many of the designers at trade fairs and gallery exhibitions, and with several years in the business she knows where to look to find those hidden gems. Pure Design regularly features the work of new designers and so it is always worth a quick peek at the website to see new arrivals.

In addition to the gallery shop, Pure Design also manage commissions for private and commercial customers, ranging from garden furniture or show-stopping chandeliers for private spaces, to upholstery and artwork for restaurants and hotels.

Edinburgh based eco-design brand Susiemaroon is just one of Pure Design’s latest signings. Susie Brown, designer and founder of Susiemaroon, creates a range of fabulous items for you and your home. Our favourites include Susie’s Reel Lamps that are made from industrial reels salvaged from a derelict mill outside of Edinburgh, and her distinctly Scottish organic calico cushions digitally embroidered with her unique motifs.

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