Curating with a Conscience - why it’s important we start to make more mindful purchases and help a sister out!
With International Woman’s day on our doorstep it’s time to take a moment to shine the light on some of our favourite design partners and the phenomenal work they do for women around the world and how your purchase has the power to transform the lives of thousands of women.
So in honour of the sisterhood, here’s some homewares with BIG hearts that will do more than make your home look good!
T R I O ‘ S T O P T H R E E T O H E L P A S I S T E R O U T
# 1. ARMADILLO & CO.
“ rugs that lie lightly on this earth ”
What are the main things you look for when it comes to purchasing a new rug in your home? The right size? The right price? Quality? Durability? How about all that, but throw in scholarships for young women, free medical clinics, along with a fierce commitment to social responsibility.
All that in one rug purchase?! Sounds pretty incredible doesn’t it? The dynamic duo behind Armadillo & Co, Jodie Fried and Sally Pottharst, are one hundred percent committed to social responsibility, sustainable practices and to helping support the community of underprivileged artisans who hand make all of their incredibly beautiful products in the remote villages of India.
Last year Armadillo & Co launched a nine-year scholarship program to their sponsored school in India which educates many of the artisans children. Classrooms have been upgraded, libraries built, uniforms, sweaters and shoes provided, along with eye treatment and solar panel technology.
These are just a few of the amazing initiatives that the Armadillo & Co foundation is doing for it’s artisans.
And it’s these very things that I think of every time I sit on my own Armadillo rugs at home. It’s also why I always bang-on about these rugs to our clients. I feel good knowing my hard-earn cash went to such a good cause, plus they are without a doubt some of the most stunning and durable rugs I’ve come across in a long time. With two very young kids, a large dog and a husband with a penchant for red wine, that’s saying something!!
Please visit Armadillo & Co. website to learn more about the foundation, purchase their stunning rugs or donate to the foundation itself!
Images via Armadillo & Co.
# 2. THE DHARMA DOOR
“Making a difference through design”
It’s pretty fair to say that a wall hanging by the Dharma Door will leave your mouth hanging open! They are so intricate, delicate and simply stunning, making them the ultimate show-stopping art piece in any home. Yet it’s the story woven with every stitch and fibre that will really steal your heart.
When it comes to epic business goals, founder, Shannon Sheedy has the ultimate:
“Our ultimate goal is to genuinely empower as many people as possible out of the cycle of poverty. The more we trade, the more artisans we are able to provide sustainable work for. Through this approach, we are able to achieve the greatest impact"
The Dharma Door has been commissioning the incredible skills of female artisans in remote, rural communities since 2004, meaning when you purchase any of their products you are genuinely empowering as many women as possible out of the cycle of poverty. Plus as Sheedy notes, the broader social impact is so much more:
“Consider the self-confidence that comes from a having a sense of purpose; the pride that comes from creating something beautiful; the sense of dignity from being able to contribute economically to their family”.
If you ever needed more positive reason when it comes to your art choice, why not pick something that not only looks incredible but strengthens the fabric of an entire community, both socially and economically, whilst encouraging equality, challenges cultural norms and inspires the next generation.
Changing Social Norms…
“ Life can be challenging for women living in a patriarchal society; they often face opposition to working from the men in their lives. When a women is empowered by earning a consistent living wage, traditional social norms are naturally challenged – and changed for the better ” .
Please visit The Dharma Door to shop their selection of life-changing homewares and read more about how they are making a difference to the lives of women of the world.
All images via The Dharma Door
# 3 . K O S K E L A
“ Committed to exceptional design, manufacturing in Australia and championing social enterprise ”
Koskela believes that great design can be used to effect social change. When Sasha Titchkosky and Russel Koskela left corporate careers to create Koskela they wanted to create a company that represented their values and had a purpose bigger than the mere pursuit of profits. Koskela has a firm belief that Australia’s unique Indigenous culture is one that needs to be celebrated and acknowledged.
They now have a relationship with over 20 Indigenous owned and run art centres across Australia. They are constantly collaborating with Indigenous artists and artisans to create opportunities which use their skills to create new contemporary design products. This allows the artists to continue to live a life they have chosen to lead, maintaining their traditional practices by creating an alternate income source, independent of any Government funding.
Recent collabs include the Tili Wiru [Beautiful Light] and the Yuta Badayala [A New Light]. The wire frame is a blank canvas upon which the artists can apply their beautiful weaving with brightly coloured fibres of tjanpi grass, raffia, wool and emu feathers.
“Koskela came to us with the idea of doing our weaving on lampshades. I was interested in this new idea. I thought it would be interesting to take our traditional Yolngu materials and use them on Balanda objects. We all thought this would be a good way to show a new audience what can be done by Yolngu artists with materials from the bush”.
— Mavis Warrngilna Ganambarr, a senior weaver from Elcho Island
This collaborative process means that all generations of women in remote central deserts can make baskets now and earn their own income from fibre art, whilst handing down important womens knowledge and preserving and promoting ethical trade in Indigenous art.
“By continuing to use these traditional techniques we can keep the culture strong, and it can go on. This is what I have learned from my grandmother”.
— Mavis Warrngilna Ganambarr, a senior weaver from Elcho Island
Hoorary for the sister hood and hooray for these amazing collaborations that spark new ways of thinking about global issues like sustainability, community development, poverty, and inequity, among others and letting us get involved in these life-changing processes simply by just being more mindful when it comes to our next big purchase for our home.
More information about Koskela’s collaboration with the Tjanpi Desert Weavers can be found via their website
All images via Koskela