Pottage, who calls both New Zealand and Canada home, has always been conscious of the way that our consumer society impacts the world around us. Initially astonished that New Zealand had a gaping hole in the market when it came to organic, eco-friendly and ethical lifestyle products, she took it upon herself to right this wrong.
“I was creating handmade items and I figured it would be a truer representation of my own lifestyle commitment if my products reflected my sustainable beliefs too. So slowly I started switching everything over to organic cotton. But, there is a catch… Organic cotton is not really super readily available for the small scale maker”
Pottage approached fabric distributors across New Zealand to find out if she could buy eco-friendly, sustainable or fair-trade products from them.
Now, with a growing customer base and stockists including the Auckland Art Gallery, Suter Gallery and Nelson Museum, Pottage’s designs are demonstrating the trend towards sustainable consumer choices, and have been included in publications including the UK’s Red Magazine and Your Home & Garden.
With a rapidly growing small business on the go, balancing the high expectations that Pottage places on herself with the reality of working and being a mum is challenging at times.
“Life is really busy. Luckily, creativity is a huge escape for me and sewing is akin to meditation.
“I find I’m always having to manage my own excitement for a project(s) with the reality of really only having a few hours a day to squeeze in my business work.”
But, Pottage is showing no signs of slowing down. Always with another project on the go, she has recently launched a limited-edition ‘Everyday Tote’: an often asked after product made of 100% organic fibres that Pottage has been testing and refining for some time.
When it comes to textile designs, much of Pottage’s work is based on her desire to expand the choices available to consumers when it comes to eco-fabrics.
“I’m a colour-lover, but lots of sustainable fabric products are still beige or grey. I believe if sustainability is going to be the way of the future, then more businesses and designers need to help make these products accessible and more fun!”
Within the next twelve months, Pottage aims to produce her products from 100% natural fibres. Where natural fibres are difficult to source, she currently uses Eco Canvas, which is made from 55% recycled plastic.
“Each and every person I interact with online or at a market means so much to me. When you design and make something and put it out there, you really do pour your heart into it, and it’s more than just an item off a shelf from an unknowing factory somewhere. It’s a part of me, and they are saying 'Yes, I love what you do too’.”
Check out pippottage.com to see more of Pottage’s designs.
Images courtesy of