Sunday, 10 October 2010

Bowerbird Bazaar: three designers to get your hands on

I started my Sunday with a visit to Bowerbird Bazaar, a little adelaide design market. It’s always inspiring to see people using their skills to create beautiful, useful and ethical products. I never take money with me when I go, because I know the huge risk of eating only mi goreng noodles for a month if I did. Instead, I collect business cards and try to learn the most I can about the product directly from the designers. Here are three designers and their products that I am especially excited about:

I’ve been trying for a while now to find somewhere local (or at least in Australia) that makes and sells fair and sustainable jewellery. I haven’t been satisfied with companies I have seen. Until now.  Utopian Creations sources only antique/second-hand pieces and new stones & metals that meet fair trade standards. Their pieces are absolutely stunning. Consider them next time you’re thinking about purchasing some new bling. Choose Utopian Designs and you’ll get an exclusive piece with a unique story. You can also help Utopian Creations by giving unwanted jewellery for new products. If you want to take your ethics even further, consider adding Utopian Creations and other sustainable designers in your will- make sure the leave a story about where the items have been so new owners can keep them alive.

Ink & Spindle is a screenprinting studio that makes modern, high quality printed fabrics. All the products are made with environmentally sustainable materials including organic and fair trade cloth, solvent free inks and as much as possible, recycled and biodegradable packaging. I spoke with one of the designers, Tegan Rose, who was completely adorable and showed me a knit she was making for her niece. When told her I was looking for somewhere I could buy a locally designed fabric for a 30’s lounge set I have in my garage (one 2-seater and two chairs, all in need of serious TLC) she told me that they can source upholstery grade hemp and print a design in a colour of my choice for such a purpose. Done and done! I’ll be getting in touch with Tegan in the next six months once I have this project organised. I’ll keep you posted on the progress so you can see the fabric in action!

If like me, you are concerned with Design Miles as much as Food Miles, Bride & Wolfe is for you. Bride & Wolfe design and make beautiful wall and sculptural pieces for the home. All their products are made from local sustainable wood. Designs and finishings take place at the home and the wood cut at a workshop just 6 kilometres away! The colours used to finish the pieces are fresh and uplifting. Quite simply, they made my heart sing! The product I was really excited about was the new “circle shelf”. These are the only products that aren't made in the workshop ‘down the road’ and crafted about 150 kilometres away. They are made by an artisan using machines and methods dating back to the 1850’s. Steam is used to gently bend and shape the wood. If you bought one of these you’d be paying more than the average shelf. However you’ll be supporting sustainable design, a dying art form and have a practical and handsome piece to fill a space. I’m adding it to the vision board and saving my change!

There are plenty of other creative and ethical designers out there to get your hands on. It’s easier than you think to find them. Check out your local design market (e.g. The Finders Keepers, Bowerbird Bazaar), or the etsy and madeit sites. Don’t forget to tell me about any designers you’re excited about with a comment below!

Kate xxx

*all pics are from the designers own and Bowerbird websites. 


  1. Thanks Kate The Finders Keepers (although highly disappointed not in Adelaide yet) and Bowerbird Bazaar now in 'favourites' ...

  2. Ink and Spindle looks lovely - I hope you do do your lounge :)

  3. I love a little designer called Delilah Devine. Using new and recycled materials, she makes the most precious brooches, wall art and more. I love :) x

  4. Oh Erin I do love her brooches! *Sigh* Thanks for sharing xx


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