In Bangladesh and elsewhere, sustainable design starts when artisans and designers work together on exciting solutions, often stretching the use of materials and skills into totally new products … even when both may sometimes wonder, “What is s/he thinking?”
For 20+ years I’ve worked with artisans in various cultures and am so very thankful for the patience and good grace I’ve been shown. Early in the relationship it’s tough! As the artisan there’s maybe the thought, “Why am I wasting time on these experiments when I could be productive in the workshop?” A fair question. But isn’t it great when those odd requests turn into part of the next order?
As well experienced designers and artisans collaborate a lot of good things happen for a good many people. An artisan knows the most efficient way to use their materials and tools – the designer doesn’t always know that. A designer knows what customers are looking for at what price in their home country – the artisan doesn’t always know that. Sustainable lifestyle choices for the eco-aware consumer are birthed in this dynamic combo of experience and creativity.
And as that mutual respect grows so do other exciting results:
- Stronger livelihoods and communities grow with fair trade earnings and practices.
- Near zero carbon footprint production is the norm for many traditional craft techniques.
- Close to zero waste consumption results from working with recycled and multi-purpose local raw materials.
GoZero is Motif’s name for the 98% recycled cotton yarn, made of selected fabric waste from Dhaka’s garment industry. Check out the eco-friendly results of Motif’s recent designer and artisan partnership using GoZero materials with highly skilled hand weavers, block printers, hand sewers, dyers and sewing machinists right here in our 2019 / 2020 look book, Sustainable Interior Textiles from Bangladesh.