The philosophy underpinning Rachel Fearnley Textile Designs is based on three characteristics.
- Original Art
- Developing an eco-friendly green business
- Priding ourselves on being a little different
These characteristics are illustrated and summarised visually as follows.
We embrace simple living, slowing down, taking time to enjoy our surroundings and making the most of the moment. We have adopted the philosophy of the Slow Movement. By slowing down we are able to observe, reflect and apply a considered approach to our work. We feel that we all need time to contemplate the world that surrounds us, have some ‘me’ time and yes, switch off technology for a few moments and take time for ourselves. Our underpinning philosophy is based on three characteristics.
All of our products are original art. Individually designed, crafted and hand printed. No two pieces are the same and we use unconventional objects as our printing tools this brings a quirky and unique dimension to our work.
Developing an eco-friendly green business
The philosophy of our business is about working with our environment and being very mindful of the impact we are having on it. As a business we are thinking about how we can become more environmentally connected through the methods and materials we use. We have adopted a ‘repurposed, rescued, recycled’ approach, although we acknowledge that we do use new products as well.
Sometimes we incorporate, within our textile art, fabrics that have had a previous life such as the vintage linen. When possible, we share the story and history of these pieces.
‘The redundant repurposed’ © is the phrase we use. This is where we have taken objects that were redundant and repurpose them to create beautiful pieces of art and decorative objects. Each piece has its own narrative and identity. Many of our objects have their own character marks; a nod to their previous history. Sometimes we are able to use these marks within our art work. We feel that they enhance the overall piece, add dimension and context and acknowledge their previous role.
We like to rescue materials and transform them into pieces of art, many of which are destined for landfill. They are transformed by painstakingly cleaning, shaping and revitalising their natural beauty. We consider their history and contemplate their potential narratives. If they could talk what would they say? The materials may be transformed and bear no resemblance to their original purpose, while others are adapted to provide alternative uses. Either way they provide a new lease of life; we like to think of it as a new career.
We recycle materials, for example the wood for our boats. Our boats incorporate original textile art. We appreciate the different colours, textures and types of wood that we incorporate into our work. When sourcing wood, we try, where possible to learn more about it such as a little of its history and narrative.
When we have this information we share this within the product description. We feel this is important as it helps develop the connection with the piece. Sometimes we do not know the type of wood or anything about it and thus are unable to provide this additional information. However, this does not mean it does not come without character, history and a previous purpose.
Wherever possible we use rescued materials and through repurposing or recycling we create original art. There are times when new materials are used, however, this is minimal. When we use new materials we take into consideration the manufacturing, environmental and sustainable qualities. We consider, where possible the company’s ethics and their use of materials. We carefully think about whether the goods are recyclable and their compostable and biodegradable properties. For example the blank cards we use for our greeting cards, along with their envelopes and cello bags are recycled and recyclable and the cello bags are compostable. The cards and envelopes are “Hairy Manilla which are made from ‘low grade’ (the greenest) post consumer waste. These are not dyed or bleached using any chlorine, the colour is achieved by matching raw waste materials and so can vary in shade.” When we use new fabric it is organic hemp and cotton.
Our cards are all original pieces of art, each one is individually designed, handmade and includes hand printed textile art. We feel that the original art adds value and gives longevity. They are much more than a card. Following the usual period of displaying the card; why not frame it?
Why not purchase a lavender card, and once its life as a card is ceased place it in a drawer for that gentle lavender smell? Both of these examples show how one of our cards could be much more; repurposed and a treasured keepsake. A gift in itself. A gift that keeps on giving.
Journey of discovery
We continue to explore the materials we use in addition to the production methods of those materials, transportation such as where we get out materials from and the potential impact on the environment, along with the recyclable qualities. We have identified that this is not easy for a small business, for example packaging is sold in bulk and this presents difficulties because of financial constraints and storage. Nevertheless, this is only the beginning of our journey. A journey of discovery where we would like to invite you to join us. You comments on our philosophy would be most welcomed and appreciated.
Priding ourselves on being a little different
We offer something that is a little different for our customers. Our thoughtfully crafted products are truly individual. We create products that we hope people will want to own and that will make them smile.
Photographs by Holly Booth Studios https://www.hollybooth.com/