One thing that I have been thinking more and more about lately is that it is really important that we work with the big makers of furniture and homewares, energy companies and so on, to encourage change. I feel it is the same with programmes like The Block. So many people watch and engage in these kinds of programmes that it is important we give voice to anything that is eco-friendly, locally made or sustainable, and encourage more of this.
This year they are renovating the Gatwick in St Kilda – a building with a big history and complicated reputation. There is no argument this seedy old girl needed completely renovating. The fact that the remaining residents were re-housed was initially something I was ok with. However it was brought to my attention that many of them have ended up back on the street due to being unable to afford their new accommodation, and being outside of their support services. This is a difficult and complex matter. Bringing the Gatwick back to life was a priority, but affordable housing is something that we need to seriously change in Australia, and this is an opportunity to spark conversation about how we can best provide this. Many people from within the support services involved are suggesting properties like the Gatwick need to be renovated and turned into affordable housing for vulnerable people. I am sure most people involved in the Block genuinely think the residents have all been sorted, but I am not so sure that is the case….
Therefore I am taking a different approach.
I still believe we need to champion local makers and brands who are considering people and planet in their approach to business, AND work with big brands to create change from within. The Block offers a massive platform for these people to showcase what they offer, and opportunity to change the way renovation shows approach things. The Block Shop has an ever increasing amount of sustainable options on their store. So whilst we won’t be posting the reveals per-se each week, we will be sharing brands we think deserve highlighting, in the interests of supporting a wider acceptance of buying once and buying well, shopping local, handmade, sustainable and eco, whilst being sensitive to the issues surrounding this property and others like it.
Our Pick of Sustainable and Handmade Brands to Follow
- Heatherley Design – always a beautiful addition to any room – see more about their work here.
- Leo and Bella Canvas Storage Basket and Tipi Tent Tee-Pee – the tipi by Numero 74 is an easy self assembled and foldable structure which can be stored away in a Thai Cotton storage bag in the same colour way. The tipi features 2 windows and an entry point. Material: 100% Thaï Cotton / Wooden Poles. Handcrafted & traditionally dyed. Handmade in Thailand, collections are created in limited series with a great respect of traditions by qualified artisans and women’s self managed cooperatives.
- Jonquil – certified organic cotton and linen and available on the Block Shop.
- The Nest Emporium Horse Print – Cavallo Haflinger is a photographic framed print by an Australian photographer. This art is entirely Australian made in a Melbourne Studio. It is framed in an oak frame with a glass front. Also on the Block Shop.
- Behr & Co Century Blush Vase from The Family Love Tree – The Century Vase is a mix of old world style and the simple clean lines of modern design. In powder coated iron.
- Grey Textured Cushion by Clu Living – Wool blend Atlas felt cushion with feather insert designed and made in New Zealand.
- Pink Linen pillow cases and doona by Sirocco Style – Linen is a fantastic choice for bedding
- Little P Cloud Rug – this cute cloud shaped rug is made using 100% New Zealand Wool, with a sparkly silver (lurex) lining to the edge. Made using 100% NZ Wool ensures all of little P’s rugs are naturally hypoallergenic, and the latex backing meets Greenguard Gold Standards.
- Homely Creatures Pink Cloud Pillow – This adorable medium-sized pink cloud cushion is handmade
- Little Wolffs “Flamingo In The Forest Floor Cushion“ – Cushion cover is made from 100% Cotton and 100% PET fibre Eco friendly Insert included. 100% non-allergenic. Also on The Block Shop.
- Homely Creatures Knitted Toucan Creature – Knitted from 100% Alpaca yarn by artisans in Bolivia.
- Sprout and Sparrow prints – Lion, Sparrow, Unicorn and Whale – Tash (a graphic designer) and Adi (a former lawyer) are a sister duo from Melbourne. They started Sprout and Sparrow in 2014 with a small range of wall art for nurseries, kids rooms and playrooms. All their products are designed and printed in Melbourne.
- Violet Eyes Rainbow Artwork (Block Shop exclusive) – Violet Eyes looks to our stunning and diverse native animals, plants and landscape as a starting point and then reimagines them in a dreamlike unique way. The Violet Eyes artworks are printed on high quality 160gsm paper and supplied in custom printed gift tubes suitable for mailing. The Art Prints are printed on matte 260gsm paper using high quality ink. Produced locally in Melbourne using digital printing to minimise environmental impact as well as short runs to reduce wastage. All Violet Eyes artworks are originals created by Ainslie Fletcher.
- Bendo Wire Plant Stand – Bendo are all about colour, fun and design. Founded by Annabelle and Kristian Jamieson, the duo launched their debut collection in 2015 complete with quirky, helpful wire pieces for the home.
- Abode Nordic Pelmet – these are 100% Tibetan wool. Each piece is individually dyed and has its own unique character.
- Grafico removable wallpaper (on the ceiling) – Grafico wallpapers are removable for up to 12 months so if you decide to take it down, it won’t pull away any paint or plaster underneath. Their environmentally friendly printers uses water-based, odourless inks.
- Loft Cushion Denim by Eadie Lifestyle – Sand Blasted Denim. Every cushion is filled with a 100% feather insert.
- Gallery Eight Loves Feltball Rug – Handmade in Nepal, this gorgeous felt ball rug is sourced straight from Nepal and made from 100% soft wool balls. The team at Gallery Eight believe in the importance of fair trade from all their artisans and ensure all products are ethically produced in Bolivia, knitted from 100% alpaca wool.