With a growing focus on sustainability, provenance and being environmentally friendly these principles have been taken to the very heart of Perthshire Artisans.
Many of the creatives’ products are made from up-cycling reclaimed components and sustainably sourced materials.
Perthshire Artisans, launched by GrowBiz in 2020, is a curated platform of diverse creatives from across the region. With new additions to the platform, it now features over 30 Artisans, ranging from classical painters, woodcraft, photographers and textile designers to glass artists, illustrators, contemporary artists, candlemakers and jewellers.
Many of the artisans make great efforts to work sustainably, lower their carbon footprints and help others to do so, whilst others are inspired by the natural world and environmental principles in the pieces they produce.
A highlight of the site is Oceans by mosaic artist Katy Galbraith, based in Comrie. Her sustainable mosaic-making practice is both inspired by and incorporates any number of recycled and salvaged materials, including china and glass.
She is passionate about encompassing her strong eco/zero waste ethics within her work and this is evident in her 59cm one-off piece Oceans, which makes a bold environmental statement. Comprising two fish, one made up of the real dregs of toy boxes and scrap stores with items that realistically have no resale value, and the other of blue and white china, some Victorian, some more contemporary, but all discarded.
Katy explained: ‘Done in pristine blue and white to represent Beautiful Past, the other a mosaic collage incorporating salvaged junk – called Savage Future – as a visual warning of what’s to come.’
Since the beginning of 2020, ‘sustainability’ searches by online shoppers have increased by 37%. A recent report by Garnier suggests that 73% of UK consumers want to be more sustainable in 2021, with almost half agreeing that 2020 was a wake up call to protect the environment. And 86% of businesses included in the research said that they expect their sales to grow over the next year from a greater focus on sustainability.
Caron Ironside, project manager at Perthshire Artisans said: ‘At a time when consumers are focusing on sustainability, supporting local communities and considered gifting, Perthshire Artisans is a unique resource for anyone looking for considered gifts or homewares.
‘Creating hand crafted pieces by using carefully sourced local, natural materials and ingredients are core to the Artisan’s work. They are careful to work sustainably in all areas of their practice, such as using recycled or compostable materials and packaging and renewable energy.
‘Through their work they are respecting the environment, sharing their passion for the natural world and some are raising awareness of environmental issues and in their way, offering an alternative option.’
Artisan Cornelia Weinmann uses items others have discarded in her textile practice, creating colourful, contemporary slow fashion garments.
Cornelia added: ‘Over the last few years, I’ve learned more and more about how the textile industry damages the environment by using unimaginable amounts of water and toxic chemicals for the production of cheap low quality garments. And how most of these fast fashion garments quickly end up in landfill instead of being reused and recycled.
‘This motivated me to do my bit and contribute a little to tackling the fashion industry’s huge carbon footprint and waste problem: I repurpose second hand fabrics from charity shops and create unique jackets and tops decorated with colourful artistic appliqués – high quality clothing that lasts a lifetime and stands for the value of slow fashion.’
New Artisans to join the platform include Nigel Laye, who works with reclaimed wood to produce handcrafted pieces, and Beth McDowall – known as The Treecycler – an innovative up-cycler who repurposes various materials such as old cabling and bicycle wheels into quirky homewares and wall art. Each piece has its own story from its past, a new function for the present and a future use away from landfill.
Caron Ironside concluded: ‘With the eyes of the world on Scotland for COP26, there is a growing appetite for all our choices be more mindful, considered and sustainable. Perthshire Artisans provides a wealth of products for socially conscious consumers, with provenance, sustainable gifting and support for creative practice at the very heart of everything on offer.’
To explore the work of the creatives on Perthshire Artisans, visit https://www.perthshire-artisans.scot/