Creative Connections on the blog; On The Sly Homewares & Textiles discovering eco responsible + beautiful mix of cushions, prints, & tea towels.

 

Photo cred // Annette O’Brien

Today on the creative connection series we have Lauren Finks from ‘On the Sly’ Textiles & Homewares – which is a gorgeous array of geometric printed textiles, all designed, printed & assembled in Australia. Lauren also values eco responsible design, ‘On the Sly’ product range are all manufactured with these values at the forefront of the design stage. The inks used are water based, non toxic, contain no CFC’s or harsh solvents and use 100% recycled material in the cushion inserts.  Which is a refreshing change in the homewares sector.

Creative Connections on the blog; On The Sly Homewares & Textiles discovering eco responsible + beautiful mix of cushions, prints, & tea towels.

 

Photo cred // Annette O’Brien

Choosing homewares that are eco – friendly is difficult and confusing. Even in my past life as a commercial interior designer, it was a difficult task to source and to find authentic suppliers. So I asked Lauren’s take on this issue;

 

“Personally I don’t like the term “eco friendly” I find it gets thrown around a lot and people interpret it in different ways. So as far as my products go the ethos is if there are green choices to be made anywhere in our processes we will make them above other choices. It’s not always possible, but this to me is what I call “eco-responsible.”

 Creative Connections on the blog; On The Sly Homewares & Textiles discovering eco responsible + beautiful mix of cushions, prints, & tea towels.

 

Photo cred // Annette O’Brien

Any advice for design conscious + eco –responsible buyers? I asked Lauren about buying wool products, as I’ve heard that left in it’s natural state it can be considered eco- sustainable, but once you manufacture (to change colour) – this process tends to outstrip any environmental benefit.

 

“As far as looking for products on the market again this is very difficult as the consumer is not privy to the information behind the manufacturing, of materials so my advice is to ask questions. Try to buy fabrics that are made from natural fibres like linen, cotton, bamboo etc as opposed to synthetics. I can’t say I’m aware of wool manufacturing processes but again if you have concerns about a fabric you like, ask about it from the place of purchase. Overall I think we have some way to go in our production of all things whether it’s homewares or everyday items, but we have certainly raised the awareness and are on the right track.”

 

Lauren is right, we as consumers can raise the awareness, by asking these questions. Then we can direct manufacturer’s towards a more eco -responsible process; with our purchasing power.

 Creative Connections on the blog; On The Sly Homewares & Textiles discovering eco responsible + beautiful mix of cushions, prints, & tea towels.

 

Photo cred // Annette O’Brien

 

1.When did you start on the sly textiles?

We are nearly 2 years old. I started On The Sly whilst working in Sydney which is where the idea emerged.

 

2. Have you always been creatively motivated, always wanted to be an artist/designer once finishing school?   

Yes, I went straight to Art school and did Applied Design before completing a Bachelor of Communication Design. A lot of my family is creative and I have always been a creative person.

Creative Connections on the blog; On The Sly Homewares & Textiles discovering eco responsible + beautiful mix of cushions, prints, & tea towels.

 

Photo cred // Annette O’Brien

3. What’s your favourite habit to start a new project? or if you’re feeling stuck creatively, what do you do that helps?

I find music is great. Mood is everything and depending on what headspace you’re in you can come up with very different things.

 

4. Do you have a favourite hashtag (#) or Instagram account and inspires you at the moment?  

There are so many i love too many to name I adore Instagram it’s just a haven of inspiration.

 

5. What book are you reading at the moment? 

I tend not to read books which is a little odd to some people, I prefer to read blogs, articles, I’m really a much more visual person.

Creative Connections on the blog; On The Sly Homewares & Textiles discovering eco responsible + beautiful mix of cushions, prints, & tea towels.

 

Photo cred // Annette O’Brien

6. What’s your marketing plan for On the Sly ? Any marketing tips for other creatives?

There was a period where it seemed print was coming to an end but I actually feel there is a strong desire to keep print alive. As a graphic designer there’s nothing I’d love to see more. Social media and instagram is wonderful for a portion of people and great for inspiration. I think the key with any project is to be spread across multiple platforms whilst retaining your individuality.


 

Thank you Lauren for you’re wonderful insights into the creative world of textiles. I tend to agree with you that print is not dead, I think there seems to be so much noise in the web world versus sitting down with a cuppa & a favourite magazine or book. I heard the other day someone saying “Winning in Instagram is a bit like winning in monopoly” – So true, and I had a little giggle. That’s ok you don’t read books – I can’t remember the last time I sat down and read a novel either. I’m very much a visual reader too, so magazines and design styling books are my fav’s. If you haven’t yet, do check out On the Sly Instagram account & Facebook page for gorgeous textile inspiration & sale announcements.


 

This “Creative Connections” Series on the blog is where I hunt down creative artisans & designers to showcase their work and uncover the story behind their creative world. Are you a creative type doing interesting work in homewares or design? Send me a quick message over on my instagram account or email me melindamcqueendesign@gmail.com, to be showcased next.