1. What is Peahead.eco and when did it start?
Peahead.eco is an emerging design studio dubbed covid-couture. Inspired by nature with a passion for the environment. Peahead.eco combines recycling with the quality of slow fashion design. Launched 1st May 2020 with a range of handbags and accessories using Spinney’s single use plastic bags to create #bagsofgratitude. At the time I was out of work during lockdown, and like many of us took the time to reflect, re-evaluate and focus on a chosen activity. For me, that was to create. I love design and the process of creating with your own hands along with the challenge of doing so in an eco friendly manner. It’s not always easy to avoid waste in modern living and I wanted to be able to make use of my own plastic waste first and foremost. So, with my Dubizzle bought sewing machine, a healthy concern for ecological issues, and a lot of time on my hands I began this recycling project. Plastic carrier bags were in abundance in my community so I started with these, collecting, processing and fusing them together to create a durable and sewable material I pair with sustainable cork leather.
2. What do you love about your business?
I love the challenge of experimenting with a variety of items and materials in order to make them useful again. I used to shred plastic milk bottles and melt them in the oven to mould (I don’t advise this!). Integrating a shower curtain into the lining of a tote bag for a client looked surprisingly great and is so practical.
New products coming soon utilise, reclaimed leather, life jackets, seat belts and car airbags. I get enthusiastic about the possibilities! Recently I have been adding designs by laser to both the cork and reclaimed leather. It allows for many possibilities and personalized options for special events and occasions.
3. Tell us about your design inspiration and experience at Dubai Design Week.
Dubai Design week was certainly a highlight for me in 2020. After months of learning how to sew and make bags on my own I was able to share my love of the craft with others who are equally interested in an eco friendly lifestyle. At the Makers Space workshop entitled Bags of Gratitude we taped life jackets to the bottom of the chairs. Each participant got to inflate the lifejacket and consider the fabrics to use in their own bag design. For me the fabric often dictates the design, a particular pattern or print will spark a memory of a place, the line of a building or landscape. I was incredibly grateful to receive a grant award from Dubai Culture to take part in Dubai Design Week’s first curated Market Place. During this event I met incredible makers and designers from across the region, expanding my sense of community here.
4. Why is it important to highlight the use of recycled and sustainable materials?
As the joke goes - we haven't found a solution to climate change yet, but we are getting warmer...
On a level I think we all want to make more positive, sustainable choices in our lives. We throw away so much and of course, there is no away, it remains here on the planet in one form or another. Micro plastics from synthetic clothing, plastic toxins, large carbon foot print, excessive water use and pollution in production are all big red flags associated with fast fashion which are contributing to the negative climate change. Instead of allowing waste to end up in the environment, with a little imagination and time it’s completely possible to add value to things again.
The pandemic has given people across the globe a renewed sense of value for connection in meaningful ways. This appreciation extends to the things we surround ourselves with. We are seeing movements ‘Who Made My Clothes’, ‘Slow Fashion Season’, and ‘Plastic free July’ gain momentum like never before along with super fun initiatives like your own at Thrift for Good - #Samefor7days - where Thrift for Good Volunteers wore the same piece of clothing for 7 days.
Knowing that we all have the power to change large industries and practices by using our purchase as our vote is a powerful motivator.
5. What is a regular day in the life of the Peahead.eco founder?
I’m trying to do better with structure(!) however, my day always starts with a walk in the desert with our rescued saluki. He has a great character much like the cartoon Scooby Doo.
A typical day for me is split across 3 main activities; Making, Communicating and Researching. Time is stolen with emails and admin but sprinkled with orders which make it worth it.
Currently I am;
● Making a line of products for EXPO2020 with laser designs inspired by the pavilions.
● Communicating about an upcycled art project with Etihad. Read more here.
● Researching the world of leather craft and, thanks to a very kind member of your community who donated an industrial sewing machine, I am learning and practicing how to use it best.
As a one woman business I am always busy trying to balance the ‘want to do’ with the ‘have time to do’s but overall I live a rather quiet and nature filled existence, probably not one I think most would associate with life in Dubai.