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Monday, September 24, 2018
FROM MAN-MADE TO HANDMADE

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As we become increasingly aware of reducing our environmental impact, “sustainable” and “eco” have taken on new meaning as design terms associated with the innovative, contemporary and creative, and waste reduction has become a hot- topic.

 

Sydney-based homeware brand Dinosaur Designs is a studio that has always done its part, and before it was hip to do so. Founders Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy met as students in Sydney and soon discovered their shared love of art and design. “In the early stages, we started making clothing and jewellery, and we eventually focused on jewellery,” says Olsen. We experimented with different materials from brass to Fimo, and then we found resin.”

 

 

 

More than 30 years later, and with resin at the core of the brand’s DNA, Olsen and Ormandy aim to incorporate sustainable design in all aspects of production. Resin is a by-product of the oil industry, and by repurposing the material, says Olsen, they aim to “create beauty from a material that could have been treated as waste”. Moreover, says Olsen, “our designs are handmade. We’ve always been mindful of the environment, in our designs and in the making.”

 

In fact, the pair takes constant inspiration from nature. “There’s something beautiful about the time things take to evolve in the natural world,” says Olsen. “Many of our forms are organic; you’ll notice the prevalence of forms and colours inspired by the land, sea and sky.”

 

 

Fortunately, the qualities of resin allow Dinosaur Designs endless possibilities to create new shapes and variations. “Working with resin is like working with paint, but it has a wonderful viscosity that allows us to cross the boundaries between sculpture and painting, so we can create pieces that we think of as visual poetry. The hand-crafting process gives each piece the slight differences that make it unique, so the result is very tactile, like a three-dimensional poem that you read by touch.”

 

Olsen and Ormandy also aim to ensure that the brand takes responsibility for its environmental footprint. “Just as experimentation and innovation are important when it comes to design, we’re continually focused on minimising the impact of our production processes. We constantly monitor our energy consumption and look for ways to minimise it. We’ve recently overhauled our water processing system to further reduce our consumption. The aim is to have a completely closed system.”

 

Impressively, Dinosaur Designs’ studio and stores all run on green energy, without greenhouse gas emissions. The company also collaborates with environmental causes including The Australian Conservation Foundation, 1 Million Women and food charity Oz Harvest.

 

The growing number of labels embracing this approach chimes with an increased awareness of, and appetite for, sustainability. When all of these elements come together – and in something as tactile as jewellery - they create something so alive and authentic that it adds meaning and soul to your everyday wardrobe.

 



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