Our new range of handmade items has sustainability at its heart. We are collaborating with Seventyfive, a brand by Janny Jingyi Ye, based in her small home in North London. Focusing on handmade garments and handicraft techniques, Seventyfive is the exploration and practice of slow-fashion as well as a representation of Janny's memory and experience. It included aesthetics prominent in North Eastern Chinese, Cantonese and transnational Chinese culture, design and craft.

Crafted using raw materials: naturally dyed fabrics, and undyed leather. Vintage fabrics are coloured with food waste, such as onion skin, avocado skin, and tea; and the naturally tanned leather is also a food by-product. These contents are combined by hand, with love and care, the end result being three eco-conscious products, made almost entirely from waste products.

It’s summertime, and that means it’s picnic time! To help you in this crucial summer activity - whether it’s in your garden, on your balcony, on the beach, or in a park - we’re delighted to announce the Summer Heat ’00’ Picnic Collection. The collection is a collaboration between Seventyfive and The Backward Vendor’s leatherwork and design.

The collection includes goods that are made for picnics, including a naturally dyed and waxed bento bag, a  ‘soup dumpling’ pouch and a teacup and leather coasters set. The Chinese name for the collection is ’小暑’ (xiaoshu), one of the 24 Chinese ‘solar terms’ which divide the solar year. Xiaoshu takes up most of the month of July and usually starts on the 7th of July. Xiaoshu literally means ‘little heat’, and it is the solar term that falls before the sweltering heat of ‘dashu’. We feel that xiaoshu is the best time to get out, enjoy the summer and have an indulgent picnic, before the heat of dashu kills our appetites.

The Summer Heat collection is also inspired by Chinese poet Bai Juyi, who lived between 772 and  846, during the Tang Dynasty. In Bai Juyi’s classic poem ’Xiaoxia’, the poet reminds us that, only when the body is calm can the heat go. This collection is our small way of helping you to reach that state!

In this collection we use organic fabrics, food safe colourants and a food grade wax coating for the fabrics. The waxing makes the materials waterproof (just to be safe, from the rain or the wine.) The leather flourishes are an additional protective layer, saving you from the grassy park, which also help to give the collection a durable structure. For this collection we’re also upscaling kitchen waste, with onion skins, avocado skins, avocado seeds, and tea used for the dyes.

Have fun with your picnic, stay safe and clean up after your waste: maybe even try dyeing something with it!