What does it mean?
You can just imagine for a small creative business like ours, which uses natural materials, that meaning is of great consideration, especially for the conscious consumer of today. ‘what does it mean?’ is such a universal question that when we ask when faced with something we don’t understand
How do we respond to meaning?
At Rarity the question that is at the forefront of what we do is ‘what does it mean to handcraft products’ ethically when you are using animal skins?’ We take this question very seriously, so seriously in fact that the factory production manager is a qualified nature conservationist. We also realise that to create meaning, the concept of ethics must carry collectively across all aspects of our business, and to support this, all our suppliers have required having an environmental certification or policy in place.
Why use leather then?
A Rarity design featured in the Fair Lady magazine caught the eye of a farmer who then contacted us. She loved our perspective and wondered if she could send the skins to us that they would usually dispose of after implemented animal control. To try address this wastefulness Rarity developed its first Springbok range, using a simple design, and pioneering crafting techniques to celebrate this beautiful hide.
And What about the rest?
Yes- a product is not just a sum of its parts, but also is the assembling of the parts. From the handcrafting processes, there are other considerations, such as the environment in context to the process, and the management of waste. Waste is not something we do, to honour the material we apply cradle to cradle concept by using every last piece of content and crafting this into something with meaning, be it a Hanna purse, a pom-pom or an Africa map. Designing and making these functional items not only limits the wastefulness of materials, but it also keeps the artisans fully employed during our quiet periods, without us needing to buy in materials to sustain production.
So when you buy that small item as a gift or an addition to your sale, you already know the ethics of Fair Trade are behind our production, and now you also understand the meaning behind why we make these little items in our studio.