FK chats to Katie, of eco conscious Melbourne based label Harvest Haversack. Helping do-away with plastic bags with her charming designs!
Tell us about your label Harvest Haversack and what the concept is behind it?
Harvest Haversack is a homewares brand with an environmentally responsible conscience, creating unique, quality eco-friendly kitchen accessories. The range of durable, reusable bags are handmade in Melbourne, using all natural, sustainable, lightweight fabric, and eliminates the need to use plastic or disposable paper bags at the supermarket, farmers market or your local green grocer. These charming bags can also be used to store fresh produce in the fridge or pantry. The certified organic cotton / hemp blend fibres protect food from harsh, damaging light yet allows the appropriate air flow and holds moisture maintaining optimal freshness, keeping produce fresher longer and minimising waste.
What was the motivation behind starting your label?
I’d worked professionally as a graphic designer for twelve years, but was eager to try something new, be more tactile and purposeful in my designs, promoting a strong focus on sustainability. My nomad brother recently spent two years riding a bicycle around Australia, and camel trekking throughout Western Australia, going days without seeing another soul. Hearing of his challenges and triumphs, I realised my brother was totally crazy, but it prompted me to abandon my comfort zone. I’d had the idea to make fabric eco-friendly produce bags for a while, as one of my pet peeves is when the bottom falls out of the brown paper bag used for keeping mushrooms, leaving them to shrivel and start decomposing in the crisper. So over the next few months I researched, tested, and designed samples, until I ended up with my Mushrooms bag.
I decided upon a business name and logo, and listed the bag in my Etsy shop. That was one year ago.
What inspires you daily?
I get distracted very easily so I try to avoid ‘daily inspiration’ if possible. If I’m in a slump, I usually go for a walk around the park, flip through my book collection, or visit a gallery. Albeit lately, you can probably find me watching this puppy cam, listening to an interview, or dancing around my apartment to this.
What is your workspace like? and what is your creative process?
I work from home, which is a beautiful art-deco apartment in Melbourne, over-looking a park. It’s quite small, so I’ve dedicated a corner of the lounge room to my desk and computer. During production mode I screenprint on the kitchen table and sew in my bedroom. The place resembles the destruction of a hurricane during busy periods.
I often vary my creative process, depending on the desired aesthetic of the design. I rely on my drawing skills to make my graphics cute and sassy, but not too kitschy, and the handwritten typography is worked on in my sketchbook until it results in a cohesive design.
What challenges have you faced starting your own label, and what are some things you love about it?
I’m not a morning person, so my biggest challenge is usually changing out of my pyjamas before I start work. I love being my own boss and the flexibility, freedom and responsibility that comes with it. I’m obsessed with screen printing, and love being able to work in my pyjamas if I want to.
What new projects are you working on and where would you like to see Harvest Haversack in the future?
This first year has surpassed my expectations, so I can’t wait to keep improving and growing my business. I’m working on some new designs, which will be available very soon. I also have plans to expand the range slightly by introducing some different products.
In the near future I’d like to move into a studio space or larger apartment so I can spread out properly, and also get a puppy to keep me company!
Long term, I envisage having a talented and dedicated team working with me. My dream is to wipeout plastic shopping bags completely, and to see my reusable, eco-friendly Harvest Haversacks being used in homes, and at markets all around the world.