Our first featured artist is Quazi Design, a cutting edge craft company in Swaziland, South Africa, that transforms waste magazines into original accessories and interiors. All products use 100% waste magazines distributed locally and handmade at the Quazi Design workshop. Quazi Design is known for pushing the envelope with their raw material and creating innovative collections that are motivated by new ways to recycle paper.
For director and designer, Doron Shaltiel, working with paper has always been about experimenting! “I didn’t have any training or knowledge beforehand. I love the practical challenge and sometimes what can be called mistakes become the start of a whole new collection. The process is very organic and I let the materials lead me.” Says Doron.
Doron and her team are known for original craftsmanship and are always proving how paper can be transformed and used in many ways. In 2013, Quazi Design launched a new ‘One Of A Kind Collection’ that combines paper with other sustainable raw materials, such as locally carved jacaranda wood, recycled crushed glass and off cuts of brass. “Our products are not mass produced so making two of the same is impossible. Instead of this being a hurdle, we use it to our advantage.”
But Quazi Design is not just a craft company with inventive artistry and sustainable design. In fact, they believe that the combination of craftsmanship and innovation is a powerful tool to promote stability in the developing world.
“We are inspired by women. All of our artisans are women and as a woman, my aim is to support the Swazi women in their daily life, and encourage them to be individual thinkers in charge of their own lives.” Says Doron. Quazi Design does this by training their artisans in skills that will enable them to earn a permanent income and focus on personal development. At Quazi Design, the majority of women are single mothers with an average of five dependents to look after on their single salary.
“A lot of the time they are stuck in the cycle of hand to mouth, not being able to save, or afford the lifestyle they want. I feel that their strength is immense and that we all have something to offer to the world.” Says Doron. Quazi Design enables these women to have a job that uses their hands and believes that a simple handcraft product means that they are earning an income and supporting their children through creativity and skill sharing.
It is truly important for Doron and Quazi Design for people “to be aware of craft, to go away from cheap labour and instead, buy pieces that are lovingly made and are transparent in their supply chain.” Quazi Design is a craft company who not only continues to push the envelope in their artistry, but also believes in change towards a more ethical and sustainable future for fashion.
Support Quazi Design and their women artisans during our Featured Artist Sale HERE.
Written by Elena Schloss