The 19th century poet and philosopher Henry David Thoreau said it best when he affirmed, “The world is but a canvas to our imaginations”. What he didn’t know back in the early 1800’s was that one day there might not be a world for us to imagine upon.
That’s a thought that shocks me to the core and a huge part of the reason for this change. For many years now I have been lost at sea, disillusioned with the skills I know best, which are mostly seated in the world of fashion. Often, I have asked out loud (to those unfortunate enough to be near): what is the future of this industry when it really offers little purpose to what we really need in this moment and what feels like, the future?
Clothes have always been important to me, fundamental even. It’s not a status symbol or about consumer trends but a way to be completely free and truthful to the world about who I am. They represent a true way to express oneself, to have a conversation with the world; an artistic expression or a cultural belief; a celebration of beauty and craftsmanship; a medium to tell stories or to escape into another world. Even the wardrobe in a film can say more than the screenplay.
But the world we live in has changed. And in and amongst all this change, I just can’t shake the idea that in the future, a fashion brand MUST sell more than fashion, it must be more than clothes.
Most of us know that a lot of the clothes we own, we don’t need. I am guilty of this. They’re the clothes that are often designed for the bottom line with no regards to the human or environmental costs. So, when we look to the future what will be important to us, what will motivate us, what will inspire us and drive us to make the precious choices of what we experience, put in our homes, and on our bodies? This thought has been percolating like my morning coffee for about two years now and the reason I ended up here. CANVS Bottega.
The Bottega is an experiment into all sorts of unique supply chains and makers. It’s an e-commerce platform that will supply you with everything from something you can wear, something you can experience or a project you can get involved with to help create change. The Bottega isn’t a sustainable brand but a place of sustainable and ethical practices used and implemented to the best of my understanding and within the scope of my resources.
Sometimes we will up cycle dead stock, other times we will make things from scratch, using recycled materials. Each offering will take time, will be slow to market, and often limited because whatever you find on Bottega will come from a different process.
The process will be my story telling, transparent and curious. Somethings will fail and others will succeed yet the goal will always be the same: to discover interesting and exciting ways of creating and making to bring beauty in the form of need and function with a low or zero negative impact on the planet. In fact, my dream is that through these collaborations and the Bottega we will learn ways to create with a positive impact.
How does this as a process not only become accessible but profitable to the small makers, businesses and individuals? It’s a risky roll of the dice. Let’s be honest, a girls gotta earn an income. From a traditional sense this is a framework not built with financial success in mind. Yet the want to prove this wrong is a strong driving force.
.With the Bottega I hope to walk away from the boxed in conceptions of Instagram where being creative can often be trivialised into well…not much. I want to get back to where I started, being creative for me; not for other brands or companies but to explore all the different sides to my creative self. To bring life back to the skills that lost their way in the world of content creation seen through the many small and fast-moving boxes of an Instagram feed. It has been a well overdue dream to take my love of creating from your phone screens and into your home and lives. Which is why I take what and how we make as a very personal commitment to you and the planet. This change brings with it a new name, which needs some explanation.
I love Captain and the Gypsy Kid. It was born from the complete love for my children, who they are and how they inspired the next chapter of my life as a mother and a creative. Instagram was not a business when I first used this name, in fact Instagram and I pretty much started at the same time. I could not have predicted the journey of this platform or the journey of myself through these years but it is the right time to not only change the work I have been doing and to set their identities free so they are not connected to my business in that way or any social media platform. I love following accounts that include the names of their parents’ kids, it feels safe and full of love. Yet for me, moving forward into a new business chapter it was time to make the clear distinction that my work was changing, and the kids were no longer a part of that narrative. So many of you have been on this journey with me from the very start and I am so grateful for all the support and friendships. I understand if you need to move on, that is life, but I will always be so grateful for the energy and time you gave.
Another motivation was to find another way to build and interact with my community in a safe and respectful way. As with art, CANVS is subjective and might not be for you. I respect this deeply and ask that you respect this space as a place where everyone is welcome if they communicate with kindness and actively listen to one another. This is the part I haven’t figured out yet. What does this look like, how can this work? What is a simple, manageable way that we can come together outside of Instagram? Please email me any suggestions if you have any. Community will be the key to the success of the Bottega. I call it the new currency as its value goes way beyond that of traditional monetary worth. It will be from all of you that possibilities, innovations and inspiration will present itself in ways I know I can’t imagine in these early stages. I’m excited to think of what we could achieve together.
To be honest I’m not sure if this will work, or if it will work in the balance of our family life and needs. It is a true experiment and if it isn’t a positive addition to you or me, then we are free to move on. Yet I have this this feeling that it just might be something…something of use. For me, living is imagining. As it is to dream, as it is to try and as it is to fail. And so, becomes the mission of finding sustainable solutions and innovations to fulfil our creative expressions and stories. From what we wear, to what we experience. To what we need versus what we desire. Community is our new currency and collaboration a fundamental conversation. Welcome x
P.S I would love to hear from you at any time, reconnect or say hi. Feedback is always appreciated. Let's go old school, email me...