Slo-fi Magazine

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BY THE DHARMA DOOR Edition One Summer 14-15

Creative Collaborations

SLOWING DOWN with CLOTH’s Julie Paterson

PIA JANE BIJKERK Speaks from the heart...

Purpose & Passion

Coconut in the Pacific



editor’s L E T T E R Welcome to the first edition of Slo-fi - the official online magazine by fair trade brand The Dharma Door. We love the idea of sharing The Dharma Door products alongside all the other elements that make up our brand, lifestyle, ethos and the people we connect with. After all, The Dharma Door is about so much more than just products. And so it makes perfect sense for us to create more than just a product catalogue. Slo-fi is a celebration of the spirit of our brand. We have featured people, places and products that embrace handmade, ethical, sustainable, slow and lo-fi. In this, and future editions, you will meet artisans, designers, growers, stylists, bloggers, wine makers, chefs, musicians,

anything’s possible if you’ve got the nerve. - J.K. ROWLING

travellers and change-makers throughout our pages. We’re all about style with substance! We’re starting small and we have some big ideas for the future that we’re super-excited about. For this edition, we are grateful to have worked and collaborated with some incredibly talented people who have been generous with both their time and skills. Take a look at all the beautiful folks on the contributor page to learn more about them. What better time to launch than the first day of Summer! Sit back, relax and enjoy. We would love to hear your thoughts... drop us a line at

Shannon Sheedy

want to be featured in our next edition show us your The Dharma Door product in your home #slofiliving


@colouralert @blondeonyxcandles



Currently Head Chef at Spicers Balfour Hotel in Brisbane, Peter van Lunn

Moving away from the corporate wine making world,

combines classical French training with his

Jared Dixon now sources fruit from a vineyard on the

love of light, healthy almost vegetarian eating.

New England Tablelands and spends 6 weeks making his

Peter’s cooking is cutting edge in its freshness,

white wines during harvest in Margaret River. The wines,

intensity of flavour, simplicity and soul. This

under his label Jilly, are produced in a converted 1920’s

gentle and unassuming chef is cooking fine

dairy bails on his property in the Byron Hinterland. Fabric

food in New Farm that is wholesome, worldly,

labels and wax tops are a nod to his handmade, minimal

colourful and memorable.

intervention approach to wine making.

CARLA VAN LUNN Carla van Lunn is a fashion designer interested in sustainable and ethical fashion practices. She is also a lecturer in fashion design at the


Queensland University of Technology. Carla

Kate Holmes is an award winning freelance

encourages her students to think about

photographer from northern NSW. She loves leaves

alternative approaches to fashion, and to value

and trees and all things green. She lives with her son

traditional hand-crafts. Carla lived and worked

and husband on acreage in Newrybar with a bunch of

for several years in luxury fashion in Paris, in

chooks and fearie wrens. Kate is the photographic talent

both sales and design. She recently returned to

behind many of The Dharma Door product shoots and

her home city Brisbane to be closer to family.

our summer entertaining piece.

LOUISE ROCHE Creative Designer/Owner of


The Design Villa, Louise Roche is a

Talented food stylist and Texan gal

product/interiors stylist, designer

Kristine Duran-Thiessen was the creative

& photographer. Louise is passionate

behind our beautiful food and outdoor

about creating beautifully styled

entertaining piece. It was shot on her

images. Louise’s signature style can be

100 acre macadamia farm in the Byron

seen on instagram @villastyling.

hinterland, where she lives with her

Louise is the creative graphic design

husband, two pugs, two chickens and

talent behind Slo-fi Magazine.

angus cattle. “I never tire of food and its simple, rich beauty” says Kristine.


A SECRET OASIS PALM COVE Relax under coconut palms, swim in clear blue waters, stroll along long white sandy beaches or take a day trip to the islands. Palm Cove is a little slice of paradise cradled by rainforest-clad mountains and protected by the Great Barrier Reef in Far North Queensland. Laid-back balmy summer evenings in this coastal setting are the perfect time to indulge in local tropical delicacies. Palm Cove is the ultimate holiday destination to unplug and slow down. A quiet oasis in the tropics.

slo-fi magazine



Indulge in this season’s beautiful nautical-inspired collection...


Pacific Medium Basket - Thick Stripes Blue

n i r o c e d l a t s a o r C e m m u s y z e e r b tones

JUTE FACT Jute is known as “the golden fibre” for its color & silky sheen. Its long, soft fibres can be spun into coarse, strong threads for weaving and rope making.

Bring crisp, nautical style into your home this summer. If you love sailing, live in a coastal home, or wish to infuse your decor with memories of a beach getaway, The Dharma Door’s new Pacific Collection is perfect. The Pacific Collection includes beautiful nautical-inspired baskets with macramé rope handles. Hand loomed jute/cotton fabrics of thick stripes, thin stripes, two-tone and ikat in breezy blue, white and natural tones are ideal for relaxed coastal decorating. This collection, designed by Shannon Sheedy, has been handcrafted by Fair Trade artisans in Bangladesh. Whether you choose to decorate your bathroom, bedroom or living space with the baskets, ensure the laid-back nature of coastal living goes along with it. For an authentic, nautical-inspired decor, team them with a natural jute rug, beach combed treasures, driftwood, vintage ropes and fishing floats.

Pacific Medium Basket Thick Stripes Blue

Find them at

slo-fi magazine



Editorial Shannon Sheedy


na t a R t e e m he moment I met Ratna in Bangladesh last May I

mostly vegetarian diet. The family doesn’t grow any vegetables

wanted to learn more about her. We were visiting

or keep animals due to the size of their land so all of their food

her village for the first time to meet many of

is bought from the local market. Ratna went onto explain that

the artisans who produce The Dharma Door jute macramĂŠ

her income is vitally important to their family as Martin,

products. As we approached her home, she, her husband

who is self-employed, suffers from an ongoing illness that

Martin and two secondary-school aged children openly

sometimes deprives him of the ability to work.

greeted us with wide smiles. She has been producing Fair Trade macramĂŠ products for five Upon first glance their home, sitting on a small shaded plot of

years and prior to that specialised in date-leaf basket weaving

land, appeared simple and comfortable with mud brick walls,

and embroidery. Both lovers of music and singing, Martin even

clay tile roof, a verandah and two rooms all surrounded by a

treated us to a spontaneous rendition of a Bengali song in their

homemade bamboo fence. Ratna, 35, described how she enjoys

courtyard! Here, Ratna shares a little more about her life and

cooking rice, fish, lentils, vegetables and chicken but prefers a



de a l g n a B


DESCRIBE WHAT A TYPICAL DAY LOOKS LIKE FOR YOU? “Generally, I wake up early at 5am and get refreshed for the day before I start cooking for my family. After having breakfast, my children go to school and my husband goes to work if he is well enough and I start to produce the Jute macramé from 8.30am on our

my skills. I especially love it when I receive big wages

verandah. I continue working until 11am and then I cook

from making the Jute Macramé Door Curtains for The

again for lunch and dinner. I continue macramé work

Dharma Door, although they take a long time to produce.

from 3.30pm to around 9pm. Then we have dinner and

Last time I finished an order I purchased new clothes for

go to bed. Sometimes I work late into the night when I

my children and this made them very happy!”

have more work or an urgent order.”



“I wish to learn various type of handcrafts to increase my work opportunities. As a result, I can bear all of my

“Before learning craft skills, I had no scope to earn a

family’s expenses and my children’s educational

single dollar. I felt that I had no future as my husband

expenses. My goal is to educate my children so they are

could not earn enough money to cover all of our

able to work, earn a good wage and care for us when we

expenses. Now I am very happy to earn extra money

are older. I wish for all of the women in my community to

as I can bear my children’s educational expenses and

develop skills and have work opportunities so they will

meet my family’s demand as much as possible. I am also

also succeed in their life and contribute to their family’s

getting respect from my family and community. I love my

expenses. Finally, their lifestyle will be changed and our

work as it keeps me engaged and I continue to develop

whole community will be developed economically.”

slo-fi magazine



Contemporary, designs with a functional twist.


e v o l e m Macra

MACRAME FACT 19th century sailors made macramé objects such as hammocks, bell fringes, and belts while at sea and sold or bartered them when they landed.

Macramé is back and it’s hotter than ever! The Dharma Door is bringing macramé to the here-and-now with a contemporary, stylish and functional twist. Their latest Macramé Basket Collection is a perfect option if you want to introduce this trend into your home in practical style. The wall hangings and door curtains have been designed to add texture and interest to interiors and are a nod to the current boho luxe trend. This collection, designed by Shannon Sheedy, has been handcrafted by Fair Trade artisans in Bangladesh who have been practicing the art of macramé since it’s western resurgence in the 1970’s. Find them at

slo-fi magazine



e v i t a Cre n o i t a r o b a ll Co When creatives band together amazing things happen...


Carla Van Lunn takes usSacks on Trade Hessian andher Duos. For the past twenty years Julie has produced her designs herself and with small-scale manufacturers in Australia. journey of creating This is her first foray into Fair Trade. sustainable fashion. he Dharma Door has teamed up with renowned Australian designer Julie Paterson from Cloth to produce our summer collection of Fair

We’re sure you’ll agree that Cloth designs work beautifully on the natural fibres that our artisan partners work with and they add a bold and contemporary edge to one of our best selling products. Here, Julie shares a little about her inspirations and more...


by d e r i p s in capes s d n a l g n i d l o f n u


I live mostly in the Blue Mountains these days and it is this

My environment. Over the years I‘ve developed a bit of

small modest part of it all. And I try and capture this feeling

an obsession with documenting details of my life in small

by describing in sketches and words the things I see as I go

sketchbooks: be it the view of the unfolding landscape below

through my day. This is my inspiration.

landscape that draws me in the most, because I see it every day. It is an enduring and vast and ancient landscape – it makes me feel humble and small and connected. It gives me a deep gratitude for being in the world – just being a

my window on a plane, or the back of someone’s head on

for me. It is the practise of looking that I like.


Really looking, in a focussed and thoughtful way is like

The manifesto came about a couple of years ago one slow

meditation. It sustains me in my daily life in a profound way

sunny Sunday afternoon. I was in an expansive mood.

like only meditation can. This way of looking developed

So I asked my partner Amanda to sit with me in the garden

initially from an experience I had years ago.

and over a nice chilled glass of wine and together we

my journey to work on the bus. Big things at a distance, small details close up – they are all primary source material

brainstormed the words and sentences that summed up In 2000 I was invited to go to Alice Springs to work with

what we felt were the most important things in life for us

some indigenous women artists on a range of textiles. The

right then at that moment.

way they made their art was inspirational to me. The women were so calm and grounded and so matter of fact whilst

I’ve since painted the sentences as artworks that hang

they painted. I was moved by the way they told the stories

around the house and studio. They have become like touch

and explained the detail of their work by drawing simple

stones. When things get a bit hard I re-read what we

diagrams with sticks in the dirt. The detail with which

wrote and they give me a renewed sense of calm and

they spoke of the everyday experiences that fed their work

wellbeing. The Imperfect Manifesto is a working document

really helped me to understand that it is the small things as

that outlines the life I want to live.

well as the big things that make up who we are.

slo-fi magazine



Styling - Jessica Bellaf Photography - Denise Braki



Creativity, trust and resilience are the three things I think

opportunities rather than the difficulties. And over the years

that have kept me here doing the thing love for as long as

this way of being has seen me over-commit on projects and

I have done it. Being able to engage with the process of

work way too hard. I’ve loved every minute but have over

being creative, to enjoy the moment of the making and not

the past couple of years I’ve wanted to do things differently

worrying too much on the outcome is the main thing for me.

because I could feel myself running out of steam.

I have an eternally optimistic outlook and I tend to see the

I’ve never been someone who has had financial gain as my incentive or material possessions as a desire.

I turned 50 last year and this milestone got me thinking

I’ve always preferred to live simply.

about getting old. I can remember

The goal for every day has been,

when I was little, maybe around 10 or

for as long as I can remember, to be creative in some way. Trust comes primarily from good parenting – I’ve been fortunate to have been raised by two people who

“The goal for every day has been, for as long as I can remember, to be creative in some way”

so, thinking often about how good it would be to be older – much older. I must have recognised that getting older had the opportunity of getting wiser and I’ve always been interested in gaining wisdom.

love me for what ever I wanted to do and whoever I was to become and

Wisdom helps with understanding the

this has really helped with allowing other good people to

meaning of life. I didn’t consciously know that then as a small

come into my life.

kid, but I do now. Getting old is pretty good I reckon. So, in my wisdom,

Trust allows you to relax into yourself and that helps with

I recently decided the time had come to focus on doing only

making good choices. Resilience comes from trust.

the things I loved the most and to find other people to help

Not everything is going to turn out well but if you can

with the things I didn’t love so much.

develop a bounce that comes from doing what you love and trusting in the process you also can develop an

Running the business held little joy for me any longer

ability to keep on going. Because why stop when it gets a

– I felt out of balance. I’d been spending too long focusing on

bit hard if you love what you do?

the management side of things and the time spent actually designing the textiles had virtually disappeared. After quite a


bit of deliberation I changed everything, reconnecting with people who loved doing the bits I didn’t love any more– the stock control, the distribution, the planning, the selling (although I always did love selling my fabric in my shop – I do love a good chat). I teamed up with David and John from Ascraft two people I knew and trusted. We agreed to share the load and the outcome will be good for everyone. This has been a new thing – since September of this year so we are all still settling in with building the relationship and working out the smaller details. But already I have produced two new collections, made a trip back to the UK to see my family (after 3 years of not having the time) and I take Fridays off too. So I’m achieving what I was planning on doing and it all feels good.


WHAT’S NEXT FOR WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU AND CLOTH? This past year amongst all these changes I’ve been writing a book. Its called ClothBound and it comes out next April. It is about the 20 years of the business all wrapped up, literally, in Cloth. Having just finished (as in just this week, just finished) the all consuming writing and editing process, I’m looking forward to spending some time with Amanda and Harry our rescue dog in the Mountains and by the ocean just relaxing. And in December I have an artist residency at Hill End where I’ll be sketching and painting and thinking and walking for a whole month. I’m also looking forward to some real quality time designing new fabric collections in

Be honest. Be brave. Be reflective. Spend time alone. Have compassion for yourself.

the new year, without rushing. I found these things helped I tend to generate so many ideas that just haven’t had a chance to get out

when I was feeling exhausted by

there for ages and I’m looking forward to focusing on them properly, at a

too much work and wanting to

slower pace. I will also slowly start work on a new exhibition of paintings based

do things differently.

on what I see when I take Harry for a walk – I’m giving myself 12 months for this one. It will be about documenting the changing seasons up in the Mountains.

They helped me see clearer

I will be enjoying the garden and maybe, thinking about writing

about what was important and

a new book...

to let go of the stuff that wasn’t.

THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING TO COLLABORATE WITH THE DHARMA DOOR. WHAT DREW YOU TO OUR BRAND? You guys feel familiar, trustworthy and good and I enjoy collaborating with people like you. I like the products you make, I like your approach to life. I like the way you feed the hungry cows in your paddock next door with the fruit from your own trees. And I especially like the paper you print– lets find a way to do that paper.


CLOTH Hessian Duo - Wollemi White

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Pack your bags this summer and take off in style! Photography/Styling The Design Villa

Prize Pack includes :- Your choice of indigo throw Shibori or Kadi $185 Sirrocco Straw Hat $155 Mokosh Travel Gift Pack $56 (Coconut & Sandlewood Body Oil, Shea Body Butter, Moisturising Lip Balm - Shea & Olive) Byron Nature’s Gift Pack (Deeply Nourish Face Oil, Beauty Essentials Face Serum, After Sun Aloe Vera Gel) $160, String Bag with leather handles $52 & Bone Beads $60


To celebrate the launch of Slo-fi Magazine’s first edition we’re giving one lucky reader the chance to win everything on this page. To enter simply follow @ s l o f i m a g a z i n e on Instagram, choose any image from our feed and repost using

#slofisummer. Entries close 14th December, 2014.

Experience the Byron atmosphere from your own private oasis with the aptly named Pineapple Cottage.


e came across The Pineapple Cottage on Instagram (of course!) while we were taking a mini break in Byron Bay. Sure,

we live only 25 mins from Byron however a mini break by the beach feels like a million miles away when you live in the rural hinterland environment.


ing n i d r e umm s d e x a l e r

The Pineapple Cottage has been tastefully restored retaining many of the original timbers and features. With its old world charm and the addition of modern conveniences big screen cinema, air con, gas fire, wi-fi, fully equipped kitchen with dishwasher and Japanese chefs knives – the cottage combines luxurious living A quick Insta message, an impressive viewing and before we

and comfort. There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms

knew it we were hooking up some dates to shoot our summer

making it ideal for couples getaways or family holidays.

collection here. It was just the place we’d been searching for! The Pineapple Cottage oozes relaxed, welcoming vibes, much

French doors open on to a large undercover deck for relaxed

like its owners. Situated within walking distance to beaches,

dining overlooking the plunge pool, spa and outdoor shower.

the lighthouse walk, Byron town centre and just down the

Fresh whites and timber floors with a mix of vintage and new

road from the iconic Top Shop café, the location couldn’t be

decor ensure The Pineapple Cottage is so comfortable that

more perfect for a full Byron experience.

you may never want to leave. Seriously.

slo-fi magazine



A private haven right in the heart of Byron.




If you’re looking for something a little smaller or with a different feel, you’re in luck because the lovely hosts of The Pineapple Cottage also have an ever-so-special apartment on offer right next door. The Chapel has the allure of a New York loft studio, utilising 100 year old exposed bricks, recycled timber beams and a stylish mix of eclectic furniture and fittings. A private haven with chic concrete floors, a modern kitchenette,


spacious lounge and dining area and bathroom downstairs with a raw steel staircase leading to the romantic mezzanine bedroom, complete with a stunning leadlight window. Two outdoor courtyards filled with morning or afternoon sunlight, air-con and free wi-fi will ensure your stay is super-relaxing. Contemporary and light-filled... The Chapel is the perfect couples getaway!



Email: Phone: (+61) 0414 844 138

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Invite the hues of indigo into your life this Summer.


e h t f o s r u o l o C a e s e u l deep b

Invite the hues of indigo into your life this Summer. As deep as the deep blue sea, the colour of the sky on a clear day or worn-in like your favourite pair of old denim jeans. The Dharma Door indigo throws double as a picnic blanket, beach towel, tablecloth, throw or bed runner. Crafted using soft handwoven cotton and natural indigo, our new plain and shibori throws all have raw edges giving them a rustic livedin feel. Fair payment and sustainable opportunities ensures artisans in

INDIGO FACT Natural Indigo, derived from leaves of

Burkina Faso, Africa, benefit from the sale of these pieces.

the indigo plant, is among the oldest Each throw in the vintage collection tells the story of the person who

dyes to be used for textile dyeing

pre-loved it – faded, patched, re-stitched - offering unique pieces with

and printing. In ancient times, it was

fringed or hemmed edges that bring character into your home.

a precious commodity and was often referred to as “blue gold”.

Find them at

slo-fi magazine



PIA JANE BIJKERK Speaks from the heart... NATURE IS A KEY INFLUENCE IN YOUR IMAGERY, WRITING AND OVERALL AESTHETIC. WHAT OTHER INFLUENCES DO YOU DRAW UPON FOR INSPIRATION? Yes nature is my number one influence for sure. And people! I’m very inspired by other people’s perspective and experiences. And ancient crafts - can’t get enough of learning about old ways of making things.

HOW HAS YOUR DAUGHTER LALY’S CREATIVE PROCESS INFLUENCED YOUR OWN? She is very confident in her creativity, she doesn’t doubt her process, or worry about whether she is doing something right, she just goes for it, it’s incredibly beautiful to watch her at creative play. For me, I am inspired to be the same to let go all that I have been taught and find that inner knowing.


ture a n y b inspired

You have the ability to make us (your readers) feel like we are actually friends. It is always honest and intense.” I am so uplifted when readers take the time to comment and tell me how they feel, it’s what drives me to keep sharing my



lights up and that’s where the music flows from.


The piano is an instrument that I feel confident with, like a

It taught me so much. Mostly I think, it taught me my

camera I suppose, but not confident because I’ve learnt it in

limitations. But not in a negative way, in a truly positive

its entirety, but the opposite because I only truly know

way - it taught me where my boundaries are, what I am

how to play it by ‘feel’.

willing to sacrifice and what I am not. Up until the point

It’s very much part of finding and expressing that inner knowing I describe above. I’ve been playing ‘heart’ compositions, pieces that come once I have been able to let go of my thoughts, my mind. A little pathway from my heart

of self-publishing the book, I had never really established boundaries, I let people walk all over me, I always felt


other people must know better than I, even when it came

My readers have commented over the years that they are

probably not the answer you may have expected!), but it’s

refreshed by my rawness, which is quite different to how I

definitely the lesson I take the most value from.

grew up actually - I was taught to believe I had to keep my

So if I were to do another self-published book, or any project

emotions to myself because I was too honest and sensitive

really, I will take value in myself first and work out how

. A recent comment from a reader named Paula said “I love

much time I am willing to dedicate to the project without

the way you write.

sacrificing my health and my happiness.

slo-fi magazine

to my own work. Since having my daughter and then selfpublishing Little Treasures, I realised I give to the point where there is no nourishment left for myself. It might seem a strange lesson to have learnt from self-publishing (this was






Being by the ocean, smelling the sea air and building sand castles with my girl.

HOW DO YOU LIKE TO RELAX? Read a book, take a bath, sit outside on the grass and look up at the trees and sky and daydream.

Bringing nature in. By doing so it awakens your awareness of the environment


around you, you get to know the land you are living on, and then by living

I’ve been listening to Emiliana

with it everyday - watering the plants, setting a bowl of collected seed

Torrini’s new album Tookah, I love

pods on your table - you will feel invigorated, you will begin to feel yourself

Dustin Tebbutt, don’t mind a bit

belonging to the space, rather than the space belonging to you. That’s why

of Matt Corby and Boy and Bear.

you can be changing your decor every season with every trend, with money

We also like to play a bit of Ella

as no object and still not get that feeling that is so craved - it’s a sense of

Fitzgerald on the turntable.

belonging. That’s what nesting is all about.

WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU SEEK IN THE HOMEWARES AND CLOTHING THAT YOU BUY? AND WHY? Always always always I consider where the piece was made, if I know about the working conditions of the people who made it, and also if the piece is made from natural material and can be recycled or repurposed. If I don’t have those details then I don’t buy it. If I really want something but know that it is not made from natural material or has not been made in fair conditions, then I buy second hand. Every now and then I buy something that doesn’t fit my ethos, and a little part of me dies inside. On the rare occasions that I visit a mall, I feel sickened. Then I console myself with imagining those massive department stores currently filled with throwaway things, one day being filled with artisan workshops and gorgeous revived furniture. Have you been to Granville Island in Vancouver? It’s this amazing piece of land by water that has a fabulous art school (Emily Carr Institute) and a huge community of artisans, as well as a farmers market which sells locally grown produce. It’s how I like to imagine every single mall around the world will become! I know, I’m a dreamer.

TRAVEL DESTINATION AT THE TOP OF YOUR WISH LIST? I’ve not been to Bali, and being part Indonesian (my grandfather was Indonesian/Dutch) I feel a pull to go, be among the landscape and people. I’m also drawn to Uluru and Arnhem Land. But if we don’t have the money for any of that, then a few day trips to some quiet and secluded beaches that I grew up around the Northern Beaches.

FAVOURITE SUMMER DRINK OR REFRESHMENT? Lemongrass ice tea with organic lemongrass grown from my backyard.


Swing into summer with The Dharma Door’s latest offering of Totes & String Bags.


h s i l y t s n e v o w d d n Han e k e e w r o f s e t to s e r u t n e adv

The Pacific Collection is an earthy, nautical-inspired range of roomy, stylish totes. Hand loomed jute/cotton fabrics of thick stripes, thin stripes and ikat in breezy blue, white and natural tones are ideal for casual days. Great to have on hand for impromptu trips to the beach, being pool side and weekend adventures. String bags have never looked so good than this current collection with leather handles by The Dharma Door. There’s even a gorgeous option with shibori lining! Handwoven neutral tones are perfect for any outfit or a trip to the farmers markets. String bags also look fabulous hanging on a hook in a hall or entrance with hats. All bags and totes have been designed by Shannon Sheedy and handcrafted by Fair Trade artisans in Bangladesh. Find them at

slo-fi magazine




lthough I did not name it at the time, the spirit of ‘slo-fi’ was a catalyst in the creation of my fashion label

called Maison Briz Vegas, launched in Paris 2011. My design partner, Carla Binotto, and I re-work the fabric of second-hand clothes, mainly old T-shirts, to create playful and more precious designer garments. Upcycling textile waste, rather than cutting garments from new fabric, is a very labour intensive and slow process, but very creatively rewarding. It is the challenge of making a silk purse from a sow’s ear. Another thread of the Maison Briz Vegas story began in India in 2010. I had taken time off from my work in high-fashion in Paris to travel and was lured to Rajasthan where I first witnessed the ancient craft of hand-block printing. At that time digital printing was very celebrated on the international fashion catwalks, and it has proliferated in mass-market fashion as we see today, but admiring the process of hand-block printing at the Anokhi Museum in Jaipur, I became enchanted by this highly skilled craft, and was moved by the texture, richness and quirk of the printed fabrics. I loved the imperfect character of the printing and the evidence of the human hand in the finished textiles. In an age dominated by mass-production and industrial processes I found something very beautiful and liberating about this slow, artisanal method of printing. It has inspired my work ever since.

Carla Van Lunn takes us on her journey of creating sustainable fashion.


The international fashion system adheres to a gruelling calendar of seasonal collections. Newness and speed have become valued above most other things. With more clothing, and cheaper clothing, being produced than ever before, garment and textile waste and the environmental

Maison Briz Vegas garments are always designed to be

impact of the fashion industry are serious global issues.

desirable and fun but a closer inspection will reveal a

When I returned to Paris I was keen to design a fashion

darker environmental narrative, especially in the original

collection that made a statement about the excessive

print designs. Humour is an important element in my design

consumption and waste of our post-industrial society

practice -- in the garments themselves, and also in the

and also a comment on the unsustainable nature of the

communication of the brand through photography and

contemporary fashion industry.

public presentations. The playfulness is a vehicle to engage the audience and the industry with ideas of clothing waste and environmental damage.

“I loved theIMPERFECT CHARACTER of the printing and the evidence of THE HUMAN HAND in the finished textiles”

I presented the first two collections in a showroom at Paris Fashion Week and received interest from high-profile international retailers and press although I chose not to wholesale the garments. Today Maison Briz Vegas continues to develop in Brisbane, my home city. In collaboration with The Queensland Fashion Archives, Carla Binotto and I recently displayed our latest collection ‘Trashtopia’ at Artisan gallery in Brisbane. Trashtopia was a cheery resort

I decided to create a collection entirely from the fabric of

inspired collection, taking inspiration from mid-century

second-hand T-shirts which I sourced from the flea-markets

Californian and Gold Coast design and beach culture, but

of Paris. I was interested in changing the value of poor

our research also looked at the plastic pollution of the

materials and household rubbish, transforming industrially

world’s oceans. Plastic rubbish was used for embroidery,

produced garments and rubbish objects like jar lids into

feather-work, and embellishment throughout the collection.

beautiful and interesting fashion. My aim is to develop the Maison Briz Vegas concept into a Maison Briz Vegas takes a couture approach to recycling,

scalable and sustainable fashion business. Since returning

using hand-crafts such as embroidery, patchwork, and

to Australia I have been connecting with artisans and

block-printing to give new life to quite worthless garments

producers in India and Indonesia. I hope to be able to grow

and textiles that might otherwise end up in landfill. My

the brand while maintaining the slow-fi, hand-crafted and

approach to fashion is slow and bespoke and the fact that

recycled nature of the collections.

the designs are made from recycled materials is not immediately evident.

slo-fi magazine



n e d r a G y t r Pa

Photography - Kate Holmes Styling - Kristine Duran-Thiessen



tunes 1. A LONG WALK

Jill Scott


JJ Cale


Thievery Corporation


Erykah Badu


Flowers by Beautiflora - Newrybar Indigo Throws (used as tablecloths), Ceramic Canisters, Ceramic Spoons and Twine by The Dharma Door

slo-fi magazine



Lou Reed

h c n u l r e mm u s long

Fish with Macadamia Harissa Crust & Summer Mango Salad by Peter Van Lunn



4 barramundi fillets, pin boned, skin optional

Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan-forced).

(or any type of firm, fresh fish) 2 tbsp. almond meal

To make harissa paste, roast the capsicum (approx. 20

4 tsp of butter

mins) and chilli (approx.10 mins) on a baking paper lined tray in the oven until completely soft. Meanwhile, lightly

HARISSA (Can be made in advance):

toast macadamia pieces and then cumin seeds separately

1 large red capsicum

in a frypan for 3-4 mins each. Place capsicum and chilli

1 long red chilli

immediately into a plastic bag for 10 mins until skin comes

2 garlic cloves

away easily. Remove skin, and discard. Then pulse all

2 tsp cumin seeds

ingredients in a food processor until it forms a thick paste.

1/2 tsp salt 1/3 cup macadamia pieces

In a roasting pan, place a tsp of butter under each fish fillet and press down.


Spread harissa paste on top of each fillet in an even layer.

2 ripe avocados, peeled, cut into large dice

Sprinkle almond meal over the top and roast in the oven for

2 mangoes, also peeled, cut into large dice

approx. 8 mins (rest fish for 1 min before serving).

2 large or 8 small bocconcini, torn (optional)

Meanwhile, lightly toss all salad ingredients in a large bowl.

4 cups green salad leaves, washed

Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste.

Juice of 1 lemon 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (or try a lime & chilli infused

To serve, portion the salad on 4 plates and place fish on top.

macadamia oil)

Finish with chopped parsley and nuts and a wedge of lemon or lime. Enjoy with a crisp white wine.

TO SERVE: Handful of chopped fresh broad leaf parsley Handful of roughly chopped raw macadamia nuts Lemon or lime wedges


slo-fi FOOD & WINE



mbracing the spirit of collaboration,

The grapes were hand picked, crushed and left

handmade and lo-fi, Jared Dixon shares his

on skins in the cold for 36hrs, basket-pressed and

winemaking style and latest release with us.

fermented in barrel. The wine was made this way to build texture and mouth feel.

“The background behind FIFO is a “flying winemaker” concept I’m working on whereby

Aromatics of straw, grapefruit + orange rind.

I fly over to Western Australia for four weeks

The palate is all about the texture soft round and

during vintage and work with a friend of mine up

creamy with nice crunchy acidity to carry all that

in the Perth Hills. He has vineyards down south in

delicious texture to the back of the palate.

Margaret River. I give my time, hands and

A perfect match with the Grilled Fish, Harissa

knowledge and in return I can pick and choose

Macadamia Crust with Mango & Avocado Salad.

what fruit I want from his vineyard. “All my white wines are about texture because I truly This year the semillon looked exceptional. I see all

believe that wine should always be consumed with

the wines through ferment, put them to barrel and

food. A good wine will leave your mouth salivating

fly home to the Byron Bay hinterland. I fly back and

for something more”.

bottle when its ready to rumble.” The semillon was grown in gravel loam soils in upper

Wilyabrup which is a sub region of Margaret River.

slo-fi magazine



Photo - Worl d Vision Vanuata

Between volcanoes and dugongs, earthquakes and pristine beaches, cyclones and surf breaks Vanuatu is a country that inspires the spirit and a people that stir your soul.


ailing into Port Vila harbour in June 1997 from South Africa, the small Melanesian nation captured Andreas Lombardozzi’s heart and

mind, and he was set for an adventure of passion and purpose.

slo-fi MEET THE GROWERS “Nui starts with the growers”. This is the mantra of Andreas,

This process has not been without its challenges. Cultural

founder of Australian based fair trade company African

differences present issues but at the same time, as Andreas

Pacific. Established in 1998, the company and Nui brand

explains, “learning to appreciate and work with these

are the result of Andreas’ passion for social and economic

differences represent some of the most rewarding parts of

empowerment for the people of the South Pacific.

the process”.

“Growing up in South Africa and my studies of law and

On a deeper level there has been resistance from those

economics made me very aware of the inequities that

within the existing status quo who may feel threatened by

dominant political and economic systems can create. Yet

a model that promises increased equity and empowerment

Nelson Mandela had inspired the birth of the Rainbow

for the growers. Without doubt, it is no easy feat to create

Nation in which all our beliefs and the possibilities of

“system change” for trade, rather than just a “marketing

development could be achieved in the spirit of “Ubuntu”,

change” for a product. African Pacific’s aim is to create

the African philosophical sense

a sustainable business model

to mean “the belief in a universal

that goes beyond the rigidity

bond of sharing that connects all humanity”. African Pacific was built on my personal heartfelt desire to serve in creating a better world; to understand why we can place a man on the Moon, map our human DNA and yet continue in an economic system that perpetuates

a good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.

injustice and inequality.”


Nui Wild Harvest and Certified

of current global structures, a model that recognises the unique, traditional way of life for growers across the many islands in Vanuatu. Their commitment extends to designing and implementing the world’s first agri-superannuation product for smallholder growers; an online database to better manage the growers they work with and the

Organic high quality raw food

Nui $1 a Day initiative.

products include virgin coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut

With these in place, Andreas’ vision to connect 10,000

sugar, cacao, vanilla and coffee. Their certified organic

growers with 10,000 international customers by 2020 is a

skincare range is handmade in Australia without chemicals

tangible and truly inspiring prospect.

or preservatives. It’s also free from animal testing and unashamedly tested on humans. Nui blend their skincare with essential oils at room temperature to preserve all the therapeutic benefits and healing properties.


Not all Nui products are certified organic and there is good

The nui $1 a day initiative is a partnership between

reason for this. The South Pacific is besieged by the logistical

you and your special grower in the Pacific.

pitfalls of its thousands of magical islands, small community

The idea is to make a small investment here to bring

production and limited economies of scale. Organic

a BIG benefit in the growers’ communities responsible

certification is not affordable for a small-scale grower, even

for producing the natural and healthy Nui products.

though his land and the produce are inherently organic. That is why African Pacific’s Wild Harvest label was created, to

Through Nui $1 a Day, together we can help sustain a

open a direct channel to the market. Once the demand is

farming family, strengthen a community, and build

established, certification becomes a more secure avenue.

an economy for a fairer world of trade, one day at a time.

By working directly with small-scale farmers, and with a guiding set of ethical, sustainable and fair principles, African

For details visit:

Pacific’s innovative vision benefits the growers, their families

and customers in Australia. In doing so it is creating positive and profound development outcomes in the Pacific. The values that propel this mission are not only entrenched in the African Pacific Company ‘Fair Trade for a Fair Go’ Charter but are also deeply embedded in the ethos of their daily business practice.

slo-fi magazine



SHOP IN STYLE The Dharma Door designs & sources Fair Trade, sustainable homewares and lifestyle products. Products that tell a story with every stitch and every fibre.

Facebook/TheDharmaDoor Instagram: @thedharmadoor Pinterest: thedharmadoor

Endorsed Fair Trader of Australia