This summer I was invited to conduct a design workshop in a disability rights organization called PAGIR in Leh. It is one of my favourite places, 3,524 m (11,562 ft) up in the Himalayas amongst gentle mountain people. The air is rarified there but mercifully I do not get altitude sickness and don’t need any time to acclimatize. Now the thing with PAGIR is that not only is it a rights organization fighting to make sure that the needs and demands of people with disability are heard and acted upon in society but it also has a heart for the precious mountain environment. They run a small production unit making products from waste. There is a strong local market for meditation cushions stuffed with waste cloth which are perfect for the many Buddhist monks in the region. I was working on a range of make-up bags, keyboard and mouse wrist rests, cuddle cushions and napkin rings made of waste from tailor’s shops and using my own Kiesha waste for some products which will appear on this website soon.
There is a tremendously good feeling about finding a use for every single piece of fabric. Water consumption to grow most textile plants is high, they may well biodegrade over time but nothing like fast enough in the quantities we use it and much too slow for a place like Leh.
I recently worked with more than a hundred meters of lovely white hemp fabric for an international customer. The selvedge had to be cut off and my customer wondered if it could be used to make a rag rug…it most certainly could!
So, with some imagination, almost all left over fabric can be used for something.
And of course when you are working with friends there is always time to dance!