Sustainable Identity by Saba Rahbar

 I have been inspired by Persian kilims that have been passed down in families for generations and altered throughout time.

The TED reading group really helped me understand the different aspects of sustainability that I would like to capture in my future business.. I noticed that I started to be more critical about companies and products that claim they are sustainable and eco friendly, it made me take a closer look past the barrier of marketing and try and take a closer look myself.
I found that the TED’s ten was a clever way of trying to break up the broad term that is sustainability. I was disappointed that it was mostly fashion based, however, since my work is based solely on interiors.
I started my own blog about sustainable textiles and I have found it really helpful in terms of having my ideas in one space. It has also assisted me to get in touch with companies and people in the industry. 

My work links with four of the ten guiding principles.
Design to reduce chemical waste : I have been working with natural dyes that do no require mordants after realising the harm they have on our water systems. I’ve tried to find alternative ways of fixing the dye onto fabric, such as mixing myrobalan and cows milk etc.
Design that looks at models from nature and history : In exploring my roots, I have been looking at Persian textiles for inspiration such as kilims that have been passed down in families for generations and altered throughout time.
Design for ethical production: I am sourcing sustainable materials from the Philippines such as Pina and Abaca and have solely been in contact with manufacturers that provide work for women.
In order to make sure that the companies are doing what they say they are in terms of helping underprivileged women and not using child labour, I am going to go for a site visit on the 16th April, in order have a stronger connection with the producers and to have a clear conscience that what I am using is ethically sourced.
Design to dematerialise and develop systems and services : I have edited my business plan for post MA development, to include a repair service for my customers in order to reduce textile waste. It seems like such a simple addition yet I had never even considered it.
Overall it has been a very educational and positive process for me and I am glad we had the chance to have this experience.

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