Since we have just launched our new range of products in collaboration with Greater Goods we thought it would be a good idea to inform you all abit more about the man behind the London based project.
You describe Greater Goods as a ‘design project’ rather than a brand due to the versatility of the products you create, can you tell us how it all started and the journey you have been on so far….
''I started greater goods after graduating from uni. I was making furniture from discarded materials in my local area and it was the platform I would share my creations under. I guess it’s still the same but with just a different range of materials. I’ve got a bit of a passion for anything creative. Illustration, carpentry, textiles, graphics, I enjoy it all.''
Greater Goods is all about repurposing, recycling and reinventing products. What was it that inspired you to take this particular direction?
''I've always been repurposing and using old existing materials in my projects. Greater Goods started out being a furniture project where I walked around my local area finding discarded materials to make furniture from. I just find it more interesting working with existing materials, it makes it fun and it's unique every time whether I like it or not.''
How does the design process work? Do you spot something in a skip or on eBay and think ‘I’m going to turn that into a…..’?’
''Pretty much, it's nothing wild and more of an organic design approach. I don't have any formal fashion background, so I just work the way I think is correct. I'll hunt around or get given products and I check them out l, get a feel for the material, see the existing shapes and silhouettes and then see what I can do with it. It's a bit of problem solving mixed with textiles.''
Which have been your favourite products to make so far and why?
''I think it's got to be the bottle bags, it's not the most complex thing I've made but it's just nice to find a good use for all the small scraps that I have left over from multiple other projects.''
Have you discovered anything interesting whilst pulling apart various pieces of clothing and materials? Any hidden message or unusual design techniques?
''Hahah, I've found a few coins and ski passes in some of the Gore-Tex jackets. It's crazy to think that a lot of the jackets I work with have been on some serious ski trips and travels. Yet they have ended up in my tiny studio in North London. ''
Is it true brands have started to send you stuff to use now?
''Yeah I occasionally get sent some product to work with, I feel most big brands have a warehouse of product returns and rails of samples that just sit there.''
In terms of sustainability do you think that all the big brands should follow your lead and use recycling to make more of their products?
''It just makes sense to use old products, I feel everyone benefits from it. It's just hard for big brands to figure out the logistics and it often doesn't create enough profit. It's kind of sad.''
Tell us about your balaclavas….
''The balaclavas were a bit of a curve ball I gotta say. But that's what GG is all about. If we like something personally then we'll make some in the studio. My girlfriend hand-knitted me one a few years back and we knew we had to make a small run.''
What current sewing machine are you using at the moment and what kind of spec is important for those people wanting to start upcycling their own stuff?
''I’ve got multiple machines but my main industrial straight stitch is a Juki 8700. It's a very popular machine and quite affordable. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to make the jump from domestic to industrial, saying that I do still use my cheap domestic machine. I think reliability and build quality are the key factors in a sewing machine. There are some beautiful Bernina Swiss made machines that sound and run like clockwork.''
I hear that you don’t watch TV, does that make a big difference to your productivity?
''I still procrastinate, people close to me will say I work hard but I always want to do more. I don’t watch TV but enjoy watching films. They just feel More considered and concentrated as they have a short time period to deliver a story in. I feel TV series’ drag on and string you along for 4 seasons.''
You’ve already got some amazing collaborative projects under your belt, who are you looking forward to working with next?
''I can't be giving away that kind of information. I'm always working on bits, if I'm quiet online then I'm busy in the background.''
As well as changing the face of fashion and furniture design you’re also a dab hand at making zines. Tell us about this love of print and what the ones you’ve made so far have been about?
''My background is in graphic design but I hate being stuck behind my laptop all day so I lean towards print and having that tactile connection with print. I used to draw and illustrate a lot and zines were a great way to showcase artwork outside of the internet and be affordable. It ticks all the boxes for me.''
Which publications inspired your Zine work?
''Only one that comes to mind is Rubbish Fanzine by Holycrap Singapore. They are the most creative family I have ever seen. If you want to learn more it's probably best you do your own research on them as my words won't do their work any justice. ''
Is there a space in the world for a recycled magazine that’s made using literal cut and paste techniques? Because if there is, you’re the man to do it.
''I think that's how zines began. From my knowledge it all started in the punk rock scene where people would make their own fan made magazines using cut and paste and photocopying the spreads to make copies. I’m planning on producing a Greater Goods zine with the help of some friends and it's going to be incredible but I want it to be visual as well as heavily informative so it will take some time.''
What plans do you have for the future?
''Just keeping busy''
Check out our latest collaboration with Jaimus and the guys at Outsiders Store. A new range of heavy weight T-shirts, sweatshirts and bottles inspired by nature. These garments are knitted, sewn and printed on locally in an attempt to minimize our collective impacts.