Inspired by the natural fibres of India and its five thousand year old textile heritage Carole Douglas produces a range of goods under her Desert Traditions label. She draws on her own design and making background and the knowledge and skills of traditional artisans to develop wares for bed, bath and body. Designed and crafted to promote social, economic, environmental and cultural sustainability her products are assessed against this quadruple bottom line during every step in the production cycle. A great proponent of the ‘cradle to cradle’ ideal, Carole encourages consumers to think twice before discarding.
Design and production are not new to Carole. Her repertoire includes the design and creation of architectural scale textile works for public buildings as well as accessories, clothing and home wares- her silk quilts once featured in Belle Magazine. She designed, sourced and managed the production of the ‘made in Australia’ opening range for Sydney Aquarium’s retail shop at Darling Harbour and her passion for the natural world led to the development of products designed to reduce consumer waste. Since her first foray into India in 1996,Carole has set her sights on the perfect synthesis of designer-artisan-material-product;her newly launched organic cotton range is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
‘During the Indus Valley era cotton was grown as nature intended; it was nurtured rather than artificially forced to maturity. The hand picked bolls were cleaned and carded by hand before spinning and weaving on simple looms. Colours came from plant extracts such as madder root and later, indigo. No part of the process took place away from the source hence the carbon footprint was close to zero. I am inspired to replicate this ethos to meet the 21st century’s imperative for sustainability. Our new product range combines most of the key elements and we are working now to close the loop. It is a win, win, win, win solution.’
Carole Douglas 2013
Carole’s aesthetic is simple and clean and is a clever juxtaposition of contemporary needs and traditional skills. Her products ‘walk their talk; at the end of their useful life they can be reused or safely returned to the earth and her ‘buy back’ philosophy extends the life of an article by adding one more link in the chain of sustainability.