Images: All images courtesy Honeybea
Tucked away in the heart of Toronto’s vibrant Art + Design District you will find the warm and welcoming Honeybea studio.
Lovingly coined 'The Designhive', this busy little workshop stacked floor to ceiling with a feast of found fabrics and sacred heirloom textiles has flourished with creativity and unstoppable innovation in the sustainable fashion space for nearly two decades.
A pioneer of the upcycle movement and passionate circular fashion advocate, textile artist and thrift fanatic Rebecca Caulford’s has been recycling textiles to make garments for twenty years. She believes that ‘moving towards sustainable fashion is investing in forever pieces, buying less and buying better, and letting your style be a reflection of what you believe in.’ Her customers appreciate clothing that reflect their core values.
Caulford’s connection to quilts is profound, almost spiritual, and she feels the love in them and their deep connection to the past. She only works with damaged quilts, passionately salvaging useable sections that she then pieces together into magical new combinations before cutting out the garments. She takes care that the history of the quilts and their makers is not lost and that the textiles can carry on teaching. Most of her quilts and other garments are sourced from local massive rag factories that she visits fortnightly through personal contacts. She has a small team and when enough material is amassed, they will make a run of twenty-five to forty-five pieces in one style.
Whilst condemning the Fast Fashion industry, Caulford is all too aware of how many people depend on it for employment, and also that some people do not have the luxury of choice to be able to afford one-off creations, though she does recommend shopping at thrift shops to find special pieces.
On salvaging quilts she says: "There is a sacred, spirit-guided process to finding each achingly special and well-travelled textile we use. A rapidly vanishing and non-renewable resource, each slow-stitched, story-filled quilt, blanket or tablecloth that lands in our path is on a journey that started long ago and far away. Cherished reminders of the past steeped in resourcefulness and resilience, each hand-picked piece has been rescued from the rubble of today’s warp speed world so it can continue to shine bright with all the love it has left to give.
We're delighted to have one Honeybea heirloom Afghan Traveller’s Coat to give away as part of our Selvedge Issue 105 Checks & Stripes prize draw.
Prize draw open to customers and subscribers of Selvedge Magazine and the Selvedge newsletter. Enter the prize draw via the link in our newsletter or your product order confirmation. If you are a magazine subscriber you can find the link here.
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