THE INTERVIEW: SONYA KASHMIRI

 BY ALICE WILBY 

 

We chat to designer Sonya Kashmiri about how she incorporates sustainability into her structural aesthetic. And pare her designs with their sartorial soul-mate Finsk.

 

You work with natural, organic and recycled materials, how do they inform the design process?

It’s always been about using better materials for me, so my main focus was on using high quality materials that are cleaner and more sustainable.

The Vegetable tanned leather is sourced from a traditional Italian tannery. It's free from harmful chemicals such as Chromium and heavy metals, using mimosa and plant extracts instead. Although an expensive and longer process, it is a cleaner method of tanning leather as the waste maybe easily recycled. It is finished with oils and waxes, which results in it's patina (colour) becoming darker as it ages.

Our interior linings are made from organic cotton that is sourced from Turkey, safer for the farmers and the environment. 

Recycled leather is used as an internal structural layer; this is made from off cuts from scrap leather which are remade locally into a recycled leather. Sourced from Portugal, where our Accessories are made.

We love the smooth edges and beautiful simplicity of your designs. Where do you draw the inspiration for your work?

For me a product needs to firstly be fit for purpose, feel and look great, and that’s what I am aiming for I love curves and geometric shapes so inspiration can stem from many things Architecture, Sculpture, products etc…

What challenges do you meet as a sustainable designer?

Initially, it was just about finding better materials and ways of making things and perhaps some manufacturers thought this was an odd way to work, but as I continue it is easier as attitudes to working in a more sustainable way are becoming more mainstream.  

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Make a plan and with small achievable goals and celebrate each one.

What can we expect next from Sonya Kashmiri?

A collaboration project. 

You can view more of Sonya's work here.

BAG IT UP, photographed by We Are Studio.