CATHERINE STOCKS AND ERIN HUGHES ARE GIVING A STYLISH SECOND LIFE TO DISCARDED SCRAPS OF FABRIC AND HELPING THE PLANET ALONG THE WAY, WRITES KATE JOHNSTONE
CREATIVE duo Catherine Stocks and Erin Hughes have joined forces to create a new range of cushions with a conscience. The business partners from the coast take materials collecting dust in textile mills and repurpose them into luxe one-of-a-kind cushions under the label hygge:liv. Based in Jan Juc, Erin says the brand aims to showcase incredible products that can be made out of unused fabrics.
“Our number one mission is to reduce landfill. People have a perception that unused fabric must be damaged or not very good,” Erin says. “This couldn’t be further from the truth. The textile waste issue is a global issue. We want to help create change and educate people. We want to help put a stop to people throwing away perfectly good materials or products.”
FABSCRAP, a non-for-profit organisation in New York, is one of the places the duo sources fabric for its homewares.
“THE MORE RESEARCH WE DID AROUND THE ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF FABRIC AND MATERIALS BEING WASTED AND SENT TO LANDFILL, THE MORE DEDICATED WE BECAME.”
“The quality of the fabric that we have been able to source has been absolutely outstanding. People don’t realise that wasted fabrics are just waiting to be reused, reinvented, reloved,” Erin says.
Erin says it was not until she delved into the metres of information and yards of statistics that she realised the scale of the textile waste issue. “The more research we did around the enormous amount of fabric and materials being wasted and sent to landfill, the more dedicated we became,” she says. “And that is how our passion to reduce landfill and repurpose existing fabric into beautiful things became the who and why for hygge:liv.” Catherine, a professional stylist from Moggs Creek, says hygge:liv, pronounced hoo-gah live, is a Danish word that means cosiness and comfort.
“As someone who has worked in homewares and interiors for many years, with a specific interest for Danish decor and interiors, I’ve always loved the concept and meaning behind hygge,” Catherine says.
“The term hygge translates to the art of creating joy and cosiness in life’s everyday moments. This felt like the perfect word to name our brand as it encapsulates the essence of what we’re wanting to create with our range of cushions.”
Erin says textile businesses carry a lot of wasted textile from sampling and swatching, materials turning out slightly different to the rest of the textile fabric run and over-ordering fabric. She says working with unused fabrics impacts the design process in a big way. “We only have access to certain quantities of styles of unused fabrics. This is why we make one-of-a-kind products,” Erin says. “It allows us to be really creative in our process. Matching different fabrics up to create eclectic front and backs. “Sourcing unused fabrics is so exciting as you have to really try to envision how the cushion is going to look and how we can develop each cushion in a unique way.” Catherine says the cushions are designed to move from room to room, mixing and matching to bring new life to any space.
The eclectic collection is also designed and developed in a sustainable and socially responsible way, with each cushion handmade locally.
“Catherine and I have been friends for more than 16 years and have a shared love for design and interiors,” Erin says.
“We’ve always wanted to create something really special together. We both love living on the coast and the lifestyle that it brings, so it seemed only natural that the hygge:liv collections would be inspired by the environment the coast has to offer.”