＜INTERVIEW＞ SUSTOMi Founder, Bronwyn Kidd
Growing up in the beautiful nature of Tasmania, was sustainability a large part of your childhood as well?
Absolutely! I grew up in beautiful Tasmania in a household which was fairly low-waste and sustainable. We lived in the city, but we would often explore the surrounding nature Tasmania has to offer. At home mum practised sustainability: always re-using bags, refusing single-use plastic wrap, cooking healthy meals and growing vegetables in the garden! We were also encouraged to DIY (do it yourself) wherever possible and purchase second-hand items most of the time.When I moved out of home and saw how other people lived I was quite shocked!
When starting off experimenting with beeswax wraps was it a long process to create the right formula that would later become SUSTOMi?
When I started making beeswax wraps six years ago in 2016, it did take a few weeks to get a product ready - at that time there were no YouTube tutorials to show you how they’re made! I wanted to make a good quality product that would last so I took my time to perfect the art of beeswax wrap making. Back then I was making the beeswax wraps by myself in my kitchen, now we make them in our Hobart studio with a small team of three people – we are always improving our product and finding ways to make the beeswax wraps the best quality for our valued SUSTOMers (SUSTOMi customers)!
In part of your design inspiration, what attracted you to Scandinavian design?
I love the simplicity of Scandinavian design: the cleanliness of the design and pops of colour, plus the quality and functionality inspired me to create SUSTOMi and the look and feel of the brand. Growing up, our family shared some of the values of the Scandinavian home life - think Hygge or Lagom – the slow living, sustainability, and use of the natural surrounds of a space. Buying quality items that last, simple yet effective design, and functionality, are values I live by now and are also at the core of SUSTOMi.
Do you see a strong sense of Australian design within SUSTOMi and if so what does Australian design mean to you?
Like our cuisine, Australian design is mish-mash of so many cultures.
Going with the design inspiration questions, we have seen a couple of Japanese inspired products such as the Furoshiki gift wrapping and Bento lunch bags. What motivated you to add Japanese design into your lineup?
Like I said in the previous question, Japanese design has been a big inspiration for me and SUSTOMi, but when I travelled to Japan in early 2019, I really fell in love with the design and way of life. The way Japanese people use beautiful, quality items instead of single-use is something that Australians aren’t really doing yet, so I wanted to introduce products like the Furoshiki to the collection. The bento bags, I made myself a few years ago after seeing the pattern online and ended up using one or two bags a day! I love my bento bags for carrying lunch, as a travel bag, a produce bag for my vegetables and keeping chargers and cables secure. They are so versatile, useful, and fabulous – which are all values SUSTOMi strives to be!
We really love the limited edition wraps that you come up with! What is the process like finding the artists that you collaborate with on these?
Finding artists to collaborate and create limited edition wraps takes a lot of time, scrolling through Instagram and researching online! A few artists we’ve collaborated with have been friends, another I met at a designer market, and others I’ve found on Instagram.
I look for artists that I love but also that I think our SUSTOMers will love, I make sure their values align with ours, and they create art that is sustainable and kind to the planet. I love supporting and showcasing local artists and creating wraps that are a little different with fun pops of colour and patterns!
Lastly, any advice for people beginning their journey from single use to a reuse lifestyle with SUSTOMi?
If you are just beginning on your low-waste (or single use) journey, my biggest advice is: Start small :) You can’t do everything at once, so be kind to yourself when you feel frustrated or guilty for not doing it perfectly, because that moment will come, and those feelings are simply not worth it. Know that every small change is a step in the right direction, even having low-waste living in your thoughts is making a difference! Do your version of ‘everything’. And share your story with others - you might be surprised who feel inspired and follows suit to begin their own sustainable journey!
With eco products gaining popularity we are always on the lookout for new and interesting brands to feature here on our website. We’d like to give thanks to Bronwyn for spending the time talking to us and letting us learn all about SUSTOMi! A great compliment to your low-waste kitchen utensils, check out the SUSTOMi range over here
Interviewer： Jade Midori
Translation： Madoka Harding