Clay Govi pots, vases in papier mache wrapped in tobacco leaves, quilts made of shirting, table and chairs made of pallet wood, bowls and platters made out of steel oil drums. These are products from Haiti, a company BrandAid has started there.
From my visit to see the homewares on the lower ground floor at Selfridges last week, I met Tony Pigott who has started this project. They have discovered the many skills and talents of the people who make these objects. BrandAid is a project of bringing the skills of modern marketing, design and technology to parts of the world that are neglected or ignored and applies these skills to market their special and beautiful products.
Some of the items from this collection are made from recycling packaging such as paper cement bags, oil drums and pallet wood as well as the local clay out of the earth. Working directly with designers and artisans from communities in Haiti they have launched a collection of strikingly attractive and unique homewares and each touched with Vodu, the servants of the the spirits.
These pots would look fabulous on the shelves of an industrial chic warehouse or the mantle piece of a chic terraced town house.
Another aspect about this project is it fosters local communities and businesses, it uses their skills, their knowledge, their techniques. It is not a multinational setting up a factory to make western products for western countries, but their products made by them for us to use.