Rochedale mums Emma Moynihan and Sarah Textor have bagged themselves a new career in accessories and homewares made from some unlikely materials.
Taking the concept of recycled fabrics a step further, the pair has managed to find chic uses for tire inner tubes, coffee sacks and fire hoses, turning them into handbags and homewares under the label Crop Design they now sell at the Eagle Farm markets and via their online store.
“The idea started when my son wanted a bag to take his basketball gear in, so I made him one from a coffee sack,” says Emma.
“I really liked it so I kept it and made him another one, and people started asking about these bags.
“Then Sarah and I started thinking we needed to find another textile and I found an inner tube in the gutter and brought it home and starting playing with that idea, which took a long while to perfect. We needed a new machine, a particular thread; it’s about finding out what you can do with it, and that’s the good part about it.”
Focusing on using materials solely from what can be salvaged and repurposed, the pair put the word out and now have mechanics, motorbike shops and even a fire station setting their used materials aside to be handed over to the designers and given a new lease on life.
“It’s building a nice little community,” says Emma.
“Design comes first and the cool materials are an ecologically kind bonus.
“Our entire business plan is ‘be popular’. We’re building it organically and what we would like to do is get to a trade show in Melbourne later this year and start getting stocked in retailers but we’re creeping along as best we can.
Emma, a former political scientist and interior decorator and Sarah, a former business manager and personal trainer, say a big part of their focus as they grow will also be providing work for mothers and carers who are seeking flexible work arrangements.