Last week, I blogged about about some flowery papercuts I made in my studio. Well, that was a good few months back, and since then those papercuts (and some block prints) have all magically transformed into . . .
. . . the Heather Moore COLAB with MRP Home ! We’ve made duvet covers, towels, stationery, kitchengoods, a throw and even some furniture! Best of all, it’s almost all made in South Africa.
Take a look at this little promo video where I talk about the process (and get a sneak peek into my studio too).
So far, the collaboration has been really well received, and I’m so grateful for all the kind messages of encouragement and support from so many people. Thank you!
Having shared some of the behind-the-scenes design work that resulted in this collection, I thought it might also be interesting to share some insight into my experience of the Heather Moore & MRP Colab Collection.
A CREATIVE OPPORTUNITY:
When MRP Home creative director Yanni Vosloo sent me a DM on Instagram one day, suggesting that we work on a Colab together, I immediately loved the idea. Collaborations are always a great creative opportunity for me because, while I get to have loads of creative freedom at Skinny laMinx, there is a cap to the kinds of things we are able to produce here. A small business like Skinny laMinx simply can’t produce things that require large-volume orders, because of boring things like costs, storage capacity, ability to distribute, etc etc.
Also, my creative freedom is not only limited by the items we’re able to produce, but also by the design trajectory that my brand is taking. It’s a treat for me to work on designs outside of the Skinny laMinx brand, because it gives me freedom to play with ideas outside of what I do for my brand (which is why this COLAB is with MrP Home and Heather Moore, not Skinny laMinx.). In this case, I was able to do some more whimsical, floral designs, which are quite different to the strong geometrics and abstract designs coming out of Skinny lately.
FOCUS ON LOCAL
As you know, MRP occupies a particular niche in the South African (and recently, Australian) market, which is to supply fashionable goods at affordable prices. They do things that have very broad market appeal, as well as strong pocket appeal. So while all the creative reasons listed above were appealing, I had some concerns that my own values – particularly around locally-made goods – might not be well aligned with theirs.
But from my very first meeting with the team, my concerns were put to rest. The MRP manufacturing policy is to maximize local opportunities where capability and capacity allows, so at this point, over 30% of their total order book is made up of items made or finished in South Africa, and the percentage on their textile production is over 40% local.
Particularly exciting is the Mr Price Group’s participation in the Sustainable Cotton Cluster (SCC), which invests in the South African cotton industry in order to help it become more resilient and stable. I got hold of some facts and figures showing that the group, through participation in the pilot Integrated Supply Chain programme last year, in partnership with the DTI and various value chain organisations, delivered around 4.2 million garments and towels to stores.
While I was in Durban, I took a walk around their (enormous) design studio, through all the merchandising rooms, showing me all the locally made options, and we agreed that this Colab would be ALL local, as far as possible.
WHAT WE MADE
So these are the things we made together (SO COOL!), and you’ll see I’ve listed info about where they were made:
Gift wrap & bags – Made in SA
Notebooks & cards – Made in SA
Duvet cover – 100% cotton, printed overseas, cut and made in South Africa
Bed throw – Made in South Africa
Bath towel and hand towel – 100% cotton, Made in South Africa
Candle – Made in China
Ottoman – Both fabric and furniture were produced in MRP’s home town of Durban, South Africa
Cork-backed melamine placemats – made in China
Melamine crockery – Made in China
So there it is! An all-round winner, ticking all the boxes: locally made, fun to design, as well as an absolute pleasure to work with with the easygoing, friendly, quick-thinking, completely ‘uncorporate’ MPP Home team.
Thanks, MRP Home! It’s been fun.
PS: You can find all these items for sale at MRP Home Online, or at selected MRP Home stores, listed below:
- West rand retail crossing
- East rand retail Park
- Design Quarter
- Centurion Lifestyle centre
- Kolonnade Retail Park
- Mall OF Africa
- Platinum mall Rustenburg
- Lynnridge Mall
- The Grove
- Canal Walk
- Somerset West
- Main Road- Diep River
- Walmer park
- Vincent Park
- Loch Logan
- Argyle road
- Illanga Mall