Meet Elizabeth from Two Itchy Bums
" It started with a hashtag, the desire to craft and the challenge to use only discarded items. With our up-cycle crafts, we hope to reduce waste and help to influence the world to be more eco-conscious - the concept of giving second lives to unwanted materials and products, turning them into gems." - Elizabeth, Two Itchy Bums
The concept of upcycling discarded plastic and transforming it into a beautiful piece of functional fashion, is truly inspiring. Makes you wonder why more businesses are not doing this ...! We are so proud to stock these beautiful pouches handmade by Elizabeth at Two Itchy Bums. She is one talented maker and we cannot wait to see her next creations.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am Elizabeth, the founder of Two Itchy Bums. I relocated from Singapore to Brisbane a couple of years ago, and have been working in the exhibition and interior industry as a full-time designer whilst crafting during my spare time.
Personally, I have been a pretty hands-on person and love design and technical subjects since I was in high school. After graduating, I pursued Industrial and Product design and put my skills into good use.
Where are you based?
How did it all begin?
Our brand, Two Itchy Bums, describes who we are - basically people who can’t sit still, and itching to get our hands dirty. Being in the exhibition and events industry, I witnessed firsthand how much waste was being produced after each trade show. Hence, we decided that our brand should embrace sustainability, and our products should minimise our carbon footprint. With that thought, we zoomed on ‘discarded’ materials like pallet wood, plastic grocery and packaging bags and etc. to create our products.
What influences your work?
It’s heartening to know that more people are making a conscious effort to go green and reduce waste / pollution whenever possible. While we have a long way to go, it is a good start and we definitely want Two Itchy Bums to be part of this change.
What do you love about what you do?
A lot of thought and effort has been put into creating our products and we want our customers to appreciate the beauty of these upcycled products, and in turn be more mindful about the waste we are producing. This is what motivates us to keep on creating.
What is the most difficult part of what you do?
It is definitely not an easy process. We had to actively look for suitable discarded materials that could be remoulded or repurposed. You’ll probably see us spending hours looking for discarded pallets or digging the bins for plastic bags [laughs]. After gathering the materials, we have to sort, clean and, in some cases, dismantle materials by removing so it is safe for power tools. This all requires a fair bit of effort and time.
Once the repurposed material is ready, it is then the design and ideation process which gets a little tricky because we examine each individual piece and think how to embrace and work with (the material) imperfections. You can say that our products are one-of-a-kind pieces given that they are not cut from the same cloth.
How long does one of your pieces take to make?
I usually prepare the recycled plastic in batches. As a breakdown, each individual pouch takes at least 1.5-2hrs. This includes cutting the recycled plastic, cleaning and heat fusing them together, creating the patterns, cutting and stitching.
What Are Some Interesting Facts About You?
As I am more of a visual person, the goals for my decorative products are to bring dead spaces to life. Who wouldn’t want to live or work in an aesthetically pleasing space? That sparked the motivation of my products… and also the obsession of indoor plants! Call me a crazy plant lady, but I believe plants have feelings and I talk to my plants everyday! Naturally, I have a lot of plants at home and these plants enhance the overall creative energy I need for Two Itchy Bums. You can almost say that they motivate me at work.
I also love travelling around the world. Travelling helps me to be more open minded and realise that there’s no one way to live life. Immersing myself into different cultures, lifestyle and meeting people from other places will show you that the world view isn’t the same as everyone else’s. It is also a break away from the daily routine and enables me to rejuvenate my mind.
What Are You Most Grateful For?
I’m grateful to be making a difference to our planet, and creating products that positively impact our lives moving forward. And I am very thankful to know that my family and friends have been very supportive since Two Itchy Bums started. Lastly, a big shoutout to my partner for the encouragements and for helping to champion the brand.