Decorative Plant Vessel
I appreciate those who are considerate towards the environment, but I greatly admire people who take sustainability to a whole new level of creativity. There are a lot of local businesses on Oahu who make it a goal to spread awareness about sustainability through fashion and food. Social media is one of best outlets for promoting that cause, through a local feature account, @hawaiiwego, I came across a woman who has a unique way of reusing textiles.
After coming from Seattle and moving to and fro Italy, Jessica finally established herself in Honolulu along with her own family. She's always had a knack for sewing and plant care, and would teach workshops in her workplace at Paiko, a botanical boutique located at SALT at Kakaako. After coming across leftover fabrics she experimented and started to make covers for her own potted plants. At one point, the owner of Paiko asked her if she could make more to sell in shop. For almost two and a half years now, Jessica's built her brand SAX and has been creating and selling her decorative plant vessels in different botanical and home good shops!
All of her decorative plant vessels are sustainable, using recycled textiles that she finds globally as well as from her friends and family. But these fabrics aren't just ordinary; one of her textiles is a mud cloth (Africa), which is dyed and then painted on with a special clay. The patterns you see in the first and second photo above came out that way because of the chemical reaction from the sun on the clay, as the textile would be laid out to dry.
Besides this cultural garment, Jessica also takes it upon herself to add some pizzaz to the plain scraps of cloth she salvages. The third photo shows a dyeing process she's been experimenting with using turmeric and the yellow is so beautiful and vibrant! The fourth photo above is a shibori style and this process along with turmeric, is rather lengthy. I admire Jessica's perseverance from gathering her fabrics, to dyeing and cutting, and then sewing the pieces all together; doing what you love is always a process with time and effort.
Besides collaborating with businesses to carry products, Jessica has also partnered with designers to create pieces using their remaining farbcis. Pieces with fabrics from Jana Lam and Matt Bruening were hot sellers as many of their fans wanted decorative plant vessels to match their dresses and shirts! In addition to creating pieces for standards pot sizes, Jessica would also customize pieces for potted plants on a larger scale and has also made pillow covers at one point for a local boutique who had extra fabric.
SAX pieces can be for anyone who wants to give their house plants a bit more life. Besides locals, tourists who come into Paiko also shop her pieces for souvenirs while they order coffee from ARVO (who shares a space with Paiko). You can also find SAX at Mori, where Jessica will be creating pieces that you'll only be able to find at that particular boutique. When it comes to care, the shibori pieces can be machine washed while everything else should be spot treated.
Looking forward, Jessica will continue creating her pieces and also hosting workshops at Paiko demonstrating plant care. Lately she's been experimenting with strips of fabric to create handles, potentially making handbags to match plant vessels. I personally would love to have a little bucket bag, and would appreciate one that is made of recycled textiles! It really touches my heart knowing that there are people like Jessica who strive to combine sustainability with lifestyle. I feel that that culture is expanding in Hawaii and hope that this will inspire other businesses to transfer that in their practices.
Thank you Jessica for showing Quy and me your beautiful studio as well as the process of creating your pieces! Check her out on Instagram as @plantsax for upcoming workshops, new designs, and more! If you're not on Oahu, you can find some of her pieces in a few local boutiques located on Kauai or the Big Island, otherwise you can shop her online at plantsax.com.
Also thank you to my buddy Quy for accompanying me and taking photos! Check him out on Instagram as @quyphaam for beautiful scenic and portrait photography.