I’ve got my eyes on a pair of made in England clogs stocked at Mahala, an independent homewares and accessories shop selling handmade bags and handcrafted pieces by designer/maker Emily Griffin. Emily’s East London shop is based in an old fishmonger, where a material sign waves you beyond the fish shopfront signage with the aroma of organic candles and wild pistachio soap.
Bags made from salvaged army surplus fabric and British saddlery leather first introduced me to Mahala when I interviewed Emily for London Design Festival last September. I was thrilled when she agreed to swap East London for an eccentric Henley estate to exhibit at Salvo fair . I am collaborating with Salvo, the original architectural salvage fair to incorporate zero waste food and fair fashion for this year’s Green Living Fest on 23rd-25th June 2017. A showcase of salvage, reclaimed interiors and antiques, not simply for their beauty, but for their green value. The Green Living fest will celebrate salvage as a lifestyle choice.
There is no perfectly sustainable material, but getting to know the materials you dress your home and yourself with is a good place to start. Upcycled and carefully sourced, materials at Mahala include antique and traditionally crafted modern Turkish towels. Currently completing the renovation of my flat with reused and reclaimed materials, I visited to buy bathroom towels.
If you have yet to experience a hammam. Let me fill you in with my first experience in Morocco. Wearing nothing, but the traditional towel around my waist, I was scrubbed with black soap made from olive pulp and vegetable soda. My two friends got lucky with beds to rest on, whilst the kessa gloved women worked their magic, and I was left to be exfoliated in the shower room. Suitable for all skin types, we were equally pleased with the soap’s purifying properties, I just left slightly more attached to the durable, yet soft Turkish cotton towel protecting my hips, whilst flat-out on the floor tiles.
I joke, but the experience is a ritual of relaxation that I was keen to replicate at home.
Back soon with inspiration for turning tiny bathrooms into tranquil spaces, and how I tackled my tiny bathroom renovation with reused and reclaimed materials.
Join me and Mahala at SALVO 2017
Salvo fair, Icehouse Lane, Henley on Thames, RG9 3AP
Book tickets for the zero waste Silo at Salvo lunch with a weekend fair pass
Follow Emily Griffin on the beautiful @Mahala_london Instagram
©photographs Reclaimed Woman