Kirralee & Co: a tale of three chairs

Kirralee & Co sustainable hanging vase
I was first drawn to Kirralee & Co for their beautifully simplistic hanging vases. Ok, I thought they were darn cute!

So of course I looked harder, and it was then I see that founder Kirralee Robinson is completely dedicated to sustainable design, and all her creations are made from recycled wooden furniture! Another perfect example of great design with a sustainable core.

As a stay-at-home mum in 2014, Kirralee had wanted to study fashion so began preparing by reading more about the industry. We know it doesn't take much to uncover some ugly truths about ethics in fashion...
Kirralee & Co hanging vase and shelf in one.

"This led me to want to change my shopping habits, not just in fashion but across the board, and I decided that I wanted everything in my home to (eventually) be sustainably sourced," Kirralee & Co founder and maker Kirralee Robinson.

"We began making our own furniture from other secondhand furniture and I started to see some potential in the off-cuts – not wanting to throw them out.

"It was during this time that friends were moving house and they gave us three chairs, which inspired the 'Semi' vases we still make today."

A former florist with a degree in visual art, it wasn't until Kirralee tried woodworking that she felt that creative 'click'.

"Through the steep learning curve of motherhood, I discovered that I felt somewhat empty if I didn’t also have any projects on the go – if I wasn’t making anything with my hands," Kirralee says.

"I’m not sure what it was about woodworking that caught my attention first, but it was partly that I got to spend extra time learning from my husband, partly the fact that I was using my grandfather’s tools, and it came with a great deal of making satisfaction.
A family of Kirralee & Co hanging vases.
Image via Instagram

"As we were making and re-designing furniture I can remember I began to literally dream about woodworking at night and wake up thinking about it too," Kirralee says.

Through a friend with a Master’s degree in fashion/ textile & ethics, Kirralee learnt it’s near impossible to be 100% both ethical and sustainable in absolutely everything.

"When it comes to making decisions about which supplies to buy I think about both the ethical and sustainable factors, but others as well such as longevity, quality and style.

"I think I am way too tied to the romantic notion of giving some old objects a new lease of life to have started any other way," Kirralee says.

"There are many challenges with having a sustainable business, and quite unusually, the challenges once accepted become the positives.

"Time is a good example of this. Sourcing and making sustainably takes time. Sometimes the right materials just aren’t around but I have found that if I - and my clients - can be patient, waiting for the right material really is worth it.

Just for Mother's Day - Kirralee Robinson's Mum!
Image via Instagram
"It is incredibly satisfying to take something destined for landfill and turn it into something useful that other people can enjoy."

Kirralee & Co has a few creative collaborations on the go, and I can't wait to see her new range of lamps!

Check out the Kirralee & Co. store on Etsy and follow the creative journey on Instagram.

- Ash


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