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SUSTAINABILITY IN SOFT ALPACA
Blacksaw founders Steph and Kyle Taylor put sustainability at the center of everything they do. Working with their partners in South America, they create hand-crafted, luxuriously soft baby Alpaca throws from 100% recycled factory off-cuts that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill. Steph and Kyle are also passionate advocates of the #meaningfulpossessions movement and avowed design minimalists. They recently moved back to Canada to be close to friends and family and have nimbly adapted to keeping Blacksaw operating from their new HQ - a converted van overlooking a lake. We reached out to see how they’re keeping the sustainability flag flying in our interview below.
During a motorcycle trip into the Andean mountain range in South America, Steph and Kyle Taylor discovered the region’s beautiful Alpaca fiber and hatched the idea of building a sustainable business around it. In addition to giving new life to forgotten fibers, the products would have no expiry date and would be passed on for generations. They would become “meaningful possessions”, long-lasting, timeless, and worthy of taking up space in your life.
We caught up with Kyle in the couple’s converted van, wedged in-between tall pine trees that overlook a beautiful freshwater lake in Canada.
Tell us about the van.
Our van is run entirely off solar power. We are currently taking
the morning to enjoy good coffee, brainstorm about the future directions of Blacksaw and
how we can continue to raise the sustainability flag. Steph and I are always on the move
and find creativity in all nooks and crannies of this beautiful planet. Typically, at this
time we are living in Bali, Indonesia but with COVID-19 we have decided to come back to
Canada to be close to family and friends.
What’s your biggest challenge as a maker? How are you approaching these issues?
At this time, I would say trying to ignore all the negative noise out
there, focus on the positive and more importantly continue to stay true to our identity and
How are you staying strong and resilient?
Strong coffee, loud music, great friends and family, wilderness, surfing,
mindfulness, fresh water/ saltwater and dreaming without limitation.
Where do you find moments of joy? What nourishes you creatively?
We find joy in many things but the key take-aways for us would be travel,
music, surf and coffee. Travel always keeps us inspired and feeling alive, music and surf are
there to feed the mind, body and spirit and coffee always gets the creative juices flowing.
What are you grateful for?
Honestly, everything! We are very grateful people and typically start
our days with mindfulness and gratitude. If I had to boil it down, I would say...health, family,
friends, freedom, each-other and this beautiful planet. We live in a very special time, filled
with more opportunity than ever and we are truly just lucky to wake up every day and enjoy
what this planet has to offer. If you can wake up every day feeling that way, it's truly
impossible to have a bad day.
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