Design Story: Sustainability
Síofra Caherty is a Belfast based businesswoman and activist. She had worked in fashion design for 7 years when she decided to establish her own company: Jump The Hedges. She currently transforms reclaimed material into unique sustainable bags. Additionally, she uses Jump The Hedges as a platform for zero waste activism. Furthermore, she teaches part time at Belfast School of Art and the national College of Art, Design Dublin and Dublin Institute of Technology.
She has just come back from an inspirational eleven-week trip to the most sustainable cities and businesses in Europe, Canada and the USA with the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. The goal of her trip was to research how to ‘Build a Zero Waste Community’ and she focused on the aspects: Education, Design and Community. Now she is back in Belfast already thinking about her next project: the Dublin Flee Market.
According to Síofra, sustainability has an image problem, which could be changed by promoting sustainability and zero waste businesses. Surely, everyone knows that non-recyclable waste is harmful for the environment, but it seems like many people think that it is too hard for them to lower the amount of waste they throw away and that they are simply not aware of how much of what they buy cannot be recycled. However, simple steps like using reusable cups and cutlery or bringing your own reusable bag to the shop are already a step to a more sustainable community. Businesses like the ones Síofra visited on her recent trip abroad help to spread the word about the importance of sustainability.