Maker Monday: An ASPIRE Exclusive Interview With Cate Brown

In the world of fashion, we are starting to come up with alternative ways to upcycle our textiles. Because of how overly saturated our landfills are with excess textile, Cate Brown created a fun and chic way to combine her interior design background and love for fashion: throw pillows. In this week’s interview with Andrew Joseph, Cate discusses her style, shopping sustainably, and what inspires her.

Cate is able to take fabulous vintage clothing pieces and completely transform them into a fashionable throw pillow. She has used clothing by Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Christian Dior, and a lot more!

Andrew Joseph: Describe your design style as if you were explaining it to someone who cannot see.
Cate Brown: Sexy comfortable. Sophisticated contemporary with a bit of glam and a dash of the unexpected. I love including midcentury modern pieces into my design like a sophisticated bar cart and of course pops of fun, cheeky personality. I also always incorporate sustainable materials and pieces that tell a story into my design. A room with some character and history is what defines and personalizes.

Andrew: What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now?
Cate: People who are making cool things with recycled products like Christopher Raeburn, I love what he does. People like that inspire me to be creative and to use the resources around me.

There’s so much already on hand that is just screaming for a second look and a second life. I truly believe recycling and repurposing are becoming a revolution and people like Christopher are truly leading the way. I’m excited and privileged to be on the sustainable journey as well. I hope we can inspire more people to stop and look around them and to take in all the possibilities and opportunities to support change and the evolution of textiles.

Each pillow throw has a story behind it, which makes each product that much more meaningful.

Andrew: What is something you hope to see trending in design in the future?
Cate: More thought and incorporation for sustainable materials into the making of luxury products. We need to redefine what luxury means to us the consumer. Less mass consumption and more authenticity. I would also love to see the stigma around used garments and other textiles be lifted and for people to see the enormous opportunity to reimagine and extend the life cycle of these beautiful pieces.

Andrew: What makes you angry?
Cate: Fast fashion, fast furniture, disposable consumerism and the waste that comes out of it. We’ve been trained to feel better about ourselves when we buy more and have the latest hot off the presses thing. This has created a throwaway culture that cannot be sustained. We all need to be angry and we all need to make a change. Get educated about the environmental impacts. Knowledge is power.

Andrew: If you were an animal what animal would you be and why?
Cate: I would be a bird because a bird recycles and repurposes materials to create their cozy nests. I think I can relate to that!

About The Maker | Cate Brown is a Sustainable Luxury Homewares brand and we are proud to be actively participating in the circular fashion revolution which involves changing mindsets and purchasing behaviors away from cheap, disposable, fast fashion items and extending that thinking into home interiors.

We create beautiful Ross pillows for the home using luxury end-cycle garments from heritage brands. These garments may no longer have a life as clothing in the ever-fast paced cycle of fashion but the original textiles are stunning and unique and can be deconstructed and given a new purpose. These textiles are so special as they are always beautifully crafted using the highest quality of materials and dyes etc. This should never be wasted. We’ve seen jackets that have dated back to the early 60’s where the fabric is still in mint condition and it proves our point that when you make quality it always lasts. We’re proud to participate in practices that divert vintage clothing and remnant textiles from landfills.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here

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