Friday, December 13, 2013

Crafty Profiles: GcmF

Almost a year has passed since the last artisan profile here on Beyond the Junkpile. And that's waaaay too long, regardless of how little love this blog has seen in 2013.

So Crafty Profiles are back, starting with a personal favourite of mine - recycled leather. Today's designer, Gabriella Ferrante, has recently launched a new label in the world of reclaimed and recycled leather handbags.

Shop: GcmF
Goods: shoulder bags, totes, wristlets

Beyond Junk:
How did you get started as a designer? And what got you interested in working with recycled material?

I have been creating since I was 8 or 9, as dad was a tailor, so there were all the tools/machines to play with. I sold things on and off for years, until I finally completed a Fashion Diploma at Uni 2 years ago.
Working with recycled materials just makes sense to me. I have been eco-conscious for many years, but it was when I researched leather production for a Uni assignment that I really became aware of how bad/toxic it can be. Not always, but often. I was doing a collection of ladies evening wear dresses, and made one totally out of recycling leather pants....

Beyond Junk:
What inspired you to open an online store?
I guess it is much easier to do than opening a bricks and mortar store! I realise that many people shop online, so one must have an online presence. Also, this leaves me scope for moving around the world (I am a bit of a gypsy)....

Beyond Junk:
Aside from using recycled material, is your work environmentally friendly in any other way?


Yes. Leather glues are usually very toxic: you must wear gloves, and have good ventilation when using it. I have found a non-toxic alternative, which is fantastic. I also make my own non-toxic paste to paint on the inside of my bags to stop shedding.

Beyond Junk:
Tell us a bit about your plans for GcmF
I would like to keep it simple in design, but fashion forward.
I guess my ideal is to move back to Europe next year, and get back amongst it. It is quite difficult finding offcuts here in Australia, as there is not alot of local production anymore... My background is Italian, so I like to be over that part of the world...

Here are a few of shots of Gabriella's artful modern collection, recently launched on Big Cartel.


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