Meet the Maker: Victoria, founder of S A Y A Designs
On the eve of Zero Waste Week 2018 we couldn’t think of better story to tell. The story of a brand who are rethinking zero waste and embracing the circular economy.
For anyone who’s spent time in the ‘Hair’ section of our site you’ll no doubt have seen the beautiful wooden hair sticks we have, these are the creations of Victoria, founder of S A Y A. Uniquely handcrafted by artisans in Bali, using waste materials these sticks bring modern design to a hair tool that’s been around for thousands of years.
Victoria started S A Y A out of her deep love for nature, a growing awareness of environmental issues, and a desire to create a product that has a real story to tell. The seed for S A Y A was sown when Victoria moved to Bali in pursuit of a purposeful career. She became increasingly curious about the environmental issues surrounding her, particularly the challenges of deforestation that faced the region. She spent time with local artisans and visited forestry projects in the area and became hugely focused on the idea of a circular business. She wanted to create something that could bring exposure to the environmental issues she had learnt about; to take something perceived as waste and create something beautiful that has a purpose.
S A Y A salvage roots that are left behind by loggers working on commercial plantations across Indonesia. These roots take hundreds of years to decompose and have little value to the soil. Rather than let this wood go to waste S A Y A turn the roots into their beautiful hair sticks.
Durable and utterly beautiful S A Y A’s sticks are a wonderful alternative to plastic bands. Each stick is inspired by Bali’s flora and fauna. They are hand carved by Balinese artisans, using simple tools and techniques that have been handed down through generations. They are then delivered in recycled packaging made from papaya pulp, with a protective fabric sleeve to keep them safe when not being worn. There isn’t a detail Victoria hasn’t thought about.
S A Y A partner with environmental organisation GAIA who work across Indonesia to tackle forestry issues. For every hair stick purchased S A Y A buys ten seeds of endangered trees that are planted by GAIA. They have a team of experts that nurture the seedlings until they are ready to be planted in the wild in protected forests. Here they are helping to improve biodiversity and tackle soil erosion and CO2 emissions.
The value is in the story these hair sticks can tell. Victoria’s goal is to inspire others to learn and get involved with the environmental challenges facing our planet. Through the unique design of their collections S A Y A’s hair sticks are a conversation starter that cannot fail to inspire. By wearing S A YA designs we can all take a stand for a society that we want to be part of. A society that says no to environmental degradation and yes to fair and ethical treatment of skilled artisan communities.