Today we showcase a new direction for Australian homewares label One Another. These hand-finished, yet highly contemporary textiles and ceramics are all produced in ethical cooperatives in India, South Africa and Nepal.
‘Fair trade’ is much more than a marketing buzzword for founders Rick and Annette Carter. Their ethos – ‘Good design. Designed for good’ underpins every One Another project, and ensures that each item they produce serves its talented makers, as well as its market in Australia.
True to its name, One Another is as much a contemporary design endeavour as it is a social initiative. The Australian label works with fair trade cooperatives in developing countries to produce quality contemporary homewares.
This passion project turned ethical business evolved from alternate creative pursuits, and a winding journey around the globe. Co-founder Rick studied advertising in Sydney and worked in graphic design in London, before catching the travel bug. Along his travels, he fell in love with photography, and capturing cultural encounters soon evolved from a hobby into a profession. Rick launched his photography business Studio One Another in 2006 (he also shot this campaign!).
One Another (sans ‘studio’) came to be on one particularly intense but formative adventure around India, whilst Rick was photographing for Opportunity International Australia. ‘It was here, in urban slums and rural villages, that my wife, Annette, and I were invited in to the homes of all these inspiring women that were using their traditional artisan skills to work their way out of poverty,’ explains Rick. ‘Meeting these women and hearing their stories is what sparked the initial idea.’
Before launching their homewares label in 2013, Rick and Annette took their time to find the right collectives with which to partner. Today their India-based textiles workshop, founded by Australian woman Penny Cantle, brings together 15 women and four men. All employees work five days per week (in a country where this is uncommon) with fair remuneration, skills training, and a safe, supportive environment. The collective in South Africa enjoys the same standards, though is home-based, allowing for mothers to continue caring for their young children. ‘All our textiles carry the signature of the embroiderer or weaver who made them. You can also go to our website to see a photo of the woman who hand-made your piece,’ verifies Rick.
One Another’s latest soft furnishings offer a sleek, contemporary look, featuring a muted colour palette, clean lines and bold geometry. The label’s launch into tableware employs a similarly pared-back aesthetic. Ceramics from the line are crafted in a 25-year-old family run pottery workshop in Nepal that supports 12 artisans, while the new Organic Tea venture provides over 200 Himalayan farmers with income, free housing, and education for their children.
Next up is a jewellery collaboration with Tribe Alive, which will support over 25 women in Honduras, and One Another’s horizons continue to expand. Rick wouldn’t have this any other way. ‘Every afternoon in the studio, we make a pot of our tea and then drink it from our cups,’ he explains. ‘It is exciting to have made something functional, beautiful… that has made a difference to someone on the other side of the world.’