Materials are frequently reclaimed and repurposed natural materials that are diverted from landfill. They will be unused but discarded. For example, odd shapes of scrap fabric from a larger project, thrifted buttons or spools of thread.
All materials are biodegradable and sourced from renewable resources.
Natural vs. man-made is a very complex environmental debate and I try to look at the total impact as well as it’s durability and longevity.
Color is a luxury, not a requirement. Unfortunately for artists it is a primary source of inspiration as well an environmental tragedy. I chose to express my ideas in undyed/unbleached materials as much as possible.
Where an idea requires color I will either choose natural dyes or low-impact man-made dyes depending upon the application. Natural dyes can be very unstable and greatly reduce the lifespan of a laundered garment and I believe the raw material that we carefully grow and process into fabric deserves to be enjoyed in its fullest lifespan; therefore I do not use natural dyes on wearable garments.
In material sourcing and partnerships, in local and in far away places, I seek out those who demonstrate practices of integrity. I set the bar high and don’t settle for less. I value hand-made over machine-made. I value local business over foreign marketplace. Everything comes at a cost, and for sustainability, I value paying the true cost, and a living wage (including for myself).
For the land and water and beings that do not have a voice, I chose nonviolence. This is why I will only use reliably sourced peace silk where the moths have not been boiled in the production of the cloth. Not only is the fabric peace silk, the sewing thread and embroidery yarn as well…and hand-dyed to the colors I require.
My name is Kusuma and I live in a tiny home in beautiful Sonoma County surrounded by fruit orchards and vines. I have a bachelor’s of fine art from Pratt Institute and a secret hobby of studying psychology and human behavior. My career from 2005 onwards has been in the fields of graphic design and textile design. After many years of living and studying in Italy and India I have learned much in the ways of refinement and deep traditional skills. Beauty & Virtue has been a lifelong vision, finally unfurling petals, and I am grateful for all my teachers and guides for supporting me along the way!
I am inspired to be a steward of that which is noble and endangered –heritage textile skills -values in society -precious living beings.
It is my hope to offer something of beauty and integrity because when we are beautiful, strong and virtuous, we can move mountains and change tides.