Inspired by childhood memories of playing in her grandparent’s garden and the source of comfort and wellbeing it provided, Alice created A Sense of Nature: a diverse collection of garments and interiors influenced by and made from discarded and natural materials.
“When I revisited my grandparent’s garden, memories of being young and immersed in nature were joyfully reignited in me,” said Alice.
“However, there are many people – particularly those in urban areas – that have not been exposed to these wonderful and therapeutic experiences the way I have and not sensed this unkempt beauty. With the recent lockdown measures being in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen even more so how people can be deprived of access to these spaces.”
Alice was influenced by her time spent working in central London where she felt detached from nature, and during her lunch breaks would seek out any form of green space.
The collection includes an edible plant wall hanging that can convert into a dress, contemporary wooden spinners, a bag made from water-resistant oil cloth, and interlocking cushioned seating inspired by the ‘feeling of your feet sinking into mud’.
As part of the project, Alice researched into Natural Deficit Disorder (NDD) and how it affects various demographics of the UK.
NDD follows the ideological belief that those – particularly children – who spend less time experiencing the outdoors can result in their physical health, psychological and cognitive senses being restricted or hindered to some extent.
In response, the project’s collection addresses this challenge by helping individuals to connect with nature in the home through textiles, not only by encouraging them to go out and explore the outdoors, but also by investing time in new hobbies and activities away from built environments.
Alice has credited nature as a form of therapy for her own mental health, citing Erich Fromm’s term ‘biophilia’: ‘humankind's primal urge is to be immersed in nature and benefit from its regenerative power of mental and physical healing due to the medical properties of plants’.
The garments created within the collection were sourced with the planet in mind, so Alice used a mixture of reclaimed fabrics donated by The Shelter Boutique Kings Cross and discarded textiles from family and friends. Examples of unwanted materials used in the final pieces included old socks and duvet sheets, and materials purchased as new were sourced organically and possessed durable qualities to ensure that both the life of the products was prolonged and minimum waste was sent to landfill.