Sri Lanka, an Appreciation
By Dimithri Wijesinghe
Original Source and Supply is an ethical textile brand that focuses on ethically-made, sustainable products inspired by a passion for travel and discovering new crafts and cultures, which has given way to a carefully curated collection of fabrics, objects, and art.
The brand had its most recent product launch on 8 and 9 June at the Black Cat Café, titled “Sri Lanka, an Appreciation”.
The Sunday Morning Brunch had a chat with Original Source and Supply Creator Martina, who started the brand following two years in Sri Lanka, of which she used her time to travel around the island. Having worked as a designer for the European high street for many years, Martina said she decided to start something of her own – something more personal, aiming to have a slower lifestyle. “I did not want to be a part of that mass consumption, mass production anymore,” she said.
The pop-up featured many of the brand’s staples like their tote bags, t-shirts, kimono robes, headbands, and even coasters and post cards.
Something to look out for is their fantastic travel bags which come as a set of three, and according to Martina, the idea is that when you arrive somewhere, you can fold the bag back and they double as some sort of a container.
Martina stressed on the importance of ethical production, pointing out the logo she had on her t-shirts, which read “this is not organic cotton”. She explained that while organic cotton is, of course, good, it’s understood that there’s already perfectly good material around. Therefore, for her t-shirts, the brand uses upcycled, unwanted fabrics like factory rejects. Adding to that, she said: “We use cut off fabrics or waste from my own productions for headbands and bunting – they are of zero waste.”
Martina calls this approach to production “a flexible approach to design”, which ensures no further production of virgin material.
Speaking about their transparency policy, she said the brand works on going as far back as possible to the original source of their products in order to improve sustainability, having total awareness and offering transparency not only of where the products are made, but where they’re printed, the fabric woven, and the yarn spun.
On her decision to launch her new collection following the chaos the country recently underwent, she said: “When the attacks happened, my first thought was ‘do I do it or not’, and then I thought that it’s important to carry on as normal, and because the collection is about Sri Lanka, it felt quite fitting, which is actually why I called it ‘Sri Lanka, an Appreciation’.”
The pop-up also featured an interactive element where an appreciation wall was set up for visitors to share their favourite things about Sri Lanka and a map where you could tick off all the places you’ve been to in the island and post a picture with the hashtag #mysrilankalist.
Martina shared with us her plans for expansion, stating: “I mostly want to distribute it to more stores; there are key places I am missing and I should meet those beats.”
She also said that while most of her products are aimed at tourists, they are also for locals to enjoy and while tourists do come and go, she feels it is important to keep the collection fresh and renew it.
To purchase Original Source and Supply products, you can easily reach out to them via their social media for home delivery.