A LITTLE FIND goes behind the scenes with designer Annika Reed
Our brand new collaboration with London-based wallpaper designer Annika Reed has launched today. All orders will be carefully wrapped in a bespoke, printed tissue paper designed by the London-based block print designer.
As the home of conscious brands, we’re on a mission to prove that shopping sustainably doesn’t mean being boring or bland. That's why we have exclusively commissioned her stunning print called Climbing Vine in colour-way Beryl & Porcelain for our tissue paper.
The Paederia Foetida vine featured in this elegant wallpaper is considered to have great restorative powers in its leaves, roots and flowers and have a calming influence.
Our boxes are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved meaning the materials are responsibly sourced. You can help to build a sustainable future by recycling all of our packaging. The FSC promotes environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests.
Here, we catch up with Annika to find out more about how she fell in love with the design process, why she has sustainability at the heart of everything she does and how she wishes there were eight days in every week!
You're a very talented wallpaper designer based in South London – we’re so pleased to launch our first artist collaboration with you. Tell us more about yourself!
“I was born in Devon and now live in Forest Hill, London with my husband and daughter. I studied Fine Art Printmaking for my BA in Brighton and my MA at Camberwell. But it was at the university of Shanghai, China that I learnt the craft of woodblock. That was in 2006 and I have been making woodcuts ever since. I have turned my spare room into a non-toxic printmaking studio, it is home to my printing press and where I make and design my wallpapers and prints. I love the community I have found since having a baby in Forest Hill, so many creative and incredible people live locally. I am excited to open my doors for the first time at the Dulwich Open in May. Apart from my love of art I love food (my husband is a chef!) and travelling.”
Where do you get your inspiration from?
"I am fascinated with the absurd observations of the everyday, the snippets of phone conversations you hear on the tube, the Victorian cabinet of curiosities, fables and folklore, nature, film, food, TV! I find inspiration everywhere! Each design has a story behind it.
I feel very spoiled living in London with all the exhibitions we have on offer. I attend as many as I can and find a lot of inspiration that way.”
How is sustainability important to you as a brand?
“I describe my range as ‘walls with aesthetics that care about ethics!’ This is something that is very important to me. All of my wallpapers are Forest Stewardship Certified (FSC) meaning that the trees that are harvested are replaced or allowed to regenerate naturally. Parts of the forest are protected entirely, in order to protect rare animals and plants. FSC is the only wood certification scheme endorsed by the major environmental charities, including WWF, Greenpeace and The Woodland Trust. I only use water based, environmentally-kind inks. The ink is durable and colour fast and free from nasty chemicals. All of my wallpapers are made to order and made in the UK to reduce our carbon footprint and eliminate waste.”
Why is sustainability so important to the world right now?
“We are living in a time when we need to urgently look after nature and consider our relationship with it. Sustainability is so important and as a product designer I live by the motto ‘buy better buy less’.”
Do you bring these beliefs through to your design work?
“My Tyger Tyger wallpaper which I designed for my daughter was inspired by The William Blake poem The Tyger. The tiger is a symbol of the sublimity in nature, the most beautiful, powerful and dangerous of all the cats and it is near extinction. Tigers are extremely precious and to lose such a creature in the wild would lose the miracle that William Blake is questioning throughout his poem. According to the WWF there are only 3900 tigers left in the wild. At first not the most obvious poem to take influence from when designing wallpaper for a child’s bedroom but it is the wonder Blake has for the world and the miracle of nature that I want my daughter to share, I want her to be able to live in a world full of tigers. I want her to question the creation of such wonderful beings.”
What are the challenges that you've faced when it comes to being an entrepreneur?
“TIME! If only there were 8 days a week.”
Tell us your favourite quote, mantra or best piece of advice
"'Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.' - William Morris.
'More is more and less is a bore' Iris Afel, another quote I live for."
Best exhibition that you've seen in the last six months?
“Christian Marclay The clock at the Tate Modern. I saw it before the exhibition finished in January 2019. Time seems to be a theme! This film is 24-hours long, the installation is a montage of thousands of film and television images of clocks, edited together so they show the actual time. It’s genius!”
What other entrepreneurs do you admire who are making innovations in sustainability?
“I really like Toast’s new clothes swap scheme. I love clothes swapping. I have done them with my friends and think it is a great way to get something new without buying anything. It is great to see a high street brand think about mindful consumption. Since having Ivy I am much more conscious about beauty products. I am a big fan of Neal’s Yard, Weleda and Emma Hardie.”
Now that we've found out about you, who else should we FIND out about?
“Yallah Coffee! I have a friend in Cornwall who is a coffee roaster producing sustainably sourced and freshly roasted coffee from a barn in Cornwall. It tastes incredible!"