Actually Existing Edits
- Actually Existing
The Edit project is a creative response to the structural problem of mass production and waste. Each piece is hand crafted from pre-existing items, or the surplus materials of local manufacturing. All of the materials that would otherwise be destined to become consumer waste have been edited to grant them another existence. The reinvented physical object thereby functions as a symbolic enquiry into the notion of accumulative consumption.
We seek to reimagine luxury through exploring traditional craft(wo)manship. We’re interested in design’s capacity to create desire through the interaction of the common and the discarded with the peculiar and the unique
As an ongoing project by Actually Existing, the Edit series investigates sustainable practices and challenges the concept of luxury. The project aims to re-educate the consumer by providing hand crafted, considered accessories, constructed from waste materials in our Melbourne workshop. Each piece is made using traditional craft skills to ensure exceptional quality and longevity; we produce small runs and one-off pieces depending on the supply of materials. The Edits investigate the beauty of imperfection and transformation, implying that luxury is a concept grounded in creative openness and adaptation.
The Edit project adds another dimension to Actually Existing; by making a virtue of scarcity and uniqueness we have made a product with a singular presence in the accessory market. We have played with the accepted conventions of luxury goods by subjecting every day materials to luxury production processes, and have found that a demand exists for a design aesthetic that blends the sensuous quality of hand made production with the banality of found surplus materials and discarded objects.
Actually Existing began through the desire to make accessories by hand, from scratch. Through our upcycling concept we have developed a functioning workshop where we develop all of the elements required to produce a finished product. We make our product labelling from surplus industrial webbing, our dust bags from upcycled drop sheets and bespoke shoe boxes. We do not produce any excess stock or packaging.
The nature of the way we work has led us to develop a bespoke service where we make alterations to existing designs or work alongside the customer to develop an original piece.
Through subjecting waste materials to luxury production processes, we have merged elements from opposite worlds to develop unique accessories that cannot be produced on a mass scale. These pieces reflect on the idea that we should utilise what already exists rather than producing more of what we already have. This concept is also conveyed through what we call ‘shoe sketches’; temporary sculptures, made with found objects that are re-imagined into shoes. The shoe sketches are photographed and shared digitally to send the message of the importance of innovation and ideas in fighting the environmental issues within the fashion industry.