[BC Interview] Behind the brands - Foekje Fleur
There are over 25 brands that Borderless Creations are sourcing from. We’ve introduced the brands and their products but who are the people behind the brands? What are their thoughts?
We asked the same 10 questions to all the brands so that you can get a better understanding of the brands and their stories.
Today we interviewed Ms. Foekje Fleur, the Founder of the brand, Foekje Fleur.
Q1) What triggered you to tackle ethical and sustainable issues?
A1) After reading about plastic soup** I started looking near the
waters of the Maas river in Rotterdam and found a lot of plastic trash that had been accumulating since the 1960’s, but was still in tact. This led to the Bottle Vase project, a series of porcelain copies of the trash I found that raises awareness for plastic pollution.
Later, when many people were aware of plastic pollution, I started looking for an easy and effective way to use less plastic at home.
That’s when I designed Bubble Buddy, a look that helps switch from plastic bottles of soap to packaging free bars of soap.
Q2) What has changed from when the brand started and now?
A2) I started with the first project in 2009 few people knew about plastic soup, these days more and more people are aware and trying to fight plastic pollution at home or at the beach.
Q3) What was the hardest part of developing your brand? On the contrary, what was the best thing about continuing the brand?
A3) For a long time I was having multiple side jobs and doing everything from packing orders to going to tradeshows by myself. I’m happy that we have grown to the point where everybody has specialized in specific tasks.
Now that we are with more it it’s also more fun the studio. In Dutch we say ‘gezellig’ ("cozy" in English), I’m not sure if there’s a proper translation in Japanese.
Q4) Tell us about someone that you know who are working on being sustainable. What kind of activity/initiative is this person doing?
A4) My friend Susan Bijl (https://www.susanbijl.nl/) is making shopping bags from recycled polyester, they look good and last forever. In a lifetime they can help you skip thousands of plastic bags.
Q5) What is your favorite quote? And why do you like it?
A5) The lyrics "Who run the world? Girls!" from the song, "Run The World (Girls)" by Beyonce. I think more mainstream artists should sing about women’s rights and other political issues.
Q6) Tell us about any books or movies that have had a great influence in your life!
A6) As a student I read Cradle to Cradle, it taught me that nature is abundance and consumption is natural, but designers have a task to only create stuff that can be part of a chain, upcyclable into something new, even better.
Marie Kondo changed our household, we are very conscious about what we purchase and how we take care of it.
Hidden Impact by Babette Porcelijn thought me not to worry about every possible detail, but to make a plan on how to keep my footprint as low as possible while enjoying life to the max. She has made some very interesting graphics that show what has a big or small impact. For example phones and computers have a large impact, so I try to make them last forever. But taking a shower has a relative low impact so sometimes I take a nice long hot shower.
Q7) If you can eat ANYTHING now, what would it be?
A7) I try to eat vegan so If I could put my hands on a vegan "tompouce" (an extremely creamy snack) I would go wild.
Q8) If you can go ANYWHERE now, where would you like to go?
A8) I would like to be in a ramen restaurant in Japan, with both my husband and baby.
Q9) Any other country or city you want to live?
A9) I love Sweden a lot, I would like to live there during the summer, and during the winter more southern, Portugal perhaps.
Q10) What are you most mindful of when you think of your lifestyle?
A10) We try not to buy new goods for a much as possible. There’s a website like Ebay in the Netherlands where people offer second hand goods, we try to use if for almost everything except groceries. I also shop often at the thrift stores for baby stuff such as clothes and toys and household items. This means sometimes we have to wait a few weeks or months before I can find it.
[About Foekje Fleur]
After graduating in both design and fine arts, Foekje Fleur found her direction making objects that are functional and yet, give space for thought. At first sight, her attractive and colourful designs seem playful, but they are in fact inspired by serious subjects like caring for the environment and for animal rights.
[The bottle vases]
Bottle vases are inspired by a collection of plastic trash from the river Maas in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. After reading about plastic soup, Foekje Fleur started looking more carefully at the river running through her home town and found plastic waste that had been accumulating there since the 1960s. By creating durable porcelain copies of the material she finds, Foekje Fleur is spreading awareness of this growing problem.
Find Foekje Fleur products on Borderless Creations：