Homeware textile company, Mungo, recently launched a programme called Move with the intention to positively impact the environment and locals of Plettenberg Bay.
For this project their team nominated twelve students from The Crags Primary School participate in a textile design and production workshop at their headquarters.
After some training by their creative experts and a tight competition between the up and coming designers, the winning kikoi throw was created by Hope Davids. Dubbed the Mungo Hope kikoi, the bright and playful striped design features turquoise, pink and green hues, with a prominent mustard border and eyelash fringing.
Take a look at this short Q&A with Marketing Director and ambassador of the Move programme, Tessa Holding, talking about the learners and the project.
Why did you specifically choose to support the Kids of Kurland Project?
Kurland Primary School is situated in The Crags, a small community just outside Plettenberg Bay. A number of Mungo employees’ children go to this school, and through the Kids of Kurland School Project (a privately run and registered non-profit) we are aware that they are in constant need of funding an additional teacher. The school is also not able to provide art and design classes due to its limited resources.
How were the twelve learners who attended the workshop selected?
The group was selected from the Grade 7 class, the final year the school offers. They were identified as students who have shown interest in creativity and elected to be involved in the outing.
What was involved in the process behind the design and production of the kikoi?
After taking the group through the mill, we conducted a short workshop facilitated by Lenore Schroeder, Kids of Kurland volunteers and myself. It started with some music and breath work exercises, for relaxation and focus. We then explained the basic colour wheel and how colours are created. From here, the process continued to finding abstract colour combinations in magazines, with the kids grouping their favourite ones together.
We then spoke of the concepts of warp and weft (the 2 basic elements that make up a weave) and introduced the cones of yarn to choose from. The kids chose specific colours, stripe thickness and pattern repeats, and then created their designs. Lenore was then able to reconstruct the colour ways and designs digitally, and finally put the winning one into production after it was voted for.
Why do you think it’s important to expose young people to textile design?
Art and design are often subjects left out of a curriculum if resources are tight. But we know a huge amount of innovation, careers and opportunities can stem from the creative process and creative skills.
In addition, the manufacturing industry in South Africa is declining due to mass imports. This results in lost job opportunities as the availability of skills needed for production are diminishing. Businesses like Mungo need to help by giving the next generation the opportunity and confidence to pursue a creative career if they so choose.
Allowing the kids to be exposed to the textile industry is a tiny step, but if it sparks the smallest interest in them wanting to understand more of any creative process it could be a skill they may pursue into high school and beyond.
Will you be continuing this initiative into the future?
Yes, we are aiming for it to become an annual event. We will welcome a new group of learners every year and weave a new kikoi for the project after each workshop.