Introducing WOMB, a holistic home for ecological, ethical and vegan design aiming to promote those, who care about what everyday objects are made of, about proper compensation for manual work, about introducing revolutionary and durable solutions, about slow manufacture rather than mass production. WOMB work with small and medium size studios and independent designers, offering products of the best quality, realized in sustainable production environments, sourcing from traditional handcrafting techniques.
The two founders, Kasia and Maria, have been previously involved in the field of contemporary art, which made them understand the responsibility for the artist’s figure. Design is rarely perceived as art, it is often viewed as far too functional to be assigned artistic value. Kasia and Maria believe the designer is an artist, who, apart from a clear aesthetic thinking, has also a superpower of “owning” materials, of understanding techniques and ruling the mathematical precision. In design, concept meets skill, and that’s what WOMB want to celebrate.
On a slightly hungover Friday we hang out with the girls for a morning of chats, boomerangs and sustainable shopping –
1.Tell us a little about yourselves
We are Kasia and Maria, we are both Polish, however we haven’t lived there for some time now. We met in Beijing in 2016 over a bubbly brunch, and that’s how our adventure started. We became friends, co-founders, partners-in-crime. When we first met both of us worked in the field of fine arts, and we still have a vivid interest in various creative practices: design, art, performance, music, etc..
2. How would you describe your style?
Similar (apparently!). People often ask us whether we have coordinated our outfits, which we absolutely never do. In fact, sometimes we coordinate what NOT to wear to break out of “The WOMB twins” bubble. We both dress very casually, and we value comfort and practicality of our outfits. Kasia tends to wear more jewelry, while the only piece of accessory Maria is faithful to, is her watch.
3.Tell us about your daily routine, what does it involve?
Running a start-up kind of messes up with one’s routine, because there is so much to do, and one must wear so many different hats! One day we are busy with meetings, the next day we are in our office in The Hive Kennedy Town answering to a bunch of emails, doing accounting or finetuning something at the back-end of our website. In the evenings we tend to go out and take part in events and networking sessions – Hong Kong is so great for that.
4. You are the founders of WOMB, can you tell us a little more about the company? How did it start?
In Beijing we both worked in arts, and that’s probably what brought us together in the first place, but we quickly discovered that we had much more in common. One of the things was that we were both tired of our jobs at the time, and we wanted to do something on our own. We were both passionated about craft and creativity, but we also shared similar values (Kasia is vegan, Maria vegetarian) and wanted to start a business that would introduce people to sustainable solutions and essentially have a positive impact on our planet.
That’s how WOMB started, and today it is an umbrella brand for sustainable, ethically-made, vegan design. We promote designers from Europe and Hong Kong, we have an online store and do pop-ups too.
5. What keeps you inspired and motivated?
When you work for yourself, for a project you built up from the very bottom, you are your only motivator. It is a thrilling thought that if we wanted to expand or change WOMB, we could do it at any time. A tomorrow could literally never come, because WOMB is what we are. Our main motivation is ourselves and the fact that WOMB isn’t something we are asked to do.
Our inspiration comes from different sources, and the designers that we have the pleasure to represent are definitely an endless source of inspiration.
6. How do you live sustainably and consciously in your daily life?
First – and probably most important of all: we eat plant-based. We cook at home a lot, and all the meals are vegan. We also try to minimize our plastic waste. We use bamboo toothbrushes, take our cotton bags for grocery shopping on wet markets and use solid shampoo and soap-bars that come in plastic-free packaging.
7.What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability – ideally – means that the way you live / manufacture your product / possess your material isn’t harmful to our planet and its inhabitants. Essentially it is about leaving our planet for future generations as we received it or better, for sure not more polluted and deforested!
For us, sustainability also manifests itself in being cruelty-free. Having to exploit another living being in order to possess your material (eg. leather or silk) isn’t sustainable in the long run.
8.What do you like most about A.C.F?
It’s great to find another brand that shares vegan values with us! We really admire that A.C.F. uses deadstock materials in the collections, it’s great to see the circularity in fashion industry.
And we’re great fans of gender-neutral clothes!
Check out the WOMB collection HERE