Meet OUR DESIGNER
South African born designer Jill Barrington-Roberts has come full circle in passion for bags + sustainability with her latest venture YOUR BADGE STATEMENT.
Possessing passion + strong ethics for driving improvement, Jill is recognized for having made an impact in design sustainability with her range of upcycled bags under her previous label Fishfinger + attributes her diverse capabilities + lean towards the adventurous side of life to her youth spent growing up in a small coastal town during the isolation of the authoritative limitations of the time.
"The sub-culture synonymous with Durban of that time was driven by an incredible pioneering spirit as a result of being cut-off from the rest of the world + having nothing other than our imagination at our disposal. If we wanted something, we went out on our own + made it happen which in turn produced some of South Africa's most brilliant creative minds."
First exposed to the mindless consumption of the masses whilst living in Hong Kong in the early nineties, + the impact this increased demand for convenience over sustainability was having on the environment, Jill’s awareness of the just how important the reduction of our waste would be to the future health of the environment was first realised.
"I knew then that if action in the way in which items were produced was not taken + a solution to our trash problem was not found, we’d be heading for an environmental collision of massive proportion”.
Returning to Cape Town at the historic time of 1994 to a vibrant + multi-cultural Cape Town, she completed her studies + began her career as an Interior Designer but was quickly drawn to the eclectic mix of incredible + like-minded people, the fresh sounds + visual aesthetic of Cape Town’s burgeoning underground music + fashion scene. It was here the label Fishfinger was born.
“Inspired by the coming-together of the authenticity of the youth culture, fashion, + music of the time, I threw caution to the wind, made a departure from my shortly lived career as interior designer, + turned my love of what was happening at the time + my ability to innovate + create, into a small bag business routed firmly in design sustainability + local empowerment".
It was here Jill got to create, innovate, collaborate + make an impact with her range of upcycled bags made from reclaimed materials that continue to be recycled amongst her loyal followers two decades later + remain collectable pieces.
Fast forward to today, post a whirlwind of global commuting, kids, corporate conformity, a world gone made with consumerism + an environment in desperate need, Jill is set to introduce the re-evolution of her experience restart the conversation around the importance of GOOD BAG HABITS with those fiercely conscious, boldly authentic, statement-makers who resonate with the design ethos + bold aesthetic that is authentically her.
She remains relative by immersing herself in youth culture, being a fiercely conscious advocate tackling the sustainability issues impacting our lives today + surrounds herself with a talent pool of creatives she calls friends. Her teen daughter + significant other are another source of inspiration shared + appreciated across the generation.