In January 2016 I came to Bali to work on a couple of projects that I had been thinking about for a while. Initially I had wanted to finish off writing a story I was working on. I had gotten about a third of the way through the storyline and thought that the 3 months I had taken off work would be sufficient to finish it off. But although I really wanted to get that story out, I am an artist/designer and writing is not really my forte. During the time I was planning my trip to Bali I was playing with designs and putting them onto my RedBubble and Society6 accounts (art websites that allow you to create products from your artwork). By the time I was in Bali I was far more focused on the designs I had been playing with than the book that I had previously thought was going to take all my focus.
A couple of people had told me about a co-working space called Hubud in Ubud, the town I was staying in Bali and so I decided to check out it’s website. On that day there was a talk by a friend of mine from London hosted by an organisation called Tribewanted. 8 years previous I had been a Tribewanted chief of Vorovoro, an island close to my birth place in Fiji. I won’t go into that story but I recognise synchronicity when it is staring me in the face and so went straight to Hubud and to my friends lecture. There I met some inspiring people and my journey to creating an organic clothing company took hold.
Co-working spaces are amazing, well Hubud is anyway. You meet many very inspiring people and I found myself going to many skill shares and lectures and think tanks and meeting people doing all sorts of wonderful things. What I really liked about them was the encouragement I received when explaining my ideas. There was a real sense that anything can be achieved if you put your mind to it. I ended up joining Tribewanted again. This time I didn’t dress up in traditional Fijian chiefly outfits and drink lots of Kava Kava. The Bali version was all about support and accountability. It was a very encouraging place and I learnt a lot from the other members.
My desire to create clothing comes party from my time in Fiji. I fell in love with Fijian ‘Bula’ shirts. They are basically the same as the more famous ‘Aloha’ shirts from Hawaii. Bula is the greeting you hear everywhere in Fiji. It means life and is a blessing of health and happiness. And ‘Bula’ shirts are usually loud and colourful. I bought a couple and they became my party shirts. I loved wearing them and would get a lot of compliments about them.
But finding similar colourful clothing in the UK, where I am based, has proven difficult. And my awareness of organic clothing and the harm that non organic cotton does to this planet has increased, and so I found myself severely restricted in the clothing that I could buy. For a while now I have been thinking about putting my designs onto organic, Earth friendly clothing and accessories. I am always drawn to clothing that has interesting patterning and I love colour and I often wonder what my designs would look like on people when I am at a party or just out and about.
So it just felt like it was the right time to start an organic, eco and ethical clothing and accessories company that show cases my bright, bold and colourful designs.
It’s been many years now since I discovered sacred geometry. As an artist and spiritually minded being, I find sacred geometry fascinating. I will write in more detail about it in another blog post. I had been working on designs using the flower of life for a while and I decided that I wanted to explore the geometric space that the flower of life occupies and see what I could do with it. So the first 2 months was very much playing with different ideas, printing them out to get a feel for them and playing with more ideas. I have now decided on 4 designs to be printed onto 100% organic cotton.
So the journey now begins in getting these shirts to the world. I know that there are many people out there looking for colourful, funky organic clothing that will come on this journey with me and Vinaka Clothing. I should add that vinaka is a Fijian word for gratitude and goodness. I chose the name because it connects to my own personal journey but also because gratitude is a very important attitude to have. The attitude of gratitude will bring more of what you are grateful for. I am grateful for you reading this and I hope you will join me on the Vinaka Clothing journey.
Vinaka vaka levu (thank you very much),