Friday, 8 January 2016

Sophie Digard: From France to Madagascar

This evening when I came home and checked the mailbox, I was quite surprised to find a letter in there addressed to myself. It is only on a rare occasion when I receive mail by the good old fashioned postal service, other than my birthday and Christmas or unless I've ordered something for myself online (which of course is another story...). I was intrigued as to who would be sending me a card, on the 7th January, so I eagerly flipped the card over to see the name and address of my Dad's godmother, Sue.

Last month towards the end of December my family celebrated my Nan's 70th birthday in Sydney and Sue was there. I complimented her beautiful handmade flower necklace that had been crocheted, and she explained that she bought it at a locally owned store near her daughter's house. The Parisian designer, Sophie Digard, handcrafts all of her accessories by producing and dying the fibers in France and then ships them to Madagascar where her pieces are individually crafted.

Selvedge describes Digard's work as artwork that 'begs to be touched- curious crocheted flowers velvety with soft buds, each leaf and petal knitted individually. Alongside her super sweet roses are beautifully crafted jewellery, scarves and berets in intricately patterned stripes and swirls, reminiscent of a painting by Klimt. Her extensive colour palette- each hue is made up of sixty threads in merino, mohair, and velvet- gives rich, intense individual tones and makes each item unrepeatable.'

When I opened the envelope from Sue I was gifted with a beautiful card; the message inside made me smile and feel absolutely wonderful and cheerful. Then, inside the card was my very own Sophie Digard necklace.

I absolutely adore it; it is most certainly one of my favourite gifts I have ever received- and of course it is one of my favourite necklaces. I think it is so wonderful, quirky and unique. Digard is quoted to have said "My work is beyond time. It takes from ten days to two months to create a scarf, and several months of work for an armchair. [For clientele] to be touched by a product that can be kept for a long time, on that has the value of work, as opposed to the current logic of urgency". Digard's high-quality products help the lives of those living in Madagascar; as through Fair Trade she has set up her studio in Madagascar and employs local women. These women are then taught the skills needed to create the products- i.e. crocheting, knitting and weaving.

You can find my necklace online here, and some of Digard's other products here and here

Sue, if you read this, you will get a card in the mail from me shortly with my reply but this is a public thank you for the beautiful gift. I am so very lucky and appreciative of your kindness, which has made 2016 a wonderful year already for me. Your letter and gift has filled me with joy. Thank you.

What do you think of Sophie Digard's work? Have you seen or purchased any other Fair Trade products before? Let me know in the comments below!



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