Mindful, beautiful and useful products to help shape a less wasteful future for your home.
The new Kin Stories store makes plastic-free living look even more aspirational
Kiah Gardiner speaks softly, but acts with complete conviction when it comes to her mission to make your home more beautiful and less dependent on plastic.
Her store, Kin Stories, launched in July this year online and in one of the Epworth Building’s handful of Renew Adelaide studio spaces – a start up founded on principles of environmental action through conscientious consumerism.
“Growing up in a design and build and science focused household, I was always inspired to create something that would become impactful in a positive way, being both long-lasting and environmental from its beginning,” says Kiah.
On the fourth floor of the heritage Epworth Building on Pirie Street it feels like an odd location for a retail store, but upon arrival the concept dawns on us.
Kin Stories is more like a dressing room for your home than a shop.
“Kin Stories was an ethos and way of thinking I wanted to bring to Adelaide and the Australian retail market,” says Kiah, “a way of thinking and consuming that is seldom seen here but is fast becoming a popular value with many people globally – especially in Scandinavian countries, where there is more emphasis on natural materials and creating warm minimalistic spaces within the home.
“I wanted to build on this concept here, whilst also making sure to support local makers, designers and artisans showcase their wares – who are creating pieces that equally compete in the global market.”
There are vases by Kerryn Levy, ceramics by Aburi, WhiteSoaps from Moana and linens Kiah has designed herself and finished by a local tailor.
The shop reminds CityMag of our favourite shop in the whole world – Labour and Wait – and their distinctive collection of hardy homewares made from meaningful materials like steel, timber and twine. Kin Stories has that same old-world aesthetic; a shop you can imagine your grandma walking into and having a chuckle, ‘Oh I used to have a brush like that,’ she’d say.
The brushes at Kin Stories are particularly beautiful. Designed by Iris Hantverk and made in Sweden since the late 19th Century these brushes define the aspirational potential for a plastic-free life.
Made from goat hair and vegetable roots and tampico fibre – a natural fibre made from the hard root of a number of Mexican plants like Agave or the Yucca – Kiah says the brushes are hardy and can stand up to everyday use and some might last a lifetime.
“I was probably most passionate about bringing those in,” says Kiah about the series of wooden brushes by Iris Hantverk. “Because you can see how everything is made – especially with those scrubbers – you could repair them as well and they make such an aesthetic substitute for something non-biodegradable that does the same job.”
Kiah acknowledges her store is small and the waste and plastic problem is large, but she’s undeterred. The focus for Kin Stories right now is just to start telling the story of a sustainable home, find products that make you feel good about the everyday life you lead (chores included) and start building a network of makers who all believe in quality craftsmanship.
“I love researching designers and individual makers whom I hope to work with and become a part of our story – and I’m very proud of the artisans we are able to present,” says Kiah.
You can shop at Kin Stories in-person if you make an appointment or online, any time.