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April 24, 2019

Be sure to check out Champ at Bowerbird Design Market this year

Always ahead of mainstream consumer trends, Bowerbird Design Market provides a bigger platform for emerging businesses with sustainability at their core.

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  • Words: Geena Ho
  • Images: Supplied

Businesses that might otherwise find it hard to make it in a small market like Adelaide can find a unique opportunity through Bowerbird Design Market to connect with South Australian consumers.

As customers, we’re beginning to take stock of what we’re buying and the impact that has on our environment. As a retailer though, setting up shop is expensive and you need a solid profit margin to make things work.

With lower barriers to entry, the twice-yearly Bowerbird Design Market gives both customers and businesses a direct way to connect over shared values and, increasingly, those values seem to be putting the planet first.


Bowerbird Design Market
Adelaide Showground
Goodwood Road, Wayville
Friday, 3 May: 4pm ‘til 9pm
Saturday, 4 May: 10am ‘til 5pm
Sunday, 5 May: 10am ‘til 5pm

Tickets $5 at the door

Champ is a Melbourne-based brand that creates practical and playful homewares, jewellery and other products from old aeroplane tyres (among other materials). Ahead of her appearance at Bowerbird Design Market next weekend, CityMag caught up with Champ’s founder Lauren Steller about the growing demand for sustainable manufacturing.

“‘Champ’ is the idea of being a champion and winning a game but also ‘champ’ I see as someone being a good sport and recycling and being a good person in the world,” Lauren explains.

Champ has a number of eco-friendly products, including placemats, tea towels, and, more recently, earrings made from the off-cut rubber of its own signature Rhombus Table Trivets.

There is an interesting paradox sustainable designers face when creating their products, as their natural inclination to make new things clashes against their not wanting to contribute to any more waste.

“I feel that I couldn’t make anything more in the world,” Lauren says. “We have so much stuff. I only feel right about making it out of recycled materials or being resourceful about what you do or how the product impacts the world.”

L-R: The Champ Co team – Pedro the Chihuahua, Jade Cook, and Lauren Steller

Champ treads the line well, with its beautifully designed products based on a business model of fully sustainable and recycled materials.

“I see play – which is what my business is all about – as a great instigator for resourcefulness, and it can be a good spark, a feeling that invites us to think a little differently about things,” Lauren says.

“I try to find new materials and be more resourceful where I can but I really love to promote the attitude around it and make it an attractive thing to be resourceful.”

Alongside Champ at the upcoming Bowerbird Design Market will be a number of other sustainable stallholders including DOKOLA, a glass straw producer; Fae & Wildling, an organic skincare company; Gemma Vendetta Cosmetics, vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics; Sustomi, a beeswax food wrap manufacturer; and Winestains, a designer who makes products from recycled wine barrels.

With Bowerbird actively celebrating local designers and innovators, it’s the perfect setting for passionate stallholders, like Lauren, to help encourage sustainable living.

“It’s been really great to be on a stall and see customers interact with your product and talk to them and also get very lovely feedback and have an opportunity to showcase your work as a whole. Also to be amongst other really great designers, it’s always a very positive experience,” says Lauren.

The Bowerbird Design Market comes around twice a year in May and November. Say hello to Lauren and the other stallholders at the next market coming up Friday, 3 May through to Sunday, 5 May at the Adelaide Showground.

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5 with free entry for children.

Lauren at work

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