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TMOD Design is Georgie + Milenka based in Sydney, Australia. We fell in love with their designs as not only is their aesthetic earthy, clean + super cute - but as we dug deeper we found that their creativity was also sustainable! We are huge fans of blending something that looks great AS WELL as doing something good for the earth here at The Bharani Effect. So needless to say we wanted everyone to meet these girls!


Tell us about the ethos behind TMOD it seems you enjoy blending sustainability and creativity ?

We design interactive stationery and lifestyle products that require the human touch and longevity. TMOD designs focus on sustainability in the way greeting cards and wrapping paper are commonly a throw away product, however TMOD designs have another function or life after the present is unwrapped or the card is given.

There are cards that double as animal masks that are wearable dress up items that encourages people to keep and re-use, as well as wrapping paper that is in the form of a paper doll with dress up clothes, so it can be cut and played with after the gift has been opened.

Similarly, the macrame DIY kit consists of a glass jar that has everything inside you need to make the hanger (beads, rope, instructions, metal ring). Then the packaging jar is filed with water or soil and used as the product plant hanger.

Sustainability was a driving force and key consideration in this design, as there is zero waste through packaging. These ethics are considered in every TMOD design process.

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Besides being sustainable through your creative expression what are the top 5 sustainable actions you do in your daily life?

1. We re-use old jars in many different ways. Every morning we make smoothies using local and seasonal produce and then transport them in old jars.

We also use our TMOD chalkboard stickers on old jars for other DIY presents and designs, such as the Money Box or Tipping jar. We always make our own gifts for people with mixes of our favourite teas, muesli and relishes, bottled in recyled jars with again our chalkboard stickers telling you what's inside

2. We make our own toothpaste using natural ingredients (fluoride free)
See
http://thethousands.com.au/sydney/make/diy-toothpaste-with-tmod

3. We make our own veggie stock out of leftover veggies (which we store in the freezer) and then boil into broth to make stock. This is a way of re-using food.

4. We only shop at local markets or shops that sell local and seasonal fresh produce.

5. We have put a lot of energy into creating another sustainable business called The Veggie Patch Van in collaboration with Karl Cooney who owns Yullis Vegetarian Restaurant.
The Veggie Patch Van is a sustainable mobile food van that serves vegetarian, local and seasonal produce (in the form of burgers, salads, chips etc). We designed and built the van from recycled and re-used materials to resemble an old barn and reinforce visually the Paddle To Plate concept. It runs on renewable resources, with the roof covered in solar panels and the engine designed to run off vegetable oil.



“Sustainability was a driving force and key consideration in this design, as there is zero waste through our packaging”

There are some amazing gifts available on the website what are some cool ideas on your site for Christmas ?

Our feature Christmas specific product is the DIY Bon Bon Kit, as it has everything you need to make 12 personalised bonbons and it encourages interaction and creativity.
http://tmod.com.au/catalog/bonbons

Other great gifts for Christmas is the macrame kit (as explained above it is sustainable as it uses the packaging in the design, so there is no waste) and it adds vibrancy and life to any space with a hanging plant or flowers
http://tmod.com.au/catalog/macramediykit

The coloured chalkboard stickers are also a featured product, as they can be applied to old jars or storage folders and be re-sued and re-labelled as new things are put in them. They can be used to label spices in a kitchen, drawers, drink jars and more. See link

http://tmod.com.au/product/chalkboard-stickers-1

Take us through step by step making your bon bons :

  1. Get some glue or double sided tape and scissors. Unpack the kit
  2. Roll the thick white card to create a roll using the thinner side (7cm) and secure with the tape or glue
  3. Place one cracker snap inside the roll in the middle
  4. Choose a wrapping sheet and lay down pattern side down. Place the cardboard roll you have just made on the edge of the longer side. Roll the roll inside the sheet. Secure with double sided tape/glue
  5. Holding the roll, twist one end gently. Ensure you include the cracker snap in the twist, with the end hanging out past the twist. Cut about 30cm of string and tie a bow
  6. Write your message or joke on the card provided. Place the card inside the roll with any other surprise or lollies you may wish to add.
  7. Repeat step 5 for the remaining side and you have your first bonbon.

What other fun Christmas activities could you do with your friends/family on Christmas day?

With our sheets of interactive Christmas wrapping paper, you could cut out Sanat's hat and beard, the reindeer and elf and punch holes, tie elastic or string and make some dress up masks
http://tmod.com.au/product/christmas-hat-wrap

For the girls, we have a Rosie Christmas paper doll wrap or cards. Cut out the card or wrapping paper and dress up Rosie in her Christmas dress -ups.
http://tmod.com.au/product/rosie-wrap-kit



“We are aware of our impact on the planet and our connection to people as we are part of a whole.”

How does spirituality play a role in your expression and awareness of the planet?

Our spirituality is an intrinsic part of who we are and helps to form our ideals, values and creations. So for both of us this is a connecting part of our process and who we are and the way we express ourselves creatively, communicating our ideals of sustainability and interaction through our designs with the boarder community. We both start the day with a combo of surfing, a beach walk, yoga or mediation to clear the mind and connect in. As when your connected to yourself and the universe creativity flows abundantly.

We are aware of our impact on the planet and our connection to people as we are all part of a whole. So that is why we focus on interaction and the human touch and every creative expression we create is about encouraging interaction between people and between the material object and creating thought through the unexpected and elements of surprise and nostalgia. Triggering these happy emotions within our customers

With the Veggie Patch Van, we aim to create awareness our ecological footprint of being human and living in a city. We want to visually reconnect diners with their growers and make people aware that it makes sense and it is accessible for us to eat locally and seasonally to reduce unnecessary freight and support local community.

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Veggie Patch Van image thanks to TMOD Design.

We want to connect with people on a basic level and through the everyday act of eating this can start conversations about issues of awareness of the problems that we as a community are inflicting on the planet we live in.

Through our spirituality we design products for TMOD that are multifunctional and encourage community, longevity, sustainability and smiles. Watching someone's face light up when they realise they can wear (i.e mask and hat cards) their birthday card warms our hearts.

And through Veggie Patch Van we have the driving force of creating a low impact ourselves and inspiring others to think with the same philosophy of caring for your own body and the environment around. You can't help but smile when you see a old camper van turned into a barn with a garden off the side. Both TMOD and the veggie patch van's philosophy is to make people think outside the square and spread smiles far and wide. The more smiles and love there is the world the better!

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Photos + interview produced by thebharanieffect - our talented photographer is Maclay Heriot.