Sustainable Creativity with ‘Tsuika Patches’ Founder, Doug Coker Grant.
To create without a footprint – to validate sustainability without giving in to capitalist desire. Is it possible? Tsuika Patches founder and swiss-army knife of creativity Doug Coker Grant explains how sustainability takes flight.
Tsuika Patches was founded by Doug Coker Grant; an ethical iron-on patch outfit, encouraging the world to upgrade existing clothing, instead of buying brand new. Their products are designed and made in New Zealand, and made from organic cotton and tree-derived thread. Plus, they’re helping to plant trees in Auckland.
“You need to take into account the person who made it, the resources, who’s selling it, and if it’s actually going to be useful for you.”
Now a budding designer, music producer, actor and entrepreneur, Coker Grant finds no shortage of creative outlets within his life. Doug has striven for success, and done so confidently – but is a sustainable path still tough for him?
“A sustainable model is the future of big business, and is starting to be what consumers seek out.”
“Growing up with a creative arsenal and the courage to approach things myself - I felt I had the tools that allowed me to approach anything I liked.”
In today’s social and ecological climate, ripe with the consequences of public indifference, taking the ‘easy’ option has become synonymous with apathy. Doug warns we must take care not to fall prey to corporate strategy and malice regarding sustainable ‘outcomes’.
“Sustainability is now a marketing tool to reach new consumers. That’s something to be wary of.”
“Sustainable business isn’t easy. For starters, you’re a business and need to make money... but sustainable business is more expensive. We have a culture of cheap, disposable goods - that’s something we need to change.”
But it isn’t all bad news. In the past two decades, we have seen a remarkable shift toward consumers wanting transparency in regards to the products they purchase. As a result, social enterprise and charity business models have proved extremely valuable – ensuring from the first point of contact that an organisation’s sustainable strategies are not a marketing ploy.
What steps can we take toward a sustainable future?
“The important thing to do is to have a conversation with people about how they are living their lives more sustainably. Me using a keep cup doesn’t make a massive difference, but it does start a conversation - that’s the important thing.”
“Make more conscious decisions. It’s hard for everyone to be ethical. We are privileged in the fact that we can even try. It is clear making the ‘kindest choice’ is not necessarily straightforward. Yet it is all we can do to nourish and defend the conversations which will one day affect sincere and meaningful change in the corporate world.
Doug’s top tips for living more sustainable (and will save you money!):
- Shop less
- Shop locally
- Buy second hand where possible. If buying new, choose brands that are transparent and ethical
- Try to eat less meat and dairy
- Question simple waste in your life
See Doug’s work: