Our sustainable manufacturing practice include the sourcing of local materials and building a community of local craftsman, but also embraces an ethos and larger vision of raising awareness of the eco-lifestyle. We believe that this journey of awareness begins with a true appreciation of the imperfect beauty of one’s environment. Taking daily inspiration from our surroundings, we translate the gratitude we have for earthy elements into nature-inspired designs, with the hopes of arousing a collective consciousness of nature’s splendor and sacredness.
Our hope for those who interact with our products enjoy the benefits of being surrounded by the beauty of nature and to feel inspired when interacting with them.
Design for Living
Love Milo was started in 2014 by artist and photographer Nicki Ellis:
“Beautiful things inspire a person, but instead of putting these things onto walls to admire from a distance, why not make it a part of everything we do. When we drink our morning coffee, why not incorporate beauty into this? Why not make this a process of interacting with art? What a good way to start the day,” she left her job in post production, where she felt she created for others as part of a mechanical process, and instead began to experiment with her own designs and fascination with the imperfection of nature.
“You will never find a straight line in nature, so my designs are about finding the harmony between line and form; juxtaposing the imperfect elements with handmade elements to create something unique. In today’s world, many don’t have the time to stop and enjoy nature, so the aim with Love Milo is to find the beauty in the outdoors and bring it to you through our designs in every day accessories.”
Sustainability and Design Solutions
We place huge emphasis on sustainability, taking care in the sourcing of materials. Everything from the base fabric to the printing, is done locally. For wooden products, only alien trees that are harmful to the natural environment are used, like Blue Gum trees, that rob the indigenous flora like fynbos of water and prevent them from creating their own indigenous habitat. The wood from Blue Gums is too hard to use for furniture, but the We mould the wood into imperfect shapes to create unique hand carved wooden bowls and saucers, serving boards and kitchen utensils. We do not believe in cutting down indigenous trees that take many years to grow for the sake of beauty, but to rather find a clever way to reuse what doesn't serve us anyway. .
Where possible, We manufacture 100% in-studio ourselves together with two in-house seamstresses and two ceramicists. Products that can’t be done in-house are out-sourced to local businesses. This way we feel we are contributing to the growth of the economy and uplifting our local community which is an important part of our ethos. Some of our products may be a slightly higher price than other items on the market, but the expense is ultimately paying for someone in this country to have work and to keep their job, which is a mindset we need to get into as South Africans.