Liz and Vinka are dedicated in eco-friendly and handmade productions in their small studio as well as the shop in Taichung. In 2011, they started fair trade. During 2013 - 2014, they visited production organizations in different countries and became the member of WFTO. In 2015, they became the member of WFTO GS. It’s the 8th year now, Twine owns 8 shops and 1 pop-up store, includes 24 coworkers in the team, and cooperates with 25 countries and 50 production organizations.
Started out as producers, they become designers and give the producers in fair trade to produce. What stays the same is the use of natural and eco-friendly materials and productions. For the producers, fair trade provides fair payment, remains long-term collaborations and transparency, ensures no child labor and sexism, and enhances producers’ skills. Comparing to commercial business, fair trade is low benefits and high cost, however, it may be the most effective way to help people who are under disadvantage conditions to survive from the poverty.
Q & A
The name of TWINE is quite special, how did these two founders who have the architecture background decide to create TWINE?
Where is the passion coming from through out the time ? What are the reasons and ambitions?
Where are the products coming from ? What are the design ideas?
Here are the answers for you !
Let’s explore TWINE, the small and mystery organization.
The Name TWINE ？
We started Twine Studio in 2006 without having the idea of products and branding. We only used Twine Studio as a way to participate in product and architecture sketch competitions. The earlier products were mainly weaving and knitting, that’s how the Twine came from. Before Twine, there was a small shop called Cocoon, founded with some other colleagues in Shanghai in 2007. We kept creating products and until the end of 2009, Twine became official. In 2010, we were known as Twine Studio. In 2013, we changed our name as Twine Fair Trade, LLC.
Never Give Up
As soon as we created Twine, we knew that was it. We didn’t want to do architecture related work and we were convinced that it was time for us to do something for the society. Therefore, we gave our passions to “Environmental Protection.” It has been our core for the design. Beginning from two of us until now when we have over 20 people in our team and approximately 3500 producers from the world, all we know is to keep going and never give up. Some customers think that it’s so much work for us. However, we never see it in that way though we will have our concerns for sure. Yet, it turns out that we are doing the right thing.
As we go, we understand that there are more things to be done and changed, including to enhance the value of Faire Trade toward the producers, our team, and the customers, to grow with the idea of eco-friendly design, to participate in “Fashion Revolution” activity, and to pay the earth tax. There are more social responsibilities to be challenged. Do we even get the chance to give up? We’ve seen poverty and poor conditions when visiting our producers. We can’t give up, can we ?
The Idea of Product Design
Our design ideas are usually came from the fair trade trip, such as the diverse cultures, food, architecture, religion and local daily lifestyle. We love to explore from the locals and reconstructed ideas into different products. “Twine, Let the world culture speak Taiwanese” is our slogan as well as our design concept as the way to present the products via cultures.
Fair Trade products are made with traditional materials and techniques. We hope to “twine” the old and the new together. That’s why our products are unique.