Sacred Shell Charity Tote
As part our second collaboration the SACRED SHELL, Alice Catherine and I wanted to do something extra special, something that would combine our ethos and the way we strive to run our businesses. We wanted to use our platforms to benefit other people and give a little back, so we decided to create a Sacred Shell Charity tote bag. Thank you to everyone who has already bought one of our charity totes, and if you haven’t got your hands on one yet, then hopefully after reading this you will be tempted.
DORA MAAR - French photographer, painter, and poet 1907 – 1997
With the help of artist Paul Binks, we created the Sacred Shell canvas tote. Inspired by photographer Dora Maar who combined human figures with sea shells. Paul illustrated a striking line drawing, half-face, half-calico shell, to feature on the bag. Specifically, Maar’s surreal, untitled piece from 1934 depicts a female hand emerging from a shell and, like Paul’s artwork, symbolises the connection between femininity and shells - a link which inspired Alice’s decision to work on a shell piece in the first place.
PAUL BINKS - Abstract and Figurative Artist - Capturing the equality and acceptance of the female and male body - @artbypaulbinks
Once Paul had created the artwork I had it exposed onto my screen. As with my jewellery pouches, the tote is silk-screen printed by hand using eco-friendly ink on fair and ethical trade 100% cotton which is completely biodegradable.
A more attractive alternative to a bag-for-life, the Sacred Shell tote is perfect for a stroll along the beach front or to your local shops. Whether you’re carrying sun-cream and a good book or your weekly groceries, it easily folds away into your main bag so you don’t have to use plastic bags. I personally use mine for post office runs and then chuck it in the bottom of Malachy’s push chair.
However, the primary reason for creating this piece, is to support a cause close to both mine and Alice’s hearts, with 100% of the profits going to the Manchester-based charity Every Month. This community project is determined in its mission to provide people experiencing poverty with free access to menstrual products. Every Month packs, contain necessities mistakenly treated as luxuries such as tampons and pads.
Some facts about period poverty:
• The average cost of a period over a year in the UK is £128.
• 1 in 4 people in the UK have left school or work for the day due to period poverty.
• 1 in 10 young people have been able unable to afford sanitary wear.
The creation of the Sacred Shell tote was motivated by wanting to make something beautiful, with a positive effect on the environment and our community. This is a limited-edition piece with only 100 being made so don’t leave it too long if you have your eye on one.
A special thank you to Paul who donated his artwork for free and to Every Month for doing such great work.
Another way to help is to write to your MP to ask that they support free menstrual products for people living in poverty in the UK. There is a sample letter on the homepage of Every Month’s website, linked below.
Love Mikaela x