Liv, the beautiful and sustainable life
We are a Danish-German Label for interior decoration - rugs, cushions, lamps, and vases...whatever brings life into your home! I, Copenhagen born designer Tina Mirza and my husband Asad, a former cricket player from Karachi, founded liv interior in 2003. Liv is Danish and means "life".
The window to the future
After fleeing city life to travel around the globe in my youth, I have decided to settle in Hamburg with Asad, our daughters Anousha and Noori and our Weimaraner dog Maja.
I started off as a graphic designer. I used to have an office with a big window, where I placed selected favorite furniture and decorative items. One day, the first stylist came by and asked to borrow vases and chairs. One thing came to another and soon liv interior was born.
We love beautiful design, but also care for a fair and eco-friendly production
For the sake of our environment, we have decided to mainly use sustainable materials. This means that for our products we use
- fast growing natural materials
- recycled materials
- or organic cotton
Choosing to only wear sustainable clothes, eating mainly seasonal and regional products, or using public transportation or your bike - we think that even small decisions will make the world a better place.
Rugs made of sustainable materials
The first products, which we launched, were rugs. Sustainability wasn't really a subject back in 2003, which is why at the time our rugs were made of regular cotton. As our rugs became the favorite products of our clients, we decided to extend our rug portfolio and I also created my first own collection of various home accessories.
It was a personal matter that sustainability became more and more important to us, as we wanted our daughters to have the possibility of living in a "clean" world. We wanted to combine creativity and sustainability as well as fair working conditions, and finally they became the pillars of the liv collections.
During one of our trips to India in 2013 we met a man who had found a way to use old PET bottles to create a new yarn. Discussing the possibility of using such a yarn with our supplier, we were finally really happy, when we managed creating beautiful rugs. Ever since, we have been trying to use either recycled materials for our textile collections or organic cotton.
A fair production
A fair production lays the fundament of our label. Be it rugs or cushions, all our decor items are crafted by hand. Not only does this make every piece unique, it also maintains the cultural heritage of handicraft, which in this way can be passed on to the next generation. Our products are mainly produced in India, where our suppliers can implement their handicraft (such as weaving rugs) on such professional level, that we can produce large orders together. In Europe only small productions are possible, if it isn't a machine production.
I travel to India about four times a year to check samples and to optimize our rugs with our weavers. More often than not, we create new ideas within the process.
Fibers from recycled clothes
Respecting the environment, we always search for new possibilities on this journey of sustainability. For a year now we have been producing rugs made of recycled cotton clothes. To create the new yarn, the old fabric needs to be sorted by color and cut into pieces, as well as be freed of buttons and zippers. Finally, a new fiber is won out of this, which consists to 85% of cotton. As the clothes are pre-dyed, no additional color is used in the process, the rugs are easy care and can be washed in the washing machine.
New materials from flora and fauna
Our journey is not yet over: We are still looking for new, alternative materials and innovative production processes. Luckily, a lot is happening in this regard. For example in the wood or synthetic industry, where surplus and waste get to be reused for other processes to avoid waste. Moreover, the industry is searching for new methods to use materials from flora and fauna. We would love to work more with plant fibers in the future, but at the moment these are still too expensive for our production - but we'll see!
And what is GoodWeave?
At liv we work closely with GoodWeave, an organization that is trying to end illegal child labor in the textile industry. GoodWeave is monitoring all our suppliers and production units. They control the working conditions, as well as working hours and make sure, that no child labor is involved in the process. We regularly meet GoodWeave staff members when we visit our suppliers. They also open schools to make sure, the weaver's children receive an education and they are currently working on a wastewater project. GoodWeave's focus lies on improving the working conditions of the weavers and their families, but also in conserving the cultural heritage and the traditional knowledge of handicraft.
The jungle of sustainability
Though I started liv interior primary as a textile brand, our collection nowadays offers a variety of home decor products featuring a ceramic collection and various design objects. Whenever possible we use sustainable, recycled or fast growing natural materials and do everything we can to implement a responsible and fair production.
Nevertheless, working sustainably is like a walk in the jungle: Where is the beginning of the path and where is its end? How can I ship goods from Asia to Europe and still be sustainable? It is difficult to keep track, but every single step counts to make a difference! We only need to make a start and shall never stop on the way. Join in and let's make the world a greener place!