An insightful moment, connecting to the power of nature offered me the greatest gift.
In 2007, I was on my annual buying trip for my women’s and men’s fashion business. These trips became less and less personally rewarding. I had spent about 4 days in LA and just arrived in San Francisco. I had reached exhaustion point. No life force was left within me. I did not know how I could continue. I had a partner and clients whom I did not want to let down. It was extremely stressful and I saw no way out.
Early the next morning, an intuitive strong feeling lead me to take a day off and get away from the material world. I had heard about the magnificent redwood pine forest nature reserves very nearby San Francisco. I hired a car, took off over the Golden Gate bridge and travelled about 1 hour to the location.
Within 10 minutes, walking along side this clear pristine creek with percolating running water caressing the sandstones beneath, I was totally transformed. I was a human being again. I felt stunningly alive, an aliveness that I had forgotten existed. I was so happy and then further on the path I was downloaded with everything I had to do.
Firstly, walk away from chemical treatments that dominate the textile industry. I immediately formulated a trip to India, the home of Organic Cotton. I met my now suppliers of The Keeper products at a meeting arranged by an acquaintance. Little did we know this meeting would bear fruit 10 years later.
Secondly, in 2009 I was guided to visit a natural dying organisation nearby GOA.
I was warmly greeted by Ann Shankar from the UK, and Bosco Enrique, founders of this dying plant. Within their property, where the dying of yarn took place, I witnessed how all the waste products were distributed through an irrigation system built to feed their magnificent banana and coconut trees, rice fields, and Ayurvedic herbs. It took my breath away. Here was the solution to the problem created by the textile industry and its existence relying on chemically dyed colours and printing.
On my previous visit to India and China, I was very moved by the devastation that the dying and printing processes in the textile trade were having on these 2 countries. Blindly, we from the west would pour order after order to businesses in these 2 countries, totally separated from the consequences of our actions.
I made an inward commitment to myself to now only use totally natural products from the earth.
Little did we know that my friends, whom I met in 2007 would now team up to be behind the building of The Keeper products. Now we can use natural products from the earth. To use all the ingredients that our earth provides us with, to make our natural products.
Everyone who buys The Keeper products becomes connected to nature, even in the small apartment in the big cities. I have many bags now decorating my kitchen with garlic, lemons, avocadoes, tomatoes, potatoes, onions and nuts filling these bags. I love this feeling now. Everything artificial is disappearing in my life.
When I go to the crisper in the fridge, I take out the 5-day old silver beets, knowing the freshness has been restored because of the gift of the muslin bag. It is all so simple and natural.
Importantly, young children need to experience nature in the kitchen. We need to educate them, what the bags are made of and how these bags are protecting the food. Children love to connect to nature. They have been drawn away from nature through technology and artificial products. We need to return them to the natural playground of rivers, parks, forests and oceans.
The mini string bag is a perfect bag to introduce them to the shopping experience. It is a perfect size for them to carry a small amount of food when shopping with you and it feels so good. They can even carry their books and favourite things in them at home.
This is my vision, I hope many will come and join ‘The Keeper’ from all around the world.