After an aborted attempt on the opening night, I made it to BOB on Saturday afternoon. As the sun shone down into the courtyard, there was quite a buzz, and it wasn’t just the boutique refreshments and high-octane entrance past a couple of Morgan cars.
Spread over three floors, there was a wide range of exhibitors from Fletcher powerboats to natural beauty care. I made a beeline for Solidwool to admire their beautiful chairs made from a sustainable composite of UK wool and bio-resins.
The material could be moulded into a wide variety of things, the chairs are just a starting point. Designed and manufactured in Devon, the founder Justin Floyd, wanted to combine his product design with support for Devon’s wool heritage.
From the new to the old, vintage shoe lasts from the 1930s that have been recycled and remade into bookends, coat hooks, lamps, and even loo roll holders by White Dove and Wonder.
It looks rather dashing in our downstairs loo! Next door was the cosy collection of blankets from Romney Marsh. The sixth generation of sheep farmers on the Romney Marsh in Kent hand-pick Romney and Merino fleeces which are hand-processed and woven in the UK by traditional weevers to create covetable cushions and throws.
More furry fleeces are at the the heart of Penrose Products, makers of luxury bedding made from alpaca fibres and organic cotton. No chemicals or dyes are used in manufacturing the products, whose sleep performance rivals that of wool.
Leaves foraged from parks and paths, as well as kitchen scraps are used to create Entanglewood‘s botanical prints on lengths of cotton fabric that have themselves often been salvaged or off-cut.
The results are subtle, warm colours evocative of an autumnal walk, complete with the silhouette of the leaves themselves. The fabrics can be purposed as shawls, cushions or bedspreads.
Outside of my regular remit (it was the weekend), I was drawn to Sara C‘s collection of clothes with their vibrant nature-inspired prints. Made from organic, natural fibres such as bamboo, cupro and peace silk, and eco-friendly dyes, and manufactured in the UK, the collection feels good on many levels. I could not resist a scarf. If it had been summer, I would have indulged in a pair of Mudlark sandals, too! With willow heels that are a bi-product of the cricket bat industry, and vegetable tanned leather, their credentials might be as good as they look.