COOL STUFF FOR KIDS
This past July, Susanna Freer Passburg of the Swedish Design Centre of St. Barthélemy announced a new initiative that certainly has merit. Susanna—who is English—runs the shop with her husband Nils—who is the Swede in this affair— as a showcase for contemporary Swedish designers and their quite wonderful work, including jewelry, handmade silver objects, porcelain, and glassware. Now, in partnership with Antonia Ludes, Susanna has launched 2ONAROCK, which creates unique clothing for children with the environment and social networking in mind.
And to boot, they use t-shirts from Edun Live, part of the socially conscious clothing label founded in 2005 by U2 singer Bono, his wife, Ali Hewson, and clothing designer Rogan Gregor. What’s nice about this is that Edun Live sources its 100% African-shirts from a growing network of factories in sub-Saharan Africa. The most recent addition to the collection is the new Lemur t-shirt, for which €5 from each t-shirt sold will go to Mada Clinics International, a UK-based charity that helps the people of Madagascar by offering free healthcare and education at a rural clinic and village infant school.
Swedish artist Kajsa Aronsson donated the Lemur design for the t-shirts—she first discovered Madagascar on her map as a child, and has always been interested in the island. Susanna and Antonia became friends through their daughters, Salinne & Celina, who are charming six year olds. Susanna and Nils have quite enthusiastically adopted St Barth as their home, even naming their daughter after their favorite beach. They also hold frequent “openings” at their shop, when artists come from Sweden to debut their work. Of course the logic behind all of this is that St Barth was once Swedish for a period of almost 100 years, which explains the Swedish flags and old Swedish street signs one sees around town. Ah yes, the town is in fact called Gustavia, after a Swedish King. Anyone interested in the Swedish history of the island, or in fact the architectural heritage of Gustavia should pick up a copy of the book, Gustavia, by Swedish architect Jenny Stening, with text in English, Swedish, and French. It takes you back in time to the 18th and 19th century and gives you an idea of what life was like in Gustavia in days gone by. And it’s nice that a dozen of so of the Swedish buildings still exist as witness to this important era in the island’s history.
More to come,