Live Softly

Our Story

Watch our story. . .

The Live Softly Ethos . . .

Live Softly believes conscious design and mindful purchasing can change the world. We partner designers with marginalised craft producers to design conscious products, empowering you to support makers in developing economies. Live softly believes if you put good in you get good back, and our happy-to-happy business model is good for you, good for our makers and good for the earth. By purchasing Live Softly products you are pledging your support for a new way of living that looks after the earth and the people on it.

Live Softly's first project using our happy-to-happy business model are these fair-trade felted laptop covers. We have partnered with a Leprosy charity in Nepal who provide housing and medical support to suffers of leprosy and their families, enabling them to both learn a craft and earn an income. The laptop covers carry the stories of their makers. They are hand crafted covers for hi-tech devices. The perfect interplay of lo-fi meets hi-fi to house your laptop.

There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it creates hunger and unhappiness
— Mahatma Gandhi
 Mindful Design   Live Softly is design with a conscience. We want to take you back to the source, creating a story that links the user and the makers.  All of our products are machine free - made entirely by hand. We believe in slow fashion - our cases are made to gather stories with you.  We follow the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi - each case is unique and perfectly imperfect in its own way, just like us humans! Using your case is a daily reminder to live softly and respect people, products and the earth.    

Mindful Design 

Live Softly is design with a conscience. We want to take you back to the source, creating a story that links the user and the makers.

All of our products are machine free - made entirely by hand. We believe in slow fashion - our cases are made to gather stories with you.

We follow the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi - each case is unique and perfectly imperfect in its own way, just like us humans! Using your case is a daily reminder to live softly and respect people, products and the earth.    

 Fair Trade, Living Wage   Hand made in Nepal under Fair Trade conditions.  Our Nepal partner is the Director of Fair Trade Asia and operates as a charity providing housing, medical assistance, schooling and an old peoples home for people and their families affected by Leprosy, services that are not provided by the government in Nepal.  Each individual they assist on earns a living wage for their entire life, even if they are unable to work or can only do very simple tasks due to their disabilities.  The purchase of one of our cases helps to create an income and independence for makers in Nepal, as well as education for their children. What's not to love about that!

Fair Trade, Living Wage 

Hand made in Nepal under Fair Trade conditions.  Our Nepal partner is the Director of Fair Trade Asia and operates as a charity providing housing, medical assistance, schooling and an old peoples home for people and their families affected by Leprosy, services that are not provided by the government in Nepal.

Each individual they assist on earns a living wage for their entire life, even if they are unable to work or can only do very simple tasks due to their disabilities.

The purchase of one of our cases helps to create an income and independence for makers in Nepal, as well as education for their children. What's not to love about that!

 The Maker Connection   We operate a happy-to-happy business model.  Which means connecting happy makers and happy consumers!  We believe in transparency and in showing the makers and the process behind the products. Live Softly believe if we tell our story well the consumer will feel connected to the provenance of our products.  We hope that by understanding the making process behind our products the buyer will develop a personal relationship with what they buy, helping to combat the 'throw away' mentality which marks our era. The more connected we feel to others and the earth the less harm we are able to do.

The Maker Connection 

We operate a happy-to-happy business model.  Which means connecting happy makers and happy consumers!

We believe in transparency and in showing the makers and the process behind the products. Live Softly believe if we tell our story well the consumer will feel connected to the provenance of our products.  We hope that by understanding the making process behind our products the buyer will develop a personal relationship with what they buy, helping to combat the 'throw away' mentality which marks our era. The more connected we feel to others and the earth the less harm we are able to do.

 Zero Waste, Plastic Free       Hand felting is an ancient technique using wool, soap and water to mat the fibres around a mould. Our cases are felted in one piece and seam free - so there are no seams to rip and zero waste of fibre in the making process.  The wool is sourced from the short fibre offcuts of the New Zealand wool industry which would otherwise be discarded. All NZ wool is required to adhere to strict ethical farming guidelines.  The wool is dyed using AZO free dyes.  All Live Softly products are plastic free with minimal packaging and designed for longevity. We believe in buying less with more conscience.

Zero Waste, Plastic Free     

Hand felting is an ancient technique using wool, soap and water to mat the fibres around a mould. Our cases are felted in one piece and seam free - so there are no seams to rip and zero waste of fibre in the making process.

The wool is sourced from the short fibre offcuts of the New Zealand wool industry which would otherwise be discarded. All NZ wool is required to adhere to strict ethical farming guidelines.  The wool is dyed using AZO free dyes.

All Live Softly products are plastic free with minimal packaging and designed for longevity. We believe in buying less with more conscience.

An Auspicious Beginning 

Live Softly began when a designer from Sydney, Elise Slater, left her career in fashion and trends and followed her heart to go on an adventure to India and Nepal. 

The name 'Live Softly' came while on retreat in India, it is a Buddhist philosophy which aims to tread as lightly on this earth as possible, to be conscious of your footprint on the world and act with mindfulness and awareness. On that first day of the Buddhist retreat Elise wrote the words 'Live Softly' on a leaf and left it on the ground for someone to find, and so Live Softly was born in to the world!

The trip to India sparked something inside and so Elise travelled to Nepal and during an eight week meditation retreat Elise learnt of a local crafts group who resided nearby on the same hilltop in Kathmandu...

This was no ordinary crafts group. They employed people and their families who were affected by leprosy and they set up affordable housing with free medical treatment. They rescued the suffers and families of leprosy from a life of being outcasts in their own community and through fair trade craft projects they gave these people an income and the ability to be self sufficient. The group, New Sadle, support each person they take on with a living wage for the rest of their life, regardless of their level of skill/speed or ability to work. 

Elise's wanted to support this amazing organisation, so using her 15 years experience as a designer & trend forecaster she created her first project with the craftspeople of Nepal - the Live Softly hand felted woollen laptop covers. It has been an ongoing process of collaboration and testing to design the cases and perfect the fastening and sizing - a true passion project between Elise and the makers in Nepal.

After years of manufacturing in China and designing for other people Live Softly is about returning to the source, creating a connection to where things come from and their makers. It is a dream of a life lived softly, where the provenance of products is respected, and so the idea of a disposable world becomes something of the past...

This is the start of an amazing journey for Live Softly, and one we hope you will be a part of as it continues to unfold and grow,

Elise Slater x

Our calling is where our deepest gladness and the worlds hunger meet
— Frederick Buechner