Live Softly
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Our Story

Our Philosophy

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.

Some of our lovely makers in Nepal:Β Seema Chaudhary, Geeta Devi Chaudhary, Devi Chaudhary, Tek Bdr Chaudhary & Kailash Pd Chaudhary

Some of our lovely makers in Nepal: Seema Chaudhary, Geeta Devi Chaudhary, Devi Chaudhary, Tek Bdr Chaudhary & Kailash Pd Chaudhary

There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it creates hunger and unhappiness
— Mahatma Gandhi

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.

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WFTO Fair Trade Certified 

Hand made in Nepal and WFTO certified.  Our Nepal partner is the Director of Fair Trade Asia and operates as a charity providing housing, medical assistance and schooling for people and their families affected by Leprosy.

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!

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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. 

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.

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Zero Waste     

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 offcuts of the wool industry which would otherwise be discarded.

We believe in slow fashion - our cases are made to gather stories with you.

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Profit-for-Purpose 

We are a profit-for-purpose company and we choose to operate a happy-to-happy business model.  Which means happy makers and happy consumers!

After costs have been covered profits will be re-invested in Live Softly to develop new product lines and foster new co-collaborations between designers and makers in the developing world. 

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. It was a trip that was to be full of serendipity and auspicious events, a time of great creativity that has changed her path ever since.

The name 'Live Softly' came while Elise was 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. (You can see that original leaf in the image above!).

That initial trip to India sparked something inside and so Elise travelled to Nepal and during an eight week Buddhist meditation retreat Elise learnt of a local crafts group who resided a few steps away...

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. 

Elise's connection with the people of India and Nepal was strong, she knew she wanted to work with this amazing organisation so using her 15 years experience as a designer & trend forecaster she created her first project with the craftspeople of Nepal - these hand felted woolen 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,

With love,

Elise Slater (The girl in the blue denim shirt to the right of the Dalai Lama!)