BEST BEFORE a company based in Paris creates a number of collections; the unifying fact relevant to the entire range is that they are made with materials that are completely biodegradable using only rapidly renewable resources. Proficient artisans are sourced, who with expert hands perpetuate ancestral traditions.
Always attempting to give a new breath of life to their talents and supporting their know-how, BEST BEFORE travels around the world to find crafts people with whom they work in conjunction to create new and innovative products by not only using their time tested techniques but also learning them.
About their work BEST BEFORE avers, “We choose to work with rapidly renewable, biodegradable materials. Though the products we create are not temporary or flimsy in any way, at the end of their use they can literally melt away and disappear.”
Paper cord made from recycled paper fits perfectly into this concept. For one of their collections, BEST BEFORE has created soft macramé-woven, charming baskets and bags that adjust to the shapes of the things that are put into them. These flexible, oversized “everything baskets” can also be magically transformed into footstools or even light fixtures.100% recycled paper handmade in South Korea is used.
This traditional handicraft was incidentally one of the most representative crafts of Korea and a popular hobby. Although this craft still exists in South Korea it was on the verge of disappearing. Lack of time possibly! BEST BEFORE creates contemporary objects from paper cord that can adapt and enhance modern lives.
A few women work with them and who have their own particular style of knotting and tying. They now teach other young people this technique and produce a fine range of products for BEST BEFORE.
BEST BEFORE also has a collection of hand blown glass which is made entirely out of discarded and out of use glass items.
Another collection of this very environment conscious company is that of items made out of salt rock. The salt deposits found in Poland are almost inexhaustible and BEST BEFORE has several smart and useful products hand made out of it, in that country itself.
100% wool felt is also hand made by BEST BEFORE in Kyrgyzstan. A lot of Kyrgyz people are nomads during the summer season. By using sheep wool which is supplied by them, interesting contemporary and useful items are made out of this sustainable resource right there in Kyrgyzstan.
Large wood and wrought iron products are handmade in Poland by BEST BEFORE. Woodwork is one of the traditional Polish crafts and forests from where the wood is sourced are treated with great respect with an ongoing effort to preserve them.
Cotton is handspun and hand woven in Brazil to create some more eco friendly products. “We work with women from the region of Minas Gerais. Some spin cotton, some know about vegetable dyeing and some others weave or crochet. All of them have beautiful skills, expertise and a generally happy demeanour. We operate in close association with them in places that are close to their homes so that they are comfortable whilst at work. We also benefit from the specialised equipment they already possess,” explains Corinne of BEST BEFORE.Capim Dourado or golden grass, another rapidly renewable natural product is used to make various items for chic interior spaces, like lamps and other home accessories. This range too is handmade in Brazil using local craftsmen.
BEST BEFORE believes in not only using renewable resources but in also paying their artisans well, so that they can make a good livelihood by just practicing what they know best. Each item that BEST BEFORE carries bears the imprint of the women and men who have made it.