Roses help reach out

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

WHEN Danna Checks­field makes her Perth Fash­ion Fes­ti­val de­but, to say her work will be quite unlike any other will be sell­ing it short.

The Cool­bellup resident has taken the re­fresh­ing qual­i­ties of kom­bucha and turned it from pop­u­lar drink to cloth­ing ma­te­rial for her exhibition.

Checks­field will be pre­sent­ing her On The Fringe line at the Fu­ture Run­way show in the wear­able tech­nol­ogy cat­e­gory, tack­ling the con­cept of the ur­ban no­mad.

Opt­ing to de­velop cloth­ing to fit in with a ‘Life on Mars’ theme, Checks­field said her in­ter­est in sustainabl­e fash­ion led to her de­ci­sion to use kom­bucha leather as the main ma­te­rial.

“I did some in­ter­est­ing things; some ac­tu­ally have sage leaves within two lay­ers of the kom­bucha,” she said.

“It was in­ter­est­ing the dif­fer­ent effects you can get. It dyes quite well so some of it I dyed with rust and some of it with in­digo dye.”

To achieve the de­sired effects, Checks­field would brew up a batch of kom­bucha and then dry out the scoby, the rub­bery solid used in the fer­men­ta­tion process.

“I tried to dry it out in the oven; one was hung over rusty metal and it came out with black de­sign,” she said.

“The thicker they were, the more malleable they were dried out, then I would rub coconut oil into them, which gives them a longer shelf life.”

The Curtin Uni­ver­sity stu­dent ad­mit­ted the process in­volved a lot of trial and er­ror, but the re­sult had been worth the wait.

“Some of the kom­bucha went mouldy, so I worked at get­ting the brew and the con­di­tions right,” she said. IN­SPIRED to help oth­ers, Joanna Wor­thing­ton spent Tues­day at­tempt­ing put a smile on the face of strangers in the city.

The Cool­bellup resident handed out roses in the Murray Street Mall to raise aware­ness of World Sui­cide Prevention Day, held an­nu­ally on Septem­ber 10.

This year she did it in con­junc­tion with not-for­profit group Roses in the Ocean, with the rose sym­bolic of hope and re­silience.

Ms Wor­thing­ton has worked in the men­tal health sec­tor as a peer sup­port worker for the bet­ter part of the past decade and knows the im­por­tance of reach­ing out.

She said it was vi­tal to have hon­est con­ver­sa­tions about men­tal health to com­bat death by sui­cide num­bers.

“Sui­cide is still a word peo­ple don’t want to say out loud, but I think it’s re­ally im­por­tant to de-stig­ma­tise it,” she said.

“There’s a mis­con­cep­tion if you ask some­one about dy­ing by sui­cide, it will push them fur­ther to­wards it.

“But we’re want­ing to make it OK to have that con­ver­sa­tion and we have to have that con­ver­sa­tion be­cause eight peo­ple a day are dy­ing by sui­cide and that’s un­ac­cept­able.

“That’s a num­ber we can stop.

“I’d like to think we can, but it would take ev­ery­one to un­der­stand it and stop whis­per­ing it.”

An ex­pe­ri­ence of sui­cide is de­fined as hav­ing had sui­ci­dal thoughts, sur­vived a sui­cide at­tempt, cared for some­one through a sui­ci­dal crisis, or been be­reaved by sui­cide.

Hav­ing had those ex­pe­ri­ences in the past, Ms Wor­thing­ton said they en­abled her to con­nect with those in a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion and she knew how im­por­tant a ran­dom act of kind­ness could be.

For 24-7 crisis sup­port, call Life­line on 13 11 14 or visit life­linewa.org.au.

Young peo­ple seek­ing sup­port can also con­tact Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or visit kid­shelpline.com.au.

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