Roses help reach out
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.