Albertine Dawn featured on CityLine
Thursday, September 1st, 2011 @ 9:00am

Karen Sealy, Toronto designer and host of Summer Home on HGTV will feature a group of my pillows and talk about how to mix patterns and textures in home decor.

Albertine Dawn is an eco-friendly company. We produce high-end items that help to reduce the carbon footprint of both the company and the consumer. The Albertine Dawn pillow collection is from vintage fabric with a unique history behind it. Each hand made pillow has a story to tell based on where the vintage fabric came from.

All products are Canadian and handmade from vintage and sustainable fabrics using local suppliers. Each product not only gives the fabric a second life but also has more than one use. Dawn Barbieri started the company, Albertine Dawn, with little more than a box of vintage curtains and the inspiration of her eco-conscious grandparents.

The drapes, taken from the cottage in LacLu, Ontario where she spent summers with her family growing up, were destined for the trash. But Dawn felt they were too lovely to be thrown away, and that’s when she came up with the idea to take the fabric and make it into one-of-a-kind pillows.

Albertine Dawn is named for Barbieri’s grandmother, Albertine Peppler, who took measures to protect the lake water at the family’s cottage in the 1940s. Rather than allowing family members to use soap in the lake, she hand pumped water into a tub for bathing and laundry, and then discarded the used water in the bush to prevent it from seeping into the lake. “She was way ahead of her time,” Dawn remarks. “All that runs with the whole thing of reusing fabrics, because cotton, linens and silks take a lot of water to produce. So by reusing them you’re helping to reduce the eco-footprint.”

Dawn Barbieri’s grandfather, Jacob Peppler, was an upholsterer who apprenticed with his relatives Peppler Furniture (now Sklar Peppler) and he shared Albertine’s earth-friendly approach. Rather than throw out the fabric scraps from his shop, he sewed them into blankets.

“My mission statement is ‘Giving fabric a second life,’” says Dawn Barbieri. “Usually I’ll find something I just love. I might not know what I’m going to do with it but there’s something about it that stands out.” I hope you enjoy the products as much as we enjoyed making them.

Dawn Barbieri
Albertine Dawn
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