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Bulbul Home is on a mission to set an ethical standard for Australian textile businesses

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH REED GIFT FAIRS

IMAGE VIA @bulbulaustralia/INSTAGRAM

WORDS BY KATE STREADER

The Australian-based homewares and bed linen provider is dedicated to supporting and recognising artisan makers.

Growing up in Lahore, Pakistan, Uzma Hyat remembers the excitement of poring over rolls of fabric, mixing and matching prints and colours for clothing and bedding. 

“You’d sit there and examine roll upon roll, and come out with your own personal style,” she says. “And with Pakistan being one of the largest textile producers, we were so spoilt for choice.” 


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Fast forward to today, Uzma now owns her own artisanal homewares and ethically-sourced bed linen business, Bulbul Home, founded in 2020. Bulbul’s formation came about largely through happenstance.

Uzma decided to launch the business amidst lockdown when she juggled polar yearnings to travel and connect with the world at large and to turn her home into a refuge from the chaos and uncertainty happening beyond her walls.

“Through textiles and homewares, I get to connect the home I grew up in (Pakistan) with the home I have chosen for my family (Australia),” she says. “Bulbul Home brings together the best of Australian design and colour sensibilities with the best of Pakistani textiles and handmade homewares.”

A key aspect of the Bulbul Home ethos is its focus on ethically-sourced products, natural materials, and stimulating employment for artisan makers.  

“We are very excited by mindful and ethical consumerism, and feel that the Australian customer is looking to move their business to smaller local brands who better represent their values on environmental responsibility, labor standards, and greener supply chains,” she says. “The product thereby becomes so much more than the thing itself, and we are looking to offer that to our customers.”

 

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Before launching Bulbul Home, Uzma worked in health policy and development which has helped form the blueprint for building an ethical business that gives back with its donation model, which sees 20 per cent of profits going towards supporting artisans both in Australia and abroad. 

“Working with development agencies, foundations and governments gives me insight into the kind of programs that have made real impact, and I aim to carry that knowledge and expertise with me into this business and build impactful and meaningful programs for change,” she says. 

“That is the ethical standard for modern business, and Bulbul Home aims to be the ethical standard for textile business in Australia.”

Uzma also spotlights the people who make the products she sells through Design Stories, Bulbul Home’s blog for makers to share their stories. Customers can learn about the women who made the pieces they buy as well as the journey behind Bulbul’s organic cotton all the way from the farm to their bed.  

“We share some of the fabulous stories of the artisans we feature in the Handmade Corner of our shop. We have baskets hand-woven by women living in remote tribal areas of Pakistan. Our support of their work brings financial independence to individuals with limited opportunity to work outside the home,” says Uzma.

 

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“We have a stunning collection of marble inlay products for which we collaborated with a boutique design studio in Islamabad, Pakistan,” she adds. “The artists who have made this limited collection are Afghan refugees in Pakistan, for whom hand-crafting and working with marble has spanned generations.”

It’s easy to see the level of thought, care, and passion that goes into everything Bulbul Home does. 

“What I love about this business is that it is constantly evolving – new materials, new designs, fresh colours. The creative process never stops, and the constant inspiration it requires keeps you constantly working on new colour combinations, new fabric finishings, etc. I have worked with some wonderful artists in the process, and the entire journey is extremely rewarding.” 

This year, Uzma will showcase Bulbul Home at Reed Gift Fairs to give Sydney-siders an opportunity to see her bedding and wares in person to truly get a sense of the craftsmanship and quality of each piece. 

 

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“As a newcomer on the Australian bedding/homewares business landscape, we were looking for a platform that could help us reach the largest retail audience possible,” she says. “We know our products are beautiful, and we want others to know it, too. Nothing beats having the chance to see and feel the products in person.”

Uzma hopes Reed Gift Fairs will be the catalyst for getting Bulbul Home bedding into Sydney stores soon so the business can span beyond its online offering.  

To discover more about Reed Gift Fairs, a premium trade event for retailers, designers and stylists, head here.

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