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The Gift Wrap That Keeps On Giving: Unveiling Wrappr’s Story and the Winner of Our 2023 Artist Search

In celebration of our first successful Wrapped in Nature artist search, we sat down with both Wrappr’s founder and the winning artists to hear their amazing stories—each inspired by the natural world.

Published on: November 21, 2023
festive gift wrap

Gorgeous, sustainable, and affordable, Wrappr is the earth-loving alternative to disposable gift wrapping. Each honors furoshiki, the 1,200-year-old Japanese tradition of fabric wrapping, while spotlighting stunning designs created by independent artists around the world. Inspired by Wrappr’s story, we teamed up with them to find two talented artists to feature on the 1 Hotels x Wrappr custom print ahead of the holiday season. We called the artist search “Wrapped in Nature,” representing our mutual love and appreciation for the beauty of the natural world.

We’re excited that the time has come to announce our winners, Adrienne Shelford and Talisa Almonte, hear about the inspiration behind their designs, and unveil their incredible Wrappr creations. In honor of this exciting announcement, we also spoke with Wrappr’s CEO, Brittany Trafford, to explore the company’s mission, the amazing social and environmental impacts it’s generated over the years, and the excitement behind the Wrapped in Nature artist search.

This holiday season, we hope you feel good about the gift you’re giving by inviting you to skip the disposable wrapping paper and replace it with Wrappr. This ethos is especially important as we enter a season that typically increases global waste generation by at least 25%. Not only will Wrappr make your loved ones smile for years to come, but it’ll also inspire others to Give Art, Not Waste. You can find the 1 Hotels x Wrappr at all Goodthings shops inside our sanctuaries.

CEO Brittany Trafford Shares Wrappr’s Inspiring Mission & Impact

What inspired you to create Wrappr and embark on a mission of sustainable gift wrapping?

I was searching for a reusable gift wrap that was simple, easy to use, and featured beautiful artwork—but was having trouble finding it. I stumbled on Japanese furoshiki accidentally when my brother gave me a few as souvenirs from a trip to Japan. 

The furoshiki wraps were the perfect solution—they were reusable, simple to fold, and incredibly beautiful. And each one was a piece of art. Not only could the fabric wraps offer a sustainable solution to the gift wrap epidemic, but they could also give artists around the world the opportunity to promote and sell their work.

Wrapping paper feels like a very unnecessary waste to me. Some waste solutions feel very complex and confusing, but the problem of wrapping paper is a simple one to fix. The solution of furoshiki is nothing new and has been around for a long time, so swapping something reusable feels long overdue. 

In Canada alone, it’s estimated that 544,000 tonnes of wrapping paper, gift bags, bows, etc. end up in a landfill every holiday season! By choosing Wrappr, you choose to avoid contributing to this waste while uplifting the creative community and reducing your carbon footprint.

Can you provide insights into the specific materials that Wrappr uses for its sustainable wraps, and how are they chosen to minimize environmental impact?

We’ve iterated the product a few times over the last four years. Our first material was organic cotton, and it’s still our bestseller. I’ve always had circularity in mind when it comes to the reusability of the product and the lifecycle of the material. The organic materials are great for the end of life of the product, breaking down and going back to the earth. 

Our second material was polyester satin which we have since swapped for recycled polyester. Polyester has a great luxe shine to it, but being recycled is so important for the circular design of the product.

Finally, our third material option is mulberry silk. Again, an organic material and more likely to be treasured by one owner instead of passed on from one gifter to the next. 

Beyond the wraps themselves, all of our packaging is very limited and is always recyclable or biodegradable. 

What goes into the design process of each Wrappr?

We have an open application form on our website for artists to apply. We look for artists who have their own individual style and then give them free rein to be creative and design something that they are happy to put their name on. There are only a few limitations that we give to artists, we ask them not to include any religious or cultural symbols or text in the artwork. Because the product is intended to be reused we never want the artwork to be too specific to a time or place. It should be timeless and beautiful for anyone, anywhere in the world. 

What inspired the 1 Hotels x Wrappr artist search?

From the beginning of my relationship with 1 Hotels, it was obvious that our missions were very aligned. We are both about sustainability and beauty. My first visit to a 1 Hotels location was in Toronto, and I was so impressed by their art installations. The hotel’s team explained that every location has a slightly different look and feel. This is because the geographical location inspires the artwork and interior design, and all of the installations are created by local artists. 

We both have a mutual value for independent artists, and we wanted to provide an exciting opportunity for them through this project. 

When and where can people purchase the 1 Hotels x Wrappr wrap this festive season?

This holiday season you can find the 1 Hotels x Wrappr Furoshiki wrap at all Goodthings shops inside hotel locations around the world.

Festive

Adrienne Shelford, Wrapped in Nature Winning Artist

Congratulations on winning our festive competition with Wrappr! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the artwork featured on your Wrappr design?

Thank you so much, it still feels surreal that my design was chosen! The inspiration came from my own love of being out in nature and taking time to reconnect. I wanted to evoke this same feeling within my artwork by using calming colors, yoga, and botanical elements.

What is your background in art, and what drives your passion for creating? How does it feel to have your art showcased on Wrappr products?

Since I was young, I have always followed a creative path. After graduating from Manchester School of Art, I started my career as a fashion designer, and since moving to Melbourne, I opened my first small business as a freelance illustrator. 

Growing up with a multicultural background, my passion and drive is to create bold and diverse portraits to ensure all feel represented within the world of illustration. I always feel incredibly lucky to work with brands that align with my own values, so having my design showcased on a Wrappr product is a dream come true for me! 

Festive

Talisa Almonte, Wrapped in Nature Winning Artist

Congratulations on winning our festive competition with Wrappr! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the artwork featured on your Wrappr design?

Thank you! I was very happy and excited when I received the news. I loved the prompt "Wrapped in Nature" and was thinking about what our world would look and feel like if we worked together with nature instead of against it. Which is why I titled my design “Symbiotic Dreams” in reference to this idea of embracing nature and feeling more connected to the planet. 

What is your background in art, and what drives your passion for creating? How does it feel to have your art showcased on Wrappr products?

Growing up with an artist dad who introduced me to the world of art at an early age, I've really been drawing for as long as I can remember. Both my parents have always supported my creative dreams from studying to be a fashion designer at the Fashion Institute of Technology and working in the industry for seven years to now being a full-time artist, illustrator, muralist, and small-business owner. When my dad passed away in 2021, it really fueled my passion to continue on his legacy and go back to my first passion of creating art. My dad's creative business is where my business name "Almonte Studio" comes from.

I'm always inspired by colors, nature, and my culture, and being creative in whatever form that may come in, which is why it's so amazing to continue working with Wrappr in this way. I love what Wrappr stands for as a business and I'm honored to be able to showcase my work in this way in such beautiful spaces like 1 Hotels. 

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