Jamie Phillips – Sustainable Designer
Jamie Phillips (Class of 2001) is using his specialist design expertise for good. Jamie has merged beautiful design with sustainability to create yesēco, a brand that strives to reduce unnecessary waste by creating eco alternatives.
Jamie’s Kristin experience ignited his passion for design: “Thanks to a 7th Form year that was full of the Arts, I was lucky to leave Kristin knowing exactly what I wanted to do... to pursue a career in design, and graphic design was where I wanted to start,” he says.
“My [school] portfolio – which included graphics, photography, art design, painting and English – was good to go and I was accepted into the Bachelor of Art and Design at AUT, majoring in Graphic Design and Photography."
After gaining experience as a graphic designer and art director in New Zealand, Jamie moved to London, and later Australia where he honed his design skills, identifying the areas that lit his fire, specialising as a creative retoucher. “It’s a very technically challenging job that moulded together my passions of photography, design and art directing and took my eye for detail and pursuit of perfection to the next level,” he says. Jamie established his own post-production house, Pixel Social Club, enabling him to continue the work he loved under his own brand.
However, he found himself wanting for more. “Retouching and Pixel Social Club are great and I love the work... but something was missing and my love for the ocean and the environment, along with the growing awareness around plastic waste, was starting to weigh heavily on my mind... The truth be told, I didn’t want to look back in 5, 10, 15 years and say ‘Why didn’t I try to help?’
“I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to be part of the solution rather than just talking about what was wrong with the world. I realised consumers aren’t the problem; it was the lack of alternatives in the market. I wanted to start solving small problems on a big scale.”
Jamie’s mission made him reflect on his own life and everyday items he uses that need a shake up and a fresh set of ideas to bring them to life with ecovalues. His first target... the humble dish brush!
Yesēco’s flagship product, the ONE BRUSH, launched in November 2021 via Kickstarter, and has already smashed its initial launch targets, attracting 1,700 backers worldwide in the 30-day campaign. It may be hard to fathom that a dish brush can be described as a thing of beauty, but that is exactly what Jamie has created – the ONE BRUSH has recently won Gold in Product Design at the 2021 Good Design Australia Awards.
Looking ahead, Jamie has his sights firmly set on bringing yesēco to the world – yesēco has been showcased at recent trade shows in Chicago, Sydney and Melbourne, with ONE BRUSH manufacturing now underway. As he reflects on his journey so far, Jamie recognises some key influences from his time at Kristin:
“Looking back, there were many kind staff and individuals at Kristin who helped shape me – a young man who was more interested in surfing and having a laugh than anything else! But the two who definitely stand out are Mr Ken Coulson and Mrs Debbie Dwyer, who both helped to nurture and grow my passion for the arts (design and photography especially) and the pursuit of taking a concept all the way through to a final product and to enjoy all of the trials and tribulations along the way. I’m extremely grateful for their patience, passion and all round good vibes to start me on my path in design.”
For more information, visit www.yeseco.life