by Maria Zulmira Martins Miguel e Márcia Martins Miguel
“Ecoarts is the voice of those who have their feet in the forest and their heads in the world. We talk about nature, simplicity and the richness of the land we love. Our feminine gaze seeks to unite preservation and production, creating viability to keep the forest standing, our ancestral ground.” D. MiraWanna know more? Click Here
Transforming seeds, residues and stories into products and solutions that preserve the largest forest in the world.
The story of Ecoarts began with Dona Mira, daughter of pioneers, in the Midwest region of Brazil. Dedication, respect and love for nature came to her, through the hands of those who knew the value of a seed. Coming from Portugal and Spain, each ancestor brought in their pocket what they considered a true treasure: the strength and courage to start over. Dona Mira grew up amid the echo of the forest which, in the natural cycle, returns to the land everything it produces. The Amazonian raw material inspired the artistic ability of this curious and active woman.
The children, seven women and one man, were adults, living in other states, when Dona Mira, very enthusiastic about local crafts, sent her daughter Márcia a gift by mail. It was a necklace with beautiful seeds that the daughter saw in a new design and remade the piece in her own way; people stopped Márcia on the street to praise her and ask what the material was. That's how mother and daughter began exchanging letters to talk about seeds. Dona Mira sent barks, leaves, everything she thought was beautiful. “The backyard of my house looked like a forest dump with so much stuff,” says Márcia. One day, came the understanding of what to do with all that: transforming garbage into luxury, showing the magic and emotion of entering the forest. “Ecoarts is that, something that is priceless for me, it's nature, the native forest, it's something magical”.
The family has always been concerned about what was happening in the Amazon and its surroundings. They preserve 85% of the forest on the property, collected seeds, vines, wood and transformed them into pieces for habit and living. In 2004, through the initiative of the third generation of seven women, Ecoarts was born, founded by D. Mira and her daughter Márcia, which combines the artistic side of her mother with ecology. “To collect the seeds was like therapy for me”, says D. Mira. Therapy has taken a great turn. The whole family got involved with the project, specialized in harvesting forest residues and learning from the local populations how and the best time to harvest and store the seeds.
“Everything you need is at your feet. Most people look at the forest and see wood, food or medicine, we see the culture, beauty, design, the immaterial of the Amazon rainforest. Our pieces communicate all the resilience of nature and the strength of our ancestry. We don't sell products, we sell a cause, which returns to the forest; an economic path that allows us to act in the transformation and viability of the standing forest, with part of the sale of products invested in environmental regeneration and replanting trees”, says Márcia.
The care for the forest gained recognition and, in 2008, Ecoarts received the title of OCIP - Social Organization of Public Interest and, ten years later, participated in the foundation and now holds the presidency of PCI - Produce, Conserve and Include - Braço Ambiental of the state of Mato Grosso. In 2009, they launched their first necklace collection at the Maison Objet Paris international fair. In order to prevent genetic erosion in the Brazilian Amazon, Ecoarts has teamed up with Embrapa Oriental and Embrapa Mato Grosso and created the Floresta de Alimentos project. The objective is to promote the propagation of native species, biodiversity and environmental recovery. Using resources from the sale of products and services, support from partners and donations, more than two dozen native Amazonian fruit species are being rescued, safeguarding their genetic quality and their propagation in their original habitat.
Today, the ecological design school, founded by Dona Mira, has expanded and, inspired by the Brazilian Amazon, has joined it along the way, a collective of artisans, designers and storytellers who produce pieces, ideas, narratives and take the experience of the forest beyond the forest. From fashion, to clothing, to adornments and decorative objects, Ecoarts sees no limits to the sustainable use and application of the material and immaterial elements of the forest.
Future plans include the consolidation of Ecoarts Business Units, the Launch of the Amazônia Internacional Collection, the Brand Experience Ecoarts Amazônia, and the consolidation of collab with leading brands, such as Vista Alegre, in the expansion of the Floresta de Alimentos project. In 2020, Ecoarts received ten international design awards, including the European Design Award, German Product Awards and German Innovation Awards, for the Amazon collection, in partnership with Vista Alegre, inspired by the flora and fauna of the largest tropical forest in the country. world.
Márcia met the founder of ONELADY through a message she received from Délia, on Ecoarts Instagram. “When I read the message and got to know the purpose of ONELADY, I thought: this woman speaks with the feminine archetype, I thought it was a tribute to Maria (our lady) of which I am devoted. We are all Marys. Everyone has a Maria in the family, the Maria of our land.”
Ecoarts found in ONELADY the opportunity to take the charm of its pieces to places where the Amazon rainforest is still unknown. Show all the artistic potential of the natural raw material, in the design of ornaments with the delicacy and kindness of nature, respected and reciprocated.
A phrase, by the author Adélia Prado, translates the emotion that contact with nature provokes in Márcia: “Relax for a moment to see the miracle”.