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A quiet designer

By Chen Jie | China Daily | Updated: 2014-09-26 07:04

A quiet designer

[Photo provided to China Daily]

She rented a private garden that had once belonged to Tang Shaoyi (1862-1938), the first premier of the Republic of China. She turned it into a workshop and recruited some 20 rural craftsmen to spin cotton, weave and dye the clothing on machines that were used a century ago.

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Ma's new label Wu Yong means "useless" in Chinese.

"Everything in nature is useful. There are many things that people consider useless and throw away, but they are in fact useful. It's dangerous to use up all of nature's resources and not recycle them," she says.

Didier Grumpach, then-chairman of the Federation Francaise de la Couture, a respected figure in world fashion, visited her in Zhuhai and invited her to present at the Paris Fashion Week.

In 2008, at her Paris Haute Couture Week showing, models performed tai chi to Mongolian music.

The idea of offering people an eco-friendly lifestyle came to her last year after she was invited to visit the 77 Creative Industry Park in Beijing. She decided to step outside the comfort of her Zhuhai workshop and move beyond clothes.

Following months of preparation, Ma opened her new workshop at the same industry park in Beijing, where she displays clothes and household goods that are all made from natural material.

Her vision helps rural artisans too.

"I will not sell clothes in big shopping malls," Ma says.

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