Paula Ann Savage    b. 1966  



Words from the artist, 'The world is one big Treasure Trunk’ to me, I never know what I am going to find next. The wonderful essence of serendipity.'

As an artist/designer/writer/musician, the artist is introspective. She believes that what one ‘likes or dislikes’ is the only true reflection of oneself. Paula's environmental collection ‘Mottainai’ was an alternative approach to the fashion industry; a collection devoted to Shintoism. The artist is passionate about encouraging change, being mindful when it comes to consumerism and sustainability. The artists' series consists solely of found, discarded pieces of fabric, sewn together to create new pieces of clothing. All pieces of fabric have been given a second lease of life, arguably a relevant necessity for the change in a world that has no ‘throw away’ any more.

Savage continuously strives to find solutions to the issues we face regarding our troubled environment. Whilst studying BA Fashion Design and confounded at how toxic and poisonous the fashion industry is, she focused on sustainable design during the MA Fashion and Textile Design. Each piece of fabric that forms the garment, has its own story. The sole purpose and projection of the message in each piece, offers the viewer tangible access to the sincere beating heart behind the artists collection, 'MOTTAINAI'.


This is a Japanese expression of sorrow and regret when something is wasted. Both a phrase and a way of life, Mottainai's roots come from Buddhism and the philosophy that we are a part of nature and should strive to live harmoniously within it, wasting as little as possible. Mottainai attempts to communicate the inherent value in a thing and encourage using objects fully or all the way to the end of their lifespan. Leave no grain of rice in your bowl; if a toy breaks, repair it; take good care of everything.


One of the oldest and strongest religions in Japan is Shintoism. The concept of Mottainai has roots in Shintoism. Shintoism teaches that everything has a spirit or soul, including inanimate objects.


  • 2019 CAPUG exhibition, Contemporary Art Pop-Up Gallery, Coastguard Studio, Southsea

Mottainai Collection:

  • The ‘Four Decades Dress’, made with fabric from the 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s
  • The ‘Jumper’ Made from unravelled woollen items and discarded odd balls of wool
  • The ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears Dress’, constructed using old hankies and other linen or cotton items from the Victorian period that were embroidered together with hand-made lace
  • The ‘Jean Jacket’, made from discarded Levi jeans, an old ragged table cloth and buttons crafted from an old school desk
  • The ‘Skirt’, constructed from old pieces of linen, hand dyed using the juice of blackberries, beetroot, red onions and beetroot grown in my garden.