The art consultant, entrepreneur and founder of Red T Group talks art, buying eco and living a sustainable life
Tamsin Nugent a serial entrepreneur. Born and raised in Hong Kong, the Brit set up her own gallery, Red T Space, in Beijing’s contemporary art district, 798, back in 2003. This grew to encompass a music business, an art fair and an art consultancy. When the 798 district was demolished to make way for the Beijing Olympic Park, Tamsin moved to Hong Kong as director of Ben Brown Fine Arts. She then moved to Melbourne and established a specialist recruiter for the arts, The Art Recruiter.
Now back in Hong Kong as a mother of two young boys, Tamsin has set up yet another business – or a few businesses, we should say. She’s the founder and director of Red T Group, the parent company for Red T Ultimates, a sustainably minded clothing company, and Red T Multiples, a business that Tamsin hopes will revolutionise the way we procure art.
“I wanted to tackle the inefficiencies and complications associated with art commissions and procurement for the commercial sector,” says Tamsin. “I also wanted to stop seeing bad art appearing at hospitality and homewares stores. We deserve better aesthetic choices and so I decided to create them,” she says. “Red T Multiples allows clients to crop and edit digital scans of the original works in our collection to create unique pieces to the specifications of their project. This can be done at both scale and volume across 11 mediums. Most of our works can only be reproduced in limited editions which also ensures that works created for one project cannot be made for another. It’s exclusive, bespoke, inexpensive and beautiful.”
Here, Tamsin tells Find Love Buy about work, life, kids and being sustainably stylish.
my William Morris eco-coffee cup, my BBBYO water bottle and headphones. I'll usually find a toy car or dried-up slice of apple in there too.
the Red T Ultimate Dress. About a year ago my husband and I decided to downsize. During this process, I spent a lot of time on my wardrobe. I realised I had two similar tops that I had worn to death - they were the only things from my 'normal' wardrobe that I had been able to bring into my maternity and breast-feeding wardrobes and people commented on them. I was nervous the tops would die and I'd be left without my go-tos. So I made a few tweaks to make them even more perfect, using a beautiful silk I found. I then got many more comments and thought: "This could be a business". But it wasn't enough to make one size über-versatile dress that helps us reduce excess in our wardrobes. I'm on a mission to make the dress 100-percent guilt-free in terms of the fabrics we use, the dyes we use, the ethics along the supply chain. It's all a work in progress, but it's the mission of the brand and we're determined to keep improving until we get there. Once we do, I plan to develop the Red T Ultimate capsule wardrobe in the same vein.
Good on You, an online platform and app that helps people find ethical brands. I'm also a fan of randian-online for art stuff.
a painting by Gong Shun, but I'm also pretty mad about our Candida Höfer library, which is such a great example of how great art never gets boring. And it's of a library!
going to Strive at Cyberport as much as I can. I love the style of the classes there; they offer challenging, full body workouts with a lot of variety. A great group of people goes there, there's a really friendly vibe and we work hard.
The True Cost. It has changed the way I live and it has inspired how I'm developing my businesses. It even inspired me to start a whole new clothing business: Red T Ultimates. On the back of that documentary I made a pledge to never buy fast fashion again. So I'm very grateful to my friends and family for all their wonderful hand-me-downs and to [pre-loved designer kids' clothing site] Retykle and [pre-owned designer womenswear and accessories brand] The Hula. I'm also a big fan of Nisolo's shoes for men and Rothy's for women - cute AND made entirely out of recycled plastic bottles.
an awesome blazer by A.L.C with leather lapels. I've had it for eight years and I still love it.
Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of eco-conscious outdoor clothing company Patagonia. He's the original sustainable business builder, inspired by passion. I love what he's done, how he's done it and I think it's a great story. I want Red T to get to the cutting edge of sustainable practices in all our production, so naturally I'm most interested in people who are doing or have done the same. I also love that he's a real example of how you don't have to follow convention to succeed.
MeUndies. Underwear and socks are hard to do eco. These guys come close as they use Lenzing MicroModal (a fabric that's very similar to the one we use for the Red T Ultimate dress). It's one of the most eco fabrics out there if you're talking new fabrics. They also audit their manufacturers and make sure they're adhering to ethical standards.
Don't be too proud to ask industry experts for their candid opinions.
taking one or two Red T Ultimate Dresses, depending on how long I'm away for, and accessorising. On my last three-day business trip to Shanghai I only took my handbag. I took two pairs of shoes (heels and flats), a belt, a scarf, a pair of trousers, statement earrings and a chunky necklace, and I had a different look every day.
A crazy confusion of emotions! I'm constantly surprised by how much you can squeeze in to life and how overwhelmingly incredible it is to talk to a person you created about what dinosaurs would say if they had to eat broccoli. Sadly my breed of human did not get the sleep memo so we still have very interrupted nights, which is the one and only thing I would change about the whole situation. My kids teach me perspective. They are my inspiration to work efficiently, make a difference and not give up sugar, alcohol or caffeine… at least, not yet.