Hayley Dineen, co-founder of Sackville & Co., was drawn to the cannabis industry after personal experience left her aching for better cannabis products that enhance, not contradict, her thoughtful aesthetic. Although beautiful design and intentional self-care are core pillars of the brand, Hayley’s background in ethical consumption, consulting for the UN’s Ethical Fashion Initiative, means she is bringing more than good-looking accessories to the cannabis space.
I’ve always had a healthy recreational enjoyment for cannabis, but like so many people who become medical patients, my relationship with the plant became serious when I really needed it. The technical diagnoses is Myofascial pelvic pain syndrome (MPPS), which translates to severe muscle spasms, feeling like your stomach is splitting open, and excruciating pain. My doctors put me on a high dose of morphine every four hours, which would knock me out entirely. I don’t remember anything from the first week I was taking pain killers. It is a startling sensation, to be awake, technically, but so removed from myself. After struggling with my digestion for over a decade I had been so relieved to finally get a diagnosis, but I quickly learned that a diagnosis didn’t equal a solution, I still had to find a way to manage the pain, and I knew morphine wouldn’t work for me long-term.
I started smoking cannabis and reducing the amount morphine pills, and eventually, I came off the morphine entirely. I experimented with different strains, tried both THC and CBD based products, had lots of hot baths and slowly but surely, I started feeling much more present and in control of my health.
Today, I feel better than I have in a long time, and outside of cannabis I don’t take any medication. I am dedicated to making sure I’m taking care of my body, that I’m not over stressing myself, that I am going to physio when I feel like I need it. I’ve created a relaxation ritual based around cannabis consumption and it has become a really nice part of my day, it has contributed to my health in more ways than I can count.
At a time that I felt so unwell physically, I wanted to be surrounded by things that felt empowering, warm, and beautiful. ”
The impetus to build Sackville & Co. came from a very personal desire to include beautiful objects in my cannabis ritual. As a designer, aesthetic plays such a huge role in my wellness. If you’re surrounded by things that you don’t feel represent you, or you don’t feel attached to, it’s hard to feel at home. In the cannabis industry there’s been a very one-sided look and feel to the lifestyle for a long time. I’d describe it as masculine, maybe a little immature. But there are so many different people using cannabis products daily, why shouldn’t design reflect them too?
I’ve always been a tomboy at heart, but as a designer I learned to appreciate a more feminine aesthetic. Feminine energy means: embracing and calming and welcoming. At a time that I felt so unwell physically, I wanted to be surrounded by things that felt empowering, warm, and beautiful. I have a really nice marble ashtray that makes me happy whenever I look at it. It’s the little things, you know? From there I learned everything I possibly could about cannabis, with a particular interest in how women consume, what they use the plant for, their favourite rituals, how it makes them feel.
It’s easy to be trapped in a one-dimensional definition of “wellness” — eating whole grains or jogging every day. But wellness can be as simple as going out with your girlfriends and having a laugh over a joint. It can be listening to records or a podcast. Wellness is whatever makes you feel at your best and free to express yourself.
Representation — Does this product feel like me? Bring me joy? Add something positive to my life, my space, or my daily routine?
I love when I come across a new brand doing something that’s cool and exciting and fresh. There is so much room in this industry for growth and when a new brand pops up to offer something different for consumers, I don’t see it as competition. We need more voices in the cannabis industry, and just like the fashion industry or the art world or food services, there will be something for every taste one day and that’s a good thing.
Transparency — Can I find out how and where it was made? Is there enough information about what’s in it? Who owns the business, and who profits?
Consumers care about transparency a lot more than they ever have before, mainly because they were like treated like shit for many years, lied to through marketing for so long, and now they’re demanding more from brands. People want to know the story behind their product, they want to know what’s going in to it, they don’t trust something just because someone is selling it and telling them to buy it.
Ethics — How do the products we’re engaging with affect our futures, our communities, and the wider world around us?
We’ve seen this change most significantly in the food industry. Consumers are really starting to question industrial farming, what’s going into what we eat, how we grow and manufacture foods, how this affects our health in the long term, how it will affect our planet, how these systems are all connected. In the fashion industry you see this happening too, people are asking about their clothing: where the fabric was sourced, how things were made and by who and for what kinds of wages. I think we’ll see this with cannabis too. People will demand the best product, but they will also care about where and how it’s being grown, and how those practices affect the bigger picture.