Osvaldo Wiebbeling (BACO)

Osvaldo Wiebbeling is a Brazilian carpenter, tailor, and proud owner of BACO, a brand of clothing/accessories made from recycled and found materials. After leaving his hometown of Cascavel, Brasil, in 2018, he headed for Galway, Ireland, where he spent eight months studying English and having a top laugh. He then moved on to Portugal, where he once again found himself surrounded by a troop of Irish folk, in the form of Garden Collective.

Fun fact: In Galway, Osvaldo became a not-so-famous cult superstar for cycling about the city with a teddy horse-head fastened to his bike.

We had a chat with Osvaldo about his origins and inspirations ahead of the launch of our limited run of handmade tobacco pouches that he has crafted as the flagship product for Garden Collective’s online shop.

The infamous horse-headed bicycle.

Interview Begins.

When did you start sewing?

I started sewing when I was in Brazil just for fun because my mum had all the materials at home. I was curious about it so I just started making some things and then after some months, I took a small sewing course of 40 or 50 hours. From there, I just started to sew different projects for fun. Jackets, bags, pouches, whatever. The reason I worked with all the recycled materials from the start was because it is the best way to practice your sewing skills without having to buy any fabric. Also, you use something that would otherwise be thrown away.

Is there a crossover between your carpentry skills and sewing?

The nice thing is that they are actually very similar. When I think about designing something new, it’s nearly the exact same process that I use for both. The material is kind of different, for sure. I’m kind of divided at the moment as to which I prefer. I actually sew because I don’t have any tools or space to work with my carpentry skills right now and I’m always working on something.

What do you make besides tobacco pouches?

Since I started, I’ve been really into making workwear. I remember the first thing that I made was an apron for work and I made one for my dad also. I prefer to work with stronger materials, maybe because of my work as a carpenter. Clothes that you will have for years and years. Normally, apart from the pouches, the things I make the most are jackets, vests, jumpsuits, dungarees — always in thicker fabrics. 

“I prefer to work with stronger materials, maybe because of my work as a carpenter. Clothes that you will have for years and years.”

Where do you source the materials that you use?

Sometimes I buy the materials if I want to make something specific or totally new. There are some nice fabric stores in Baixa Chiado [downtown Lisboa] that I would buy from, but normally I find the materials on the street when people throw away stuff. Sometimes chairs and couches left on the street have some nice material and I’ll rip that off and bring it with me. Also, my friends give me a lot of clothes that they don’t use anymore because they know I will make something with them. These are the three main sources: buying new material, people giving me or I find it in the street. It depends on the project really, but it’s mostly second-hand stuff. I have a lot of material already, so if I’m making something, I really like to choose from what I have.

What’s your favourite material to work with?

Canvas is stronger than denim, but I work more with denim because I just prefer the colours. It’s strong, easy to work with, and it’s just beautiful. You can have really strong colours on canvas and it lasts, but with denim, every person has different fades and cuts over time in different places. This is the beautiful thing about denim. All of us interact differently with it.

Denim is the best!

All your work is physical work but is music involved in the process?

Totally. Normally I can finish a tobacco pouch in one and a half hours or so but this also really depends on the music. It totally changes how I think about it. The other day I was listening to Nacao Zumbi, the Brazilian band, – actually, they have a really nice version of Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye – you should take a listen – but anyway, they are really nice. 

If you were to pick a favourite artist or album to work to, what would it be?

I have a guilty pleasure. His name is Chris Stapleton. He’s a country singer and his voice is just so nice. A friend of mine who is a singer was always listening to him and he showed me some of his songs and since then I’ve been listening to Chris Stapleton and more country shit. I really like it. 

You know what though? It’s not necessarily a guilty pleasure. Music is made to make you feel something and in that way all music can be good. So maybe we should not call it a guilty pleasure.

How do people find out more and follow your work?

The best way at the moment is through Instagram. I have some jackets and stuff on my personal page too, but most of my work is on the Baco instagram page.

Baco Shop Insta: @_bacoshop

Osvaldo’s page Insta: @osvaldowi

If you would like to order one of Osvaldo’s collaboration pouches with Garden you can do so here.

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