From the start I wanted to create a publication which goes against the throwaway culture we are living in. Over the years, while living abroad – especially in Germany and Switzerland, I’ve grown to the idea of slow movement. Living like in our grandparents’ times. They appreciated the value of craftsmanship, the value of materials and the real value of money. They bought items, which they looked after well. From clothing and jewellery to homeware items, art, cosmetics and even food. A car was the ultimate luxury. Nothing was wasted. Everything got used until it was completely unusable. They had much less than us in those days yet they were, in my eyes, richer and much smarter. Items were bought as a long-term investment with high returns (on such investments).
For example, my grandmother’s wardrobe worked hard for her. Only with three suits, five dresses, a few skirts and blouses, she managed to look classy and sophisticated every time she left the house.
Over the past few years I’ve noticed a change in me too. I stopped buying from the high street almost a couple of years ago and instead I’m seeking wardrobe pieces that will work hard for me. I’m willing to invest in quality over quantity. At home the first thing after our return from Switzerland was to change to highest rating appliances including moving away from gas to induction hob.
My previous business was trading in the renewable energy market when we used to import German and Italian highly efficient woodburning fireplaces and boilers. In those 7 years I was running it, I’ve learnt a lot about energy savings, efficiency, wastage, emissions and the CO2 cycle. I was passionate about everything eco-friendly.
Hence now, I’m so passionate about featuring, and telling the stories of, emerging designers, independent brands, artists and other creative women who care about the environment and what they leave behind for the future generations. They all want to make a difference. I think we have so much talent around us, yet our culture and modern habits are slowly killing it. These small businesses will only survive if we change the way we are right now. They need our support and really, I see myself as a messenger who tries to tell their amazing stories about their journeys, experiences and missions they are on. I’m letting you know about them so you are aware and can decide for yourself whether you want to be part of the slow movement as well.
In a similar way I paid special attention to Estila and how I wanted it to be produced. I chose quality over quantity, too. Today I got yet another email pitch from a printer in one of the Russian speaking Eastern European countries trying to offer me their cheaper service. And yes, as with everything else, it’s very tempting. But my main problem is that if I did that, I would be contradicting myself. I can’t just support and write about everyone, who is championing local design and small independent manufacturing, and then go off to print in the cheapest place on the planet. It wouldn’t make sense. If I’m supporting local and sustainable approach, I need to do the same.
That’s why our magazine issues are printed in the U.K. We might have a smaller circulation but everything we produce, we sell. I’m strictly against the fake circulation “highly impressive” numbers, where majority of it ends up in tons in recycling centres, something that is unfortunately so common in mainstream publishing. In a same way as one of the shoe designers we feature sells every pair of shoes they make, we do the same. Our magazine is a collectible for that reason. The content we produce is timeless, educational, inspirational, aspirational and motivating. Our writing is slow too. I just came across the term slow journalism and even though it refers to news journalism, the overall idea is the same: a carefully curated, intelligent and impartial writing that takes time to produce. We definitely don’t jump on the fast trends bandwagon here.
We also pay attention to the smallest detail. I design our covers so over time they will create a rainbow-like effect on your bookshelf. I believe this is something no other publication thought about. We started with off-white (Volume 1), moved over to blush pink (Volume 2) and now we’re on soft lavender (Volume 3). Another reason why we encourage collecting our magazines. Only through your support we can make a change and carry on doing the job we’re doing. So how can you support us? Well, first of all buy one of our issues, or all three volumes we’ve produced so far and learn about the brands we interviewed and featured. Visit their website, learn more about them and if you like them, start spreading the word by telling your friends.