Posts in Souls
on travel dreams with plantiful alexandra

writer: Emma ranne
picture: from Alexandra

 Alexandra from @plantifulalexandra

A few months back we had the chance to meet up with our lovely German friend Alexandra to grab a coffee and have a chat. We first got to know Alex through Instagram where we’ve been following her insanely yummy looking (like really!) food creations pretty much ever since she started with Instagramming 3 years ago. We love Alexandra’s style of adding personal stories to her photos and look up to her skills in communicating her thoughts in such an authentic way through the online platform. This girl has inspired us multiple times.

When we met Alex she had just quit her day job and was about to head on an adventure that included surfing, Bali and exploring life in Australia. While sipping our coffees and matchas we talked about what it was in the first place that inspired Alexandra to hop on this adventure?

‘‘I had known for quite some time that I really wanted to travel and I wasn’t really enjoying the job I spent most of my days at. The job had pretty much just been about saving money for me, and once I had saved up enough I thought it was time to go.’’

 

What made you choose Bali and Australia?

I’m going to do a surf instructor’s course in Bali which will be my first stop. When it comes to Australia it’s actually their work and travel visa which is great for this kind of situation. Another reason for me would be that I really want to surf, which Australia obviously is quite the perfect fit for. I also know a lot of Instagrammers from Australia and it just looks like a really lovely place (also their vegan food scene, I’m really looking forward to that). Hmmm the only thing is that I’m not really a big fan of too hot weather but it should be all good, haha!

Any tips for someone scared of taking the step?

Just do it. I think you shouldn’t be too scared of following your dream. Especially if you don’t like your current situation and you feel very strong about wanting to do something else be it traveling or starting a new job. If it’s literally just fear that keeps you from making the change, the chances are pretty big that you’ll probably just regret not giving it a go.

 

Do you have any favourite Instagram accounts?

Of course! I love the content of my friends @laurafruitfairy and @alexasearth. Hmm it’s really hard to just pick a few though.

 

Where do you source inspiration for your delicious looking recipes?

To be honest I don’t really do recipes. My cooking is more just me throwing things together, hahaha. In the beginning of being a vegan I used Instagram a lot to look for food inspiration. I think it’s just mainly about me seeing other people do delicious looking things and putting my favourite bits from their recipes together to create my own thing.

 

What would your perfect Sunday (anywhere in the world) look like?

My perfect Sunday… I’d wake up without an alarm around seven. Then I’d do some meditation and some stretching after which I’d have some breakfast outside at my terrace while reading a book and listening to some good music. After the slow breakfast I’d head for a surf as the waves obviously would be perfect. Then after a couple of hours, I’d come home, take a shower and meet up with some friends for lunch. In the afternoon it would be time for a little nap after which I’d maybe do some more surfing as the waves are still great. In the evening I’d meet with people for dinner, have a glass of wine and a good chat. The main point of the day would for it to be really relaxed.

We loved getting to meet Alexandra while she was exploring Helsinki and hope to see her again soon. You can follow up with Alexandra’s travels on Instagram. Seeing all the scenic travel pictures has really made us crave some adventure too.

 


 

 

 

 

thelma köhler - meet the illustrator

writer: emma ranne
picture: emma ranne

 Thelma Köhler

Thelma Köhler is a Helsinki based artist, known for her stunning illustration works. Last autumn Thelma followed her dream and set up her own company, through which she’s now able to do what she loves for a living. Besides her art works both digital and on paper, Thelma has also done some work in fashion design. A few weeks ago I sat down with this lovely lady who’s the artist of this months calendar drawing. We cozied up with some coffee and talked about art, following ones career dreams and conscious actions.

Hi thelma! Can you please shortly introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi! So my name is Thelma, I’m 22 years old and I live here in Helsinki. I’m working as an artist in the fields of visual art and uncommercial fashion in my own company. 

Oh that’s super cool! Tell us more about being an entrepreneur. How did you get into it and how does it feel?

It’s very rewarding! Being an entrepreneur is not the easiest career path, but it really gives you the freedom, which is amazing and I get to do exactly what I want basically. I have both my own projects like an art exhibition that’s coming up soon and a clothing line I’m working on with Emilia Gustafsson. Furthermore there’s the custom orders regarding both paintings and illustrations and sometimes also garments.

can you Tell us more about your art: when did you get started?

Well it’s pretty much accidental as I don’t know what else I could see myself do. It’s always been a part of my life and something that comes very natural to me. Drawing is something that’s always been with me, and I realise it’s quite a luxury for me to be able to do it for a living.

 Thelma Köhler - Scorpio Inlace Calendar 2018

Where do you source your inspiration?

Oh that’s a difficult but interesting question. Hmmm… well, thinking of my upcoming exhibition for example, the inspiration is gathered mainly from dreams. I have very visual and vivid dreams, which are authentic pictures that can’t be from anywhere else. I also get inspired by people and their interesting presences which I want to communicate through my pictures as well.

Do you have Any big artist crushes?

Oh yeah I have! Definitely Salvador Dalí. He’s always been inspirational to me with just his art, his charisma and all of that. My grandfather used to collect his lithographies, so it feels sort of like a family thing. I love the expressiveness of surrealism and it has a certain type of dark mystery which I really appreciate.

What would you do on a perfect Friday?

That really depends on my mood. Sometimes I just love to be around people and connect with friends, whereas on other nights I’d rather stay in, read a book and eat good food at home accompanied by my cat Francis.

What is your favourite quality about yourself?

Oh that’s a difficult one. Hmm I’d say either my perseverance or my intuition. They’re both things that have got me where I am now, and something that has proven to be of great value.  

Which conscious actions do you wish more of us would take?

I’m a bit partial with this one since I’m vegan myself, but eating plant based is of course something I’d wish to see more people do. It has changed my life personally. I also wish that people would be more mindful of consuming our planet and others - both animals and other people. 

Tell us about a childhood dream

Oh actually that’s very funny when I think about it, since it’s basically; living in a big city and to be able to create. Besides, I don’t think I’ll ever be a penguin trainer… I’ve kinda given up on that dream but that’s alright, haha!

What are your Top 3 tunes at the momen?

1. Corporation by Jack White 

2. Calm Like a Bomb by Rage Against the Machine 

3. the album Maxinquaye by Tricky

Check out more of Thelma’s art work on her website: www.thelmakohler.com and her Instagram

meet the illustrator: anna mäki-jyllilä

Writer: Emma Ranne
ILLUSTRATION: Anna mäki-jyllilä

 Libra illustration by Anna Mäki-Jyllilä, Inlacemedia Calendar

Me and Anna met up on one of this autumn’s stormiest afternoons up until now. While the trees were bending in the breezy autumn storm we snuggled up with some hot tea and coffee at cafe Blossom to hide from the cold. We had a cozy discussion about current inspirations, summer memories and spirit animals. I had a lovely time getting to know this young lovely illustrator talent:

Heya, Can you please shortly introduce yourself?

I’m Anna, 19 years old and I’m from Helsinki. I really love drawing and writing which are both ways for me to express my thoughts and ideas. Besides that I enjoy reading a good book and watching movies. Lately I’ve been loving to tune into my home and build a space out of it that feels like my own. I like to see my home like a kind of art work, a collage of things and pieces that are meaningful to me. Also I recently started my 2nd year at uni studying architecture.

Oh that’s really cool, how have you been liking that?

I’ve been enjoying it a lot! Of course there are some elements to it that are not so fun, but for most of it I’ve really liked it. My interest for architecture has just been growing during the past year. 

What are you most excited about this autumn? 

I have some ideas that I want to explore more through both drawing and writing. This past summer I’ve been thinking lots about what the things are that actually feel of importance to me, and what it is that I in the end want to devote my time to. After the first year of uni, I realized that I needed to find a balance where school work wouldn’t consume all of my time. It’s easy to get lost in that world, especially since the things we study actually are very interesting and exciting, but I think it’s really important for me to have time for my own projects as well. I’ve been playing with the idea of maybe publishing some more of my work, and to explore new channels for doing so. That’s really been inspiring me lately.

I like to see my home like a kind of art work, a collage of things and pieces that are meaningful to me

What is one of your favourite qualities about yourself?

Hmm, I have always had a need for trying to understand things. I’m curious about learning about the worlds of others, to gain more knowledge about different concepts. I love to explore things in my thoughts in order to understand them better. I’d say that’s one of my favourite qualities about myself.

Favourite summer memory:

I just had a thought about this the other day to be prepared to answer since it’s the classic question to be asked whenever seeing someone after the summer, haha. One really good memory is an evening on which I cycled to the sea along a new route to meet at the harbour with a good friend of mine. It was lovely to see the familiar city from a new perspective. I had some chocolate truffles with me that I had brought with me from my trip to Italy, and she had brought very sweet fresh plums since it was right at the start of plum season. We talked and talked and I got a lot of new ideas. It was a very beautiful evening.

What is your relationship to drawing?

It something that I’ve always been doing. Sometimes more, sometimes less. These days I feel like whenever I haven’t been drawing for a while I start to feel a bit lost. It’s an important way for me to express things, to think and to feel feelings. To me drawing is for a big part about trying to organize and express feelings you couldn’t do with words. If writing to me is to think with care and thought, drawing would be feeling feelings with care and thought. 

 

 A book that everyone should read:

I recently read H is for hawk by Helen Macdonald, which I really think is worth a read for most of us. It explores the relationship between us humans and the nature in a really captivating way. It’s all about how we people tend to value the nature through ourselves. We either aim to benefit from it in one way or the other, or we give it value because we see it as something beautiful. The book is a good reminder for us to see the nature as something worthy and valuable on its own. It’s its own world and beautiful even without our valuation for it.


An inspiration of yours:

My friends inspire me a lot. I’m also inspired by things and places, and the thoughts that people bind to them. I love the idea of how memories, that in a way are so fragile to be forgotten, can be kept alive in small concrete pieces.

 

What is your spirit animal?

Ohh that’s a difficult one, but I think I’m going with hedgehog!

Be sure to have a look at more of Anna’s art on her Instagram-accounts
@annamakijy and @artisteanna

 

 

meet the illustrator and co-founder: emma ranne

writer: Inlace Media
picture: Madara Freimane

 emma ranne - inlace media

September is here and it’s time to introduce you to this month’s illustrator, who also happens to be one of the co-founders of Inlace Media, our lovely Emma Ranne. Emma is studying marketing at Hanken School of Economics and just spent the summer doing an internship in London. We like to call Emma the ”brain” behind our projects because of her education but the truth is she’s a multitalent within many fields of creativity. So let’s get to know her a little better.

Hi Emma, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m Emma, 22, born in Helsinki and raised in Holland where we lived with my family for most of my childhood. I’ve been living in Helsinki for the past coupe of years where I study marketing at Hanken. Helsinki is one of my favourite cities in the world, but I’m a girl who loves to adventure around. I’ve always been drawn to creative work and wish I could do something in that field in the future. I love collecting details in photographs, writing articles and coming up with new vegan flavor combos in my tiny kitchen.

You were interning at What’s your Legacy this summer in London and we want to hear all about it! What were the highlights of your time there?

This summer has  been a dream. I had been following all the cool things that the girls of What's Your Legacy do for about a year and it was pretty amazing to get to hop on the team and hustle along with them. I learned so much, met so many amazing people, and found really lovely friends while here. I know it's such a cliche to say but this has been the best summer for me up until now. I'm going home filled with new inspiration and so many new skills. 


Top 3 London restaurants?

Oooh this is a tricky one, there's a whole bunch of nice food spots here! Even though I've been on the mission to try out as many as possible this summer I still feel like there's more and more to discover... but here's my top 3

  1. Mother Works - Hackney Wick
    All vegan, all super yummy and also love the location (Hackney Wick would be one of my favourite areas here together with London Field's and Regent's Canal). Try their acai bowl (the best in town and I've tried many) or their lunch bowl of the day.

  2. Bonnington Cafe - Vauxhall
    A very cute and home-like co-operatively run vegetarian and vegan restaurant. There's basically a different volunteering chef cooking every night and you never know what's on the menu beforehand. You just send the chef a message to book your table and show up hungry.

  3. Farmacy - Notting Hill
    A bit pricier, but oh my their food. A menu filled with amazing super creative veggie creations. I was so impressed by their food that I had to buy their recipe book to bring some inspiration to my kitchen at home.


What’s inspiring you this autumn? 

Helsinki and its people, Inlace and uni. I'm very excited about being back home for a little and working on some secret projects that have started to brew this summer while learning and hustling in London. I'm excited to see where we can take Inlace next with Ona and Cata. Also I'm looking forward to round up my bachelor's at uni this year. No clue what next year will be about, but I quite love the feeling of the unknown future and the freedom about it.

 

what would your perfect sunday look like?

I'd wake up semi early, go for a little run or long sunday walk along the coast (with my dog, which I would obviously have on a perfect Sunday). After being out in the sun seeing the city wake up slowly I'd take the time to cook yummy breakfast while listening to some happy tunes and dancing in the kitchen. In the afternoon I'd cycle to the farmer's markets to pick up veggies and fruits for the week. In the evening I'd have friends coming over for dinner. A cozy candle lit gathering in my tiny urban veggie garden... hmmm I don't know in which city this would be possible but I'm determined to find the perfect place.

 

Favorite tunes at the moment?

This week's favourite has been Makeba by Jain. Also really looking forward to the new album of Say Lou Lou!

steamy lion

WRITER: Ona rihu
PICTURE: Ona rihu 

Steamy August is filling us with literal steam, while Finland is turning into a jungle with these weathers. For our co-creator Catarina Böckerman this feels home, like she’s back at the jungle where her heart calls her over and over again. This chica is filled with lust over exploring this planet. Her passion drips over her when she talks about all things her heart is filled with. Let me introduce you to our girl behind the magic August lion. 

What makes your heart beat like a drum? 

To be able to call this earth my home, our home. To share and inspire others. Remind people of their divinity, their powers, their magic. That gives me shivers, to remind, cause we all got the jazz in us, if we just recognise and honour it. 

 

Your favourite unwinding afternoon? 

Ohh, day dreaming with my soul tribe. To just let our hearts speak out, speak loud, be heard. To watch the stars, and wonder how magical this all is, how we are literally made out of stardust and to remind myself of that, always calms me down. Living from that space, well that space has only love and trust with zero stress involved. 

 

Best thing of being a female? 

All! I love females, love being one. Females are just pure magic. We are a true reflection of the mother earth. Of her cycles, from winter to autumn to spring and to summer. When we remember that we are cyclic -that this earth is cyclic, and truly live honouring all the different cycles, well that’s fairy land right there. 

 

A little bird told me that you’re yoga teacher now, how that happened? 

Well, Bali called me again. This time for the teacher training. I felt like that’s what my heart wished for. So after crazy money saving hassle in Finland, I was back at the jungle. That month was just pure bliss, with so much emotions running though my veins, so much depth and remembrance occurred to me. Best experience of my life.

How you honour the wild in you? 

Well my dear, this one has been on my active challenge list lately. As I let go of binge alcohol drinking and the parties I used to went to, I thought that would do it, that the wild side in me would just calm down. Well that wasn’t as simple as I thought it to be. We all have different levels of wilderness is us. Back in the days, partying was the way I let her loose, crazy and wild. But ever since I let that go, the wild in me has been craving for tension, for action, for wilderness. I understood how important it is to honour all the sides in us. So dancing has become one of my priorities. I also let the wild loose with days where I have no plans, I just let her take me to places. I’m still figuring this one out thought, but lately she’s been taken care of, the wild in me. With singing, dancing, wine classes, maca, soulful humans, soulful music, days without rules. I can feel her presence again. 

 

Soundtrack of your life right now?

Sweet time, Raveena <3

 

Soul blowing book? 

Wild power, all things about that remembrance and honour of the cyclic world. All from managing your energy accordingly to learning to chart your menstruation cycle. My holy book right now. 

 

Much sparkles and love to your way, Catarina.

meet the illustrator - Maybelle Jones-Nettey

WRITER: CATARINA BÖCKERMAN
ILLUSTRATION: Maybelle

 

I sat down with this absolutely gorgeous crab lady, who illustrated July's illustration for us. Her presence is strong and grounding. You can feel her passion to make this world more authentic and community centered. Let me share our afternoon talk from spirit animals to creating a more conscious party scene in Helsinki. 

To change and shake the idea of perfectionism. The stretch marks and curvy figure were all very much intentional. It’s time to embrace all of us. It’s time to stop idealising perfectionism. 

3 favourite feelings?

Trust, to be trusted by others. 

Community, to be part of a loving and supporting community. 

Taking care of others. 

Your favourite quality of yourself? 

Persistence, in moderation though. I always aim to be persistent with my goals and in life in general, but I'm a huge advocate for knowing when to stop. We can easily  be so obsessed over the destination that the journey totally loses its meaning. I would say it's Sisu with enjoyment and common sense. To enjoy  being in the moment.

Childhood dream?

Oh, Diana Ross. She was my idol, probably still is. I used to dance to her music all day. She is just magical. 

Spirit animal?

Whales. Just think about it, sing, swim and eat all day long. That's a good life over there. They are also very communal mammals and community is so much, so important. 

Favourite Summer day? 

In order to truly get the most of the moment, it would have to be spontaneous. A day at sea, would deffinately  warm my heart and relax me. 

Conscious actions you wish all of us would take?

To question it all. To question the social norm and ask what do you want? Are you  speed racing through life, being someone that someone told you to be. Give yourself time.

Safe space dancing spot? Share a little bit about that, 

We  wanted a safe, community kinda space where everyone would have the freedom to be as they are without unwanted attention or harassment. We also wanted to encourage and support emerging artists and increase diversity  in the local party scene.  We created MYÖS to experiment in collective ways  of organising events and workshops. Each one teach one -for us by us. Our second event is actually on Wednesday, come join us. 

 

women's bank

writer:ona Rihu
illustration: Saara helkala

 "Empower a Woman"

"Empower a Woman"

Women's bank is a Finnish volunteer network that strives to provide women in developing countries a chance to become an entreprenour and build a career. 

"Women in Finland are known for their independence and equal status with men. Finnish women were the first in Europe to win the right to vote and the first in the world to be able to stand as candidates at elections. The country’s municipal day care system has since the 1970’s enabled women to work and have careers. Now Finnish women want to give other women a chance to succeed."

In just over ten years, Women’s Bank’s volunteer network has fundraised well over 10 million euros for women in developing countries.
This money is used for

  • financing projects that improve women's income, productive skills and rights. 
  • Microloans, upgrading skills and other activities in support of women’s entrepreneurial activity
  • Other new and innovative pilot projects focused on enterprises for women.

These donations can improve women's lives drastically. To give these women tools to build a career, to become self-employed and more independent is the best gift you can give. The opportunities this program can give to these women can change their lives for good. And for these amounts that we can so easily spend on a day out on the town, you can make a huge difference in someones life. 

I am guilty of getting caught up my everyday life and drowning myself mundane thoughts about what to have for dinner etc. And that's okay, sometimes your heart needs to rest for a while. But it's also important to remember the magnitude of everything around us. There is a lot of injustice in the world, and there is something that we can do about it. Even if it's a small thing to you, it can mean a lot to someone. Let's not close our eyes. 

So, what can I do?

  • With 15 euros you can pay for daycare so that mothers will be able to attend training.
  • With 30 euros you can enable a woman to receive vocational training, in other words get a profession.
  • With 50 euros you can support the business training of a woman.
  • With 75 euros you can gift a microloan to start a business

Read more about Women's Bank and their mission here

 

 

peachy hues and avocado seeds

writer: Emma Ranne
Pictures:  Manuel Zúñiga & Sydney Krantz 

 Fragmentario SS18

Creating vibrant shades by extracting colours from vegetables, flowers and seeds sounds almost like magic to us - 

Often when speaking of natural dyes it's the vague yellowy brown colours we start to think of. Nothing too exiting or a tad too ''hippie''. But once you start to look into it, you soon learn that the world of natural colours is as wide as your imagination runs, and definitely fun to explore!

We've had our eyes on Fragmentario for the past couple of months, which has been inspiring us with its beautiful colour schemes using natural dyeing. Fragmentario is a Brooklyn based creative studio where beautiful designs are created with textiles and colours extracted from plants ranging from flowers and spices to seeds and vegetables. It inspires us to look at natural dyes in a new light. Would you have guessed that the beautiful peachy hues of the SS18 collection are created using avocado seeds? 

We had a chat with the lovely founder María Elena Pombo and were curious to learn more about natural dyes and what it is that inspires her work.


 

Hi Maria, can you please introduce yourself to our readers

My name is María Elena, but most people call me Mari. Under the moniker Fragmentario, I use plants to color fabric and create independent and commissioned work. I also teach natural dye workshops in my Brooklyn studio and elsewhere.

I am originally from Venezuela and moved to New York to study fashion design at Parsons. Afterwards I worked for some time as a designer for different companies here until I started working on Fragmentario full-time.

 

What sparked your inspiration to establish Fragmentario?

I come from a fashion background so my work will always relate to that industry in some way, but my most important inspirations for this project were found outside of fashion. Art book fairs, independent film festivals and the slow food movement gave me the perspective that questioning ideas that are normalized in society and proposing new systems can be very powerful, fulfilling and fun.

 Fragmentario dress SS18

Can you tell us more about natural dyes?

Using plants and other natural sources for color was once a widespread practice across all cultures. When people think of natural dyes today, they think mostly of Mexico, Peru and India, but everywhere in the world, humans were making colors with what was available in their environments. The practice was also not limited to fiber, even cave paintings were done with a mix of animal, vegetable and mineral sources.

With the accidental invention of faster-acting and more consistent synthetic dyes in 1856, natural dyes were quickly replaced. In recent years, natural dyes have had a slow resurgence. Beyond the environmental appeal, they provide a greater connection between process and product and a way to connect with civilization's history.

 

How did you come up with the idea of using avocado seeds for dyeing?

After I graduated from Parsons I was helping my husband make bags inspired by vintage workwear. He didn’t like the colors we found when looking for organic cotton and proposed that we dye the fabric ourselves with nuts and onions. I was curious mostly theoretically. I imagined dull colors and a very complicated process.

He then showed me the work of Maura Grace Ambrose, a natural dyer in Austin who makes amazing quilts as Folk Fibers. With her work, I understood that the colors made with natural-dyes were very vibrant. I was most surprised by the color drawn from avocado seeds. The avocado is such an integral part of the culture in Venezuela where I grew up, yet I had never heard of its color properties.

 

 Fragmentario Process Shot - Sydney Krantz

Fragmentario Process Shot - Sydney Krantz

We love the look of your first clothing collection!
What inspired you for when it comes for the design?

Thank you! As I said before, avocados were an important aspect of my upbringing, we even had an avocado tree at home, so using them brings good associations. I have also become very obsessed with their current ubiquity and the effects (good, bad and ugly) of their popularity. I wanted to explore working with them and using apparel as a medium to start conversations about waste, cultural heritage and time.

The silk and linen fabrics used are very luxurious but were found via deadstock fabric providers, so just as the avocado seeds, they are having a second life with this collection. Similarly, the design details share with the natural-dyeing process, a resistance to today’s obsession with speed. Using buttons, instead of zippers, and silk and cotton thread instead of polyester, it encourages both the maker and the wearer to slow down. It was important for me that these garments were recognizable as objects but that their time and context would be more challenging to identify. 

 

How do you try to be sustainable?

Sustainability means something different for many people. For this reason, while I try to be as conscious as possible, I don’t talk about my work as “sustainable” but focus instead on the specific measures I take: using food waste and deadstock fabrics, minimizing my water usage, working with a local factory that treats its employees with dignity… To me, focusing on the concrete actions I take, instead of vague notions, feels more honest and encouraging.

Finally, while there are serious reasons behind the way I work, there can be a lot of humor behind it. Stalking friends so they save their “trash” for me, visiting my factory when it’s one of their employee’s birthday and staying with them for cake, getting a good work-out with the physicality involved in natural dyes. I enjoy the process and emphasize this when talking about my work, as I feel this will be more sustainable in the long run.

 

 Fragmentario - SS18 Ahuacatl

What would a perfect workday look like for you?

It would start with an early run and then being able to work with my hands and away from the computer and administrative tasks. Very simple but it rarely happens

 

what are three of those slightly random things that give you joy?

  1. Daylight.
  2. Being near the water.
  3. Running.

 

If we were visiting New York what three places would we definitively have to check out?

I think the magic of New York lies more in the experiences than on specific places. I am also a big fan of the East River, so anything that involves it I think is always a good idea.

First, you could take the Roosevelt Island Tramway from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island. It’s a commuter tramway so you can use the Metrocard (which is less than $3) and get some of the most unique views of the city.

You could then walk around Roosevelt Island itself. It has some of the most interesting architecture in New York City and plenty of secret little spots. We took the collection’s photos there for this reason! I run there often and I still discover new things every time I go.

Finally, you could take the ferry towards Wall Street for more amazing views and to experience being in the East River. You could stop your journey there, or continue to Rockaway Beach for a day at the beach!

 

YOU can shop the new Fragmentario's collection here, check out the stunning lookbook here and learn about the inspiration behind this collection here.

Photographer: Manuel Zúñiga , Model: Julia Fajardo, Stylist: David Gomez-Villamediana, Makeup Artist: Ayaka Nihei, Casting: Mitch Macken

 

 

 

vedic astrology one on one

WRITER: CATARINA BÖCKERMAN
Illustration: valentina

(cosmic)

 Vedic astrology.&nbsp;Plan your future according to the stars. www.farfaraway.co

My first experiences with Vedic astrology were in the jungle somewhere near Ubud, Bali. This man only knew my name and birth details, but told me with specific details about who I was for a straight hour. I felt calmness and shock through the insights I had just received from this man. There was something special about hearing my story, past and future, through someone else’s words. After I landed back home to Finland from my adventures, I craved astrological support and a website called Farfaraway popped in front of me. This guy was also based in Bali, which felt like a sign, after all it was a place where I had experienced t a fair amount of my adventures. I signed up for his online reading and got even deeper within my astrological journey. He has been supporting me with his knowledge ever since I came back to Finland and didn’t have a clue what’s next. 6 months passed and Bali called me back and obviously I had to meet the person who’d been supporting me from the other side of the world. Let me introduce you to Gaurav, the guy who reads the stars for your personal development. 

 

So what’s the purpose of Vedic astrology?

To help you in your life. It shows what phases you’re in, so you can play your cards right at the right time.

 

How did you end up doing Vedic astrology?

Through my own hard times back in 2007. I understood that astrology could solve life problems and support me with my life decisions. One big key while I was learning more and more about astrology, was to not engage to all that that’s out there, but rather to create my own personal understanding of it. After gaining some confidence with my practise I tested my skills to real people, to test that what I was doing actually worked and wasn’t just a theory. 

 

So planets in space, what do they have to do with our personal lives?

When we’re born we are charged with specific energies, according to how are planets assembled at the specific time and place we’re born into. This makes all of us uniquely charged individuals with unique life purposes. In astrology this is called your birth chart.

 

So what’s the difference between Vedic and the most common western astrology? 

The biggest different is that they look at the zodiacs differently, Vedic is based on the moon and the western is based on the sun. The basic principles are the same, but the mathematics differ. They say the Vedic has been around for thousands of years, compared to western. But there’s a place for all, and it’s your personal choice which one suits you the most, or rather which one serves you the most. 

 

There’s these houses in astrology, what do they mean? 

The houses in Vedic astrology represents the different areas in our lives. When we understand in what planets rules our houses, we can use this knowledge as a map to help us with our lives and take off the burden we might carry with us. When we know it’s not the best time for a certain thing we know to focus on something else and this way use our energies wisely. We can't change the time and how things are folding, but we can take off the stress and stop over complicating things. 

 

The Houses :

1st personality & physical body

2nd finances & talents

3rd communications, learning & siblings 

4th home, mother, emotions & habits

5th creativity, pleasure seeking & art

6th daily work & health and wellness 

7th relationships of all kinds 

8th transformation aka death, rebirth & sexuality

9th travel & philosophy 

10th career & father

11th friends & humanitarian interests 

12th healing, spiritual development & the subconscious 

 

How do you use astrology?

I use astrology to see if it’s good time and place for me to do things. For example I plan my business through using astrology, to know when it’s the right time for specific things. This way I can be sure that I’m supported and not wasting my energies. Basically I use astrology to get support with the most critical choices you have in my life. 

 

Does my chart change when I travel?

When we relocate ourselves, the planets changes their places in our houses. Which basically means that if in Helsinki our marriage house is having hard times, when we relocate ourselves the energies in our chart changes and makes our love life easier. It’s always about looking what’s your objectives. If you’re focused on making money, it’s about looking in where there’s gonna be supportive energies to have positive cash flow. 

 

What’s the first step towards getting into Vedic astrology?

  1. Know your birth details, where and when were you born. Accurate time with city and country. 
  2. Make some research by yourself, to find out if it makes sense to you. Check out your moon, sun and arising sign, and see it that makes sense to you. When these 3 are combined together, it tells the person’s personality. 
  3. You can google by yourself to create an astrological map for you or get a reading online or offline.
  4. When doing your research it is important to understand that the perspective is everything, yours and the one who is providing information to you. Cause there’s always the good and bad in life, and in what you will sit on will be determined by what you focus on. So make sure that the person has a positive perspective behind their knowledge and that you’re positive with yourself as well. 

 

Do you use astrology everyday?

No I don’t use astrology every single day. I just need to see the picture of my life for the next 2 to 5 months and plan my life accordingly. This makes it easier to focus to the bigger picture and stay away of the superstitions of daily astrological movements, like how planets are assembled every single day. I only see which planets are effecting my life to most and make my decisions accordingly. 

 

Planets,

Saturn is teaching us some life lessons 

Jupiter is educating ourselves 

Sun is showing some limelight to us 

Mercury is helping us to show better communication 

Moon is our feelings

Venus is our sensuality

Mars shows us our courage

Uranus are responsible for the breakthroughs 

Neptune is our intuition 

Pluto is the change 

 

APPLY  THE LITTlE THAT YOU HAVE LEARNED, RATHER THAN LEARN TONS AND APPLY LITTLE.  It’s important to combine your own natural thinking process to what you’ve learned, rather than fill your mind with someone else’s thinking process. Using your natural common sense is a big key of using astrology as your map in life. To hear what your common sense, aka intuition, is telling you, practice meditation daily. If you have no control over your mind and you’re letting your mind wander and you’re really restless then your common sense can betray you. Bring more peace and quiet in to your life. 

 

Dive a little deeper,

www.the-numinous.com

www.cafeastrology.com 

www.saravali.de/articles/astakoota.html (relationship astrology - vedic)

 

Personal readings, 

www.astro.cafeastrology.com

www.astro.com 

www.farfaraway.co

meet the illustrator: gemma driessen

writer: emma ranne
picture: emma ranne

 Gemma Driessen - www.gemmadriessen.com

I'm super excited to introduce you to my lovely childhood friend Gemma. We go way way back and used to race on our bicycles around the Dutch medows while referring to ourselves as Gem'n'Em (yes, that was our team name).

These days Gemma is a super talented illustrator, who studies industrial design in Holland and who's always ready for a little adventure.  Without further talking, let's get you more familiar with this girl behind June's calendar illustration.
 

Hi Gemma, can you please shortly introduce yourself to our readers?

Alright! I am a 21-year-old integrated product design student. I love making things, especially cute things: I draw, paint and make ceramics. I am passionate about sustainability, and I want to work in that field after graduating. I am a vegan and live with my boyfriend in the Netherlands. I love bouldering (climbing) and I am super proud of my arm muscles  haha, as a person who always hated sports being strong is very new to me. 

 

We know you draw a lot. Can you tell us the story of how you got into drawing?

As a kid, I always drew a lot, but I got more serious about it during my first year at uni. I started a daily drawing project, I had a sketchbook and my goal was to fill one page every day until it was full. The goal was to fill the page and it did not matter if it was pretty, or if I spent a lot of time on it, as long as there was something on the page. I loved the process and my progress during this book so much that I started another one after that, and another one, and another one. That was the start of me drawing (almost) every day for the last 3 years.

 

Usually, one of the hardest things when it comes to anything creative is to find time and inspiration. What would your tips be for overcoming this?

We can't change how much time we have in a day, so if you want to spend more time drawing you should do less of something else, this could be watching less Netflix or scrolling social media less. But maybe you don't have any time you can easily make free in that case you could try to combine it with another activity, like drawing during lunch break or train commute. But sometimes it is also okay to accept that it is just not a priority for you, so you should not feel too bad about it. 

If you really want to do it regularly I suggest picking a time or couple it to another activity you do every day. For example, you always draw after dinner, during lunch, when you get home etc.  I used to do it before going to bed as a nice way to unwind. Maybe it works best for you to find accountability, by post every day on Instagram for example. Also make it as easy as possible to start, have your materials accessible, have them at a place you often are so you don't have to put more effort than necessary in getting started. 

when it comes to inspiration, I'd say just draw something, don't go scrolling on your phone for inspiration that is a waste of precious drawing time. As Andy J Pizza says: "Creativity is like Breastfeeding: the More Your Pump, the More it Flows!" haha. I often get inspired by things I drew before. Combine some things you like drawing or enjoy in real life. Draw about things that make you feel good whether that is cats, tea, yoga or feminism. And don't be too harsh on yourself, if you don't like the drawing you made, just make a better one tomorrow. And never compare your work to others.

 

What important lessons have you learned during the past 12 months?

I thought hard about it and these two came to mind:

  1. You can make/do almost anything you want, just google or find a video explaining how it is done. I learned to cut my own hair, make a puppet for stop-motion animation, replace a part of my shower that was broken and so much more just by watching 10-minute videos. 
  2. You have time, I listened to an interview with Lisa Congdon recently about her new book about older women starting new careers and becoming successful. We still have so much time ahead of us, the path you choose now does not have to be the path you will be on for the rest of your life, so don't worry too much about whether you are making the right decisions.

 

And what is inspiring you lately?

Lately, I have been super into pottery, I make planters, cups and vases with happy faces on them and I love it so much! I have been putting them for sale in my Etsy shop and I actually sold one!,  to someone in the UK and I am really happy about it!

 

What would your theme song be?

I have been enjoying old songs lately, it's really hard to choose but if I have to pick something maybe Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys?

 

And my favourite question to ask people: what are 3 of those little random things that give you joy?

  • Sunshine
  • the smell of cinnamon
  • the leaves on the trees (I missed them so much in winter)

 

Check out Gemma's Instagram and website to see her work. Her drawings are the cutest! Also there are still a few ceramic pots left in her Etsy shop, shop one while you can.

sustainable careers - hanna-amanda

Writer: Ona Rihu
Picture: Hanna-Amanda pant

Hanna-Amanda Guess

Founder of Savant Magazine, contributor at Mochni and Luxiders Magazine, and the mindful PR Agency JH Communications, Hanna-Amanada Pant has truly managed to build herself a career in the sustainable field. As a fashion journalist based in Paris, her days are spent sipping foamy cappuccinos at pavement terraces and writing about all things sustainability related. But how did she get to where she is now? We had the honor of asking Hanna-Amanda for her best tips and tricks for building your career sustainably. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, who is Hanna-Amanda? 

Since I was about 15 years old, I was visualising answering this question one day with one simple word, 'a writer'. However, 10 years later, and it is never as easy as one word! We all know that life leads us to unexpected roads sometimes. Today, I would describe myself as a curious sustainability journalist who is dedicated to changing the fashion industry for the better, and has an immense passion for activism work, as well as seeking unusual stories and doing a lot of social good. To get to the fun part, above all, travelling is definitely one of my biggest passions. My goal is to visit every single corner of this planet one day. 

 

You are the founder of Savant magazine. Can you tell us about your inspiration behind the magazine and the story of how it came to life? 

If there's this one question I always get asked - you definitely nailed it. 

I actually founded the magazine back in 2015 as a final major project at university. I studied Fashion Journalism in the outskirts of London at UCA that stands for University for the Creative Arts. When I was researching ideas for my final major project, well, first of all, I am a slow living advocate myself and I was definitely following some cult magazines, such as Kinfolk and Cereal. Yet at the time, I thought they're not offering as much thrill for us, fashion lovers. On the other hand, I suddenly came across a lot of inspirational fashion brands that had taken a slower approach and suddenly moving away from fast fashion, and asking a lot of questions, such as 'Who made my clothes?', 'Are the garment workers paid fair wages?', 'How can we revolutionise the entire fashion industry?' etc. So it was me wanting to publicise and showcase these unique and innovative brands, and for this new wave of brands doing more social good to have their place in the media. I really wanted to create a place for beautiful slow fashion. And I was sure I couldn't have been the only one who is a little more curious about contemporary sustainable fashion, and the future of fashion industry as we know it. 

Do you have any tips for someone who is interested in building a career in a creative sustainable way? 

I would say, stay true to yourself and find your own voice and market niche as a creator. In such a competitive and tough industry, you just have to bring your unique selling point to the market, and fight for being heard. After you've figured these most important things out, it's easier to stand out, as knowing exactly these very values that you stand for can help to avoid copying other creatives out there in the marketplace. And I do believe that everything that's authentic and honest will stand out and will find a way to reach the desired audiences. Following that gut instinct and remaining true to my personal taste - that has definitely been a motto of mine since I started out. 

Where do you find inspiration? 

Luckily, being self-employed has given me the most rewarding opportunity to travel the world and never fully be attached to a single location, or flat contract. I feel free when I travel and experience the different cultures and traditions all over the globe. It truly feeds my soul. I also think that the time when you're not seeking inspiration in particular is when you find it everywhere, like when flicking through books or rewinding your all-time favourite movies all over again. My latest source of inspiration, however, has been men's tailoring industry as my boyfriend works in the field!


and lastly,What advice would you give to a 18-year-old you?

This would be a bit contradictory, as I have always known exactly what I want and somehow found my way to having it. Despite this, I would say to myself: "Having it all is definitely a myth. You can never have it ALL all at once, but you can work your way to the top and achieve everything step-by-step, whether through hard work or luck or knowing the right people. And this is the only way of doing it.". There was a time in my life when I was trying to speed up every single process I was involved with and really push myself to the final limit to be what our society would call 'young and successful'. This is needless to mention my health and mental wellbeing suffered so terribly, but perhaps now I can look back and say I achieved my goal only in the eyes of other people. So, I would also tell myself to let go and stop worrying so much about the future and the 'what-if's and the failures, as it's all part of our journey as humans. And failures are often the most important bit. I would tell myself to really enjoy the ride, rather than spend some precious days and nights worrying that life hasn't happened according to a strict, pre-arranged plan... 

Thank you for sharing, we hope this will inspire people to pursue their dream careers in the sustainable field. It was a pleasure hearing from you!

ps. You can follow Savant Magazine on instagram here

And Hanna-Amanda here

 

 

kuu project
menstrual cups

Formative research shows that girls in Kenya face monthly challenges, with 65% of women and girls being unable to afford sanitary pads - the statistics show us an uncomfortable truth about how something that we are often so used to can be a huge issue somewhere else. The problem is much wider than only financial and causes larger challenges in the community. For example having a period can mean not being able to go to school for some girls, due to lack of restrooms or even just clean water. 

In Nairobi a lot of good work around this subject is done by the locals as well as NGOs. The idea is to raise awareness and so encourage people to talk more about periods which can still be a taboo in some communities. Kuu Project, created by our friends Emilia Laine, Valpuri Alanen, Anna Sarmanto, Mariana Mustelin and Tara Junker, is a tiny intivative that wants to help along with all the good work that has been done, especially by the locals. The girls were inspired by all the good work that has been done and wanted to do something too, if even just a bit. The bigger projects that also inspired Kuu Project have been striving to provide a long-term ecologically sustainable alternative to menstrual hygiene products for low income students in Nairobi. One way to this could be the menstrual cup.

Kuu project has already achieved its minimum goal of providing 100 menstrual cups to the community, but there is still time to support the cause so even more girls can be helped. Lunette has been closely helping with this project, which as a company puts a lot of effort in trying to make sure that girls and women everywhere have the availability to a healthy, sustainable and affordable option for period products. 

 

so Why menstrual cups?

  • Menstrual cups are the most ecologically sustainable alternative when it comes to period products. 
  • It's economically smart. By providing these girls with a menstrual cup, they are covered for the next 10 years.
  • Besides being economically and sustainably the smartest alternative around, menstrual cups are also the healthiest choice for when it comes to intime hygiene and period products. Lunette's high quality cups use medical grade FDA approved silicone and colorants and have gone through strict quality control. 

    (There is heaps of other good reasons. Check out Lunette for more info)

 

long term solutions through involving the local community

The projects are more about achieving long term solutions instead of just helping with the physical menstrual cups. Here the locals play an important role. Also with Kuu Project the local university has been closely involved, and the idea is to give the local students tools with which they can further improve the situation in their home communities. 

The goal is that the students in Nairobi will experience the menstrual cup as a concept that they would like to encourage their own social networks to use. If a university student is handed a menstrual cup and they see it as a solution to their problem, it's highly likely that they will then recommend it to their friends and maybe younger family memebers etc. The outcome of this will be monitored through questionnairies, which helps with further development of similar projects. 
 

How can i help?

  • Kuu Project has a fundraising page which you can still support until 11.6.2018
  • If you're in Helsinki on the 9th of June and love brunch you might want to meet us here .  Bring a friend and have an inspiring morning that involves delicious food and brewing new ideas. 


Read more:

 

Sustainable investing

WRITER: CATARINA BÖCKERMAN
Illustration: Emilia

(MONEY TALK)

sustainable investing

invest ɪnˈvɛst/

verb

-provide or endow someone or something with (a particular quality or attribute).

Everything is energy. You, me & all that we are surrounded with is purely energy. This energy is our trading mechanism. Surely we can buy with money, but have you ever wondered how you use your energy, to what you use it for? 

 

We invest all the time, and our energy is our currency. All that we choose to consume, is either conscious or unconscious investing. What we choose to listen to, watch to, eat etc. All of our daily actions echoe to eternity. All of these actions are investments to yourself and to this earth. You can either gain or lose from these daily investments you make. 

 

When I started to view my reality like this, I started to pay close attention to how I was using my energy aka, what I was investing my energy in.  All that you consume you become.

 

So now when that’s out there, let’s talk about sustainable investing. Now we could call this conscious investing with a good heart. There’s different scales of this type of investing, but they all are as important. The most obvious investing we do with this energy we call money, is what we choose to buy. Everything from clothes to food and from drinks to experiences, we trade with energy carried through money. This energy can be either uplifting, healing and expanding when it comes to ourselves and this planet. Or it can be harming and depleting. 

 

You choose, you’re the investor and your currency is energy.  

 

I got to interview this conscious being, who knows all about sustainable investing. So let's dive into some conscious, expanding, uplifting and healing perspectives on investing. Let me introduce you Peter Lindström, Sustainable finance specialist:

 

What got you to choose this path? 

 I had been working in the finance field in London and New York for a long time. During the financial crisis from 2008 onwards, I came across the growing field of sustainable investing and realized that the financial markets could be looked at from a different perspective – one that takes the globe and its people into the mix as well instead of only financial ratios. I also felt this urge for finding a purpose to what I’m working towards, and a way to impact the future via finance. I took a needed break, and after the break I was ready to move my career towards the direction of sustainability and add these non-financial, softer, values into the mix. My goal has ever since been to bring more equality to this world, through finance. 

 

Describe sustainable investing in your own words. 

The field of sustainable investing really started from simply taking out companies from the portfolios that were not aligned with the investor’s values – for example tobacco or fossil-fuel companies. The industry has evolved a lot since, and for example, sustainable investing in general can be used to manage and to look at risk factors. This could be for example: 

  1. Operational risk, with the risk of strikes at your business when not taking care of the health of your employees or having your company in a place that could be affected directly by climate change.
  2. Reputational risk, which relates to the massive negative effect of a scandal such as having child labor in your workforce could have. These days this is reflected directly through people's values. More and more people are aware and want to be aware of what is going on behind the closed doors of companies and demand transparency on all fronts of the company. This puts pressure on companies to be more open. Points to social media with this one, and good on you conscious beings for wanting to know and hear more from the brands you consume!

In sustainable investing we are aiming to impact the world positively. The main two sustainable investing sides and terms you may come across when you familiarize yourself with the sector are:

1. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing: which refers to the three central pillars in measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of an investment in a company or business. ESG has been around already for more than 20 years and many funds already exist – ask your bank about them!

 

2. Impact investing: which is about more than gaining money and intentionally looking for a positive measurable impact as well. It has grown rapidly over the last 10 years and will keep doing so in the future offering more options for everyone to take part in these exciting innovations. For example, by investing in a renewable energy company bringing access to electricity into places that didn’t have it before, and to other projects that increase the quality of life and standard of living all around the world creating more opportunities for growth. You should have a look at one of the links related to the Sustainable Development Goals to see other potential ways to provide impact through your actions and investments.

 

Why should we invest sustainably?

Sustainable investing is becoming more and more known and is entering the mainstream. Choosing to be conscious will not only show your respect to the earth but you can also gain wealth out of it. Finland has shown its leadership here, for example with its efforts towards creating a more circular economy! This will not only create earth supporting actions but will also save money, which will result in gains for the conscious investor aka you.

 

How could someone new to this kind of investing (or investing in general), start investing their money this way?

  1. First start to pay attention where your money flows. What you are buying and how are these companies and products influencing to the world? Through your everyday actions, you can make a huge impact. So choosing to consume from sustainable companies is key. Their actions could be anywhere from being involved in creating a circular economy, putting effort in their social responsibility, caring for the earth through e.g. using organic materials that are harvested with care.
  2. Also a good starting point is for you to check your retirement funds. An increasing number of countries give you the opportunity to have a say when it comes to the investments your retirement fund is involved in. So to choose companies that are aligned with your values, could be something for you to consider. I said majority of the countries because Finland is not one of them right now. I would say that the pension funds are already taking sustainability into account and there is definitely great awareness in Finland, so it's not the biggest deal that we currently aren't involved with the active investing process of the retirement fund. But there's always room for growth. Maybe in the future Finland will take action like our neighbours in Sweden, and give people the choice to decide at least a part of their retirement funds more directly themselves. 
  3. The last investing tip for beginner investors is to take a closer look on the bank selection. Look at banks that are making an effort to be conscious and spread awareness on this topic. If your current bank isn't one them, it could be smart to switch to a more conscious bank and use their services for your first investments. So check out your banks awareness state, with your careful conscious eye, and do some investigation. 

 

Banks in Finland: 

Ålandsbanken+ their MasterCard is totally plastic free, made out of corn! 

Nordea

OP

 

For someone who would love to dig deeper, what’s your tips for them to expand their knowledge? Books, videos, websites etc. 

Quick reads:

Make money and do good

Sustainability increases investor-value

Eu parliament supports sustainable finances

Websites:

What world are you investing in?

Finsif

United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals

Watch: 

Global goals, to fill this earth with more love

Deep dive: 

Doughnut economics

 

Thank you for using your energy to expand your knowledge and <3

 

may by eliisa loukola

writer: emma ranne
picture: from eliisa

 Eliisa Loukola - Inlace Calendar 2018

Oh hello there May, we've been looking forward to you! It's time to introduce you to our lovely illustrator of the month, Eliisa Loukola, who drew the illustration for May in our calendar. Eliisa has always been drawing and is currently studying fine arts in the Netherlands. We wanted to hear more about what is bringing her inspiration these days and what her relationship is to drawing:

 

Hi lovely Eliisa! Can you please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a little bit about what you like to do

Hi! I am a 20 year-old Fine art student, currently studying in Academie Minerva in the Netherlands. I love all things art (surprise, surprise), like going to museums, galleries and finding out new techniques and crazy ideas to try. I enjoy going on long walks and discovering new places here around me and abroad. I love a nice talk over some coffee or a nice drink, haha. 

 

What is your relationship to drawing and how has it evolved over the years?

I honestly can't remember not drawing. I've gone to different art classes and schools since I was six, and it has always been an important part of my life. Although drawing is not my main technique anymore I still love it and try to draw everyday.

 

Where do you gain the inspiration for your art?

Everywhere! People, nature, old buildings, fleamarkets.. But what I find most interesting is the idea of feminity, what's considered "girly" (in a "good" or a "bad" way) and what's not. A bit weird maybe but it's an infinite source of inspiration!

 

What important lessons have you learned during the last 12 months?

Take a leap into the unknown! Last August I moved into the Netherlands without knowing anyone there, and it has brought me so many great new experiences and I've met wonderful new people! It really pays off to leave your comfort zone!

 

Name three of those slightly random things that give you joy:

  1. A good thunderstorm! The power of nature is incredible sometimes. 
  2. Seeing cats around town! Especially if I get one to come close enough to pet
  3. Getting a nice new canvas or fabric and starting fresh! 

 

What would your theme song be?

Youth by Daughter ! Found the song when I was fourteen and I keep coming back to it six years later.

 

P.s  Be sure to check Eliisa's art work, here.

iluut - fashion with a cause

writer: Ona Rihu
Pictures: Elina Cerell, Iluut

iluut pink dress sustainable fashion

iluut is a transparent, ethical and mother earth friendly brand built by three strong women with a shared passion - to make a change.  Every piece of fabric is traceable, each factory they use is carefully selected and the clothes are made to last. The materials are mostly biodegradable, natural fibres that feel amazing on the skin. 
When I got contacted by Elina Cerell, founder, to do a photoshoot for iluut I was beyond excited. To be able to work for a brand that stands behind the same values is truly a luxury. Playing dress-up with beautiful sustainable clothes is like a special kind of heaven for me! Anyhow, over lunch Elina told me a little about her personal background and motivation behind the brand. That conversation really inspired me and I just had to see those words in writing so they could inspire other people as well. So, here's the story:

Where did you come up with the idea of creating a brand of your own?

 As a young child my mom always dressed me up very beautifully and her jewellery box was my favourite thing to explore. She's an aesthetician and I become one too. In my early twenties I loved to read catwalk magazines and fashion blogs because they were so full of visual inspiration. But at the same time I saw statistics about the other side of fashion industry: how polluting it is and how many workers suffered the bad working conditions. I started wondering if there could be another way of doing fashion business.

I've been blessed with a great work place, the best marketing agency in Finland (yes, it has been dominated as the best agency already twice in a row). Working there has taught me a lot! One of the biggest lessons has been that anything is doable if you just work hard finding a way to do it. I started thinking about it more and more, whether I could find likeminded people to create something sustainable for the women living in Europe. I made my first YouTube video with the help of my mom and husband. Then I bought a little targeted marketing for the video in the most appreciated European fashion cities. I shortly explained my dream and asked if anyone would love to join the project. I was amazed when super talented print designer Silvia, who has been creating designs for example for Zara, Kenzo (just to name a few) sent me an e-mail. She told me she loved designing prints but would love to do it in a different way. We started having Skype calls and brainstorming about our future sustainable brand. At the same time I went through hundreds of fashion design portfolios and was so lucky to find a newly graduate Vj living in London. Her sense of minimalistic style caught my attention. After our first Skype call to my surprise she sent me a moodboard of how our brand could look like. I was so happy! I knew I found my team and after having a little workshop in Portugal, we decided we should really do this together.

Then I faced the biggest tragedy in my life. Our eldest daughter, Amanda (the name means "loved"), died totally unexpectedly just two days before the due date. I was thinking how on earth could I continue living with empty arms and huge sorrow. One week after her death I told the girls about what happened and said I would love to do something beautiful that would honor her memory. We decided together to start the company and donate 5 % of each product's margin to a school that would be named after Amanda. That way the children in some developing country would receive a concrete action of love and our daughter's memory could live on in a such a beautiful way.

This is how iluut started. :) iluut by the way comes from the Finish word "tuuli" which means "wind", the wind of change that we would love to see in the fashion industry and how we all consume. The warm summer wind is blowing and we just launched our summer dress collection which is in pre-sale, limited time only. It ends on 16.5. Thank you for modelling for this photoshoot, we really truly loved working with you Ona! Dear reader, she looks stunning on the pictures, doesn't she?

_IMG_0028_ret.jpg

 

can you tell me a little about the amanda school project?

Oh, sure I'd love to! <3 The school will be built in Ghana by the organisation called Pencils of Promise. I was so inspired by the book of the founder Adam Braun where he shared the story how the organisation was built! They work transparently and share quarterly reports how the donations are used. Also, I love how a professional photographer travels to their schools and shows in social media how the schools and students are doing.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to become a conscious entrepreneur?

Do it together with other likeminded people because together we are stronger. Even tough consumer barometers state that people want to consume ethically, it doesn't show in the actual buying behaviour completely yet. BUT it's increasing all the time which makes me super happy! So the more people involved, the more people will hear about conscious choice and step by step the effect increases. We learned this when we did our first crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo. Follow your vision and work hard for it.
 

sustainable fashion

 

 

And lastly, where do you find inspiration?

Such a great question! And my answer is pretty wide: EVERYWHERE!
My biggest inspiration at the moment is our one year old daughter. She is so full of joy and love! As a mother I would love to do my very best that we could live a better planet for her. Sounds a bit juicy, but it's so true. iluut is all about creating beautiful things consciously and that's something I would love to teach our daughter. I want to be a mom who leads by showing example. :)
It's funny but my brain seems to work in a visual mood all the time. Where ever I go, I always see the small beautiful things and often think how beautiful picture would be captured there and there... So it's super inspirational to walk in the nature, explore new cities, eat delicious ice cream, see people smiling, visit flower shops etc. And I know my team mates are exactly the same! It's so cool!
Also, last year I got to know an inspirational lady who quickly became a dear friend. Our children are the same age and as they take a nap, we take pictures. It's so great to design beautiful set ups and celebrate the beauty of life that way! Small beautiful things around us can create so much wellbeing for everyone and I think seeing people happy is worth of all effort.

thank you, elina <3
your story is an inspiration.
 

sustainability through innovation



writer: emma ranne
picture: from Annamaja

(keepjar)

 Annamaja Segtnan from Keepjar

Today we're introducing you to Annamaja Segtnan, the founder, CEO and Designer of KeepJar, who has been inspiring us with her drive for entrepeneurship in sustainable design.  KeepJar is a Swedish company that has introduced a new view on practical recycling through a simple but very clever innovation. The company strives to highlight new perspectives on what we could do instead of consuming only new materials. With her idea of turning empty baby food jars into glassbottles by designing a compatible lid to them, Annamaja has come up with a solution that safes energy and material. We love the inspiring yet simple idea! Why not use what we have as a part of something new?

We fell in love with the aesthetics and practicality of the reusable netbags that are made out of organic GOTS-certified cotton from string to label. 

But now let's give Annamaja the word. What inspired her to create KeepJar and what are her best zero waste tips for living a more sustainable lifestyle?

 

Hi Annamaja, can you please shortly introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi Inlace-readers! I am a Swedish-Norwegian entrepreneur and industrial designer from Stockholm and I want to make it easier to live a sustainable everyday life with my products and innovations.

 

What inspired you to create Keepjar?

I think it’s very interesting to hear what experiences and decisions lead to what we do as of today. KeepJar was more of a project than a brand for me for many years, before I found the right form for it. 

In 2008 I was studying industrial design at a Swedish well-renovated art and design school, Konstfack. That year everybody talked about Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. During an internship at a design firm I got feedback that the product design sketch I had made was great, because the customer would love the slick look of it and that it could break easily – then the customers would need to buy an other one. This experience made me worried about what I had just educated myself to. Was my future job designing things that would make people buy more things? But where my criticism for my own professional career woke – a burning interest in climate-friendly, environmentally friendly, resource-saving industrial design and packaging design grew.

My daughter was born in 2011. Because of the growing awareness of babies and plastic in the society I started to try to avoid plastic objects in my home, especially toys for my daughter. One day when I was doing the dishes I saw a baby food jar with a nipple for baby bottles laying on top of it – I thought why not use the baby food jar as a baby bottle? It’s always much better to reuse directly than to recycle (no extra transports, not energy to melt the material). When I had developed the KeepJar baby food jar adapter I needed a packaging and it had to be re-usable and not made of plastic. This is how I started to also sell mesh bags for buying fruits and vegetables.

So to summarize: my inspiration for KeepJar – it was meeting with a cold cynical commercial world, as a fresh industrial designer, that inspired me to make a brand with the aim to break the consumption cycle through smart reuse, repurpose, up-cycling and recycling.

 

Besides the practicality of your products we love the aesthetics of them. What kind of things drove the design of your reusable shopping bags?

The things that drove me was three experiences:  
1. Friends. I had friends who were more environmentally friendly profound than I was.
2. Then composting feces. A social entrepreneurship project that I ran in India – ecological toilets for slums, Ecoloove.
3.And last a bargain at a flea market.

 

Friends. My friend Parag worked in a architectural firm oriented on designing in natural materials in Pune, India. When I visited him 2010 I said gladly: “Yes, please” being offered a thin plastic bag for my groceries at the supermarket. I had considered myself conscious regarding sustainability before this. But right there and then I had to re-think. Parag was opening my eyes to how bad the plastic bags are. We worked together on an industrial design sanitation project (Ecoloove) for Indian slums at that time. When separating urine and feces the usage of a bag made of de-compostable materials was sometimes uses to collect the feces and I was involved in that research to develop and manufacture de-compostable bags for toilets, this opened my eyes to the alternatives to the plastic bags. I was working with ecological sanitation 2009-2011 in India and Bangladesh. During my time in Bangladesh I learned that the country was first in the world to put a ban on plastic bags, in 2002. The plastic bag was forbidden because it clocked the cloak systems during the monsoon.

 

Composting feces. In 2014 I wanted to make a plastic free packaging for my innovation ‑ KeepJar, that transforms a baby food jars into a baby bottle. I remembered a responsible textile factory that I had visited during my time living in India and together with them I developed a cotton mesh bag for the packaging design. Since early start I had a dialogue with my very sustainability conscious customers (love ya!) at social media and it didn’t take long before one after the other contacted me and asked if I could please make bigger mesh bags? Because the size that I had made could only take around 3-4 yellow onions. But it took some time, because I was having an other full-time job. In 2015 I started to sell a few mesh bags (medium size) that grew with popularity fast.


A bargain at a flea market. I had been using a turquoise string bag made of nylon that I had bought at a flea market 2004 when I studied art in the countryside of west Sweden, Hällefors. It was very lovely with some sort of bamboo handles. I guess it was from the 60-ties. I knew that a string bag was more lightweight than a regular tote bag and could expand with the content. I loved the function but I wish I could have it in a non-petroleum material.  After I had such a success selling mesh bags for fruits I asked my factory if it’s possible for them to make a bigger mesh bag for making string bags. And together we developed the string bag that KeepJar sells since a few years.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

On a typical work day I work in Illustrator and Photoshop designing the KeepJar products regarding form and packaging. I work a lot with paper and knife and my printer keeps going warm ;-) I always make the new designs in paper to see the size properly. Usually I have a few user-friendliness tests going on where I let friends test and photograph upcoming products. Many of my new products are ideas from customers who contacted me about an idea or a need connected to my current product line. I work a lot with user friendliness and function studies to find the right form and material and this in close dialogue with customers.

Before 12 I am usually busy packing orders to customers and resellers all over the world.  I have to book my pick-ups with shipping companies before 1.00 PM. I usually work 8 AM-5 PM.

When I have to go for errands I mostly cycle. I have a bicycle trailer – to be able to bring along parcels. I don’t have a car and cycling is a great way to get everyday exercise. I have a MTB with 7 gears.

Ÿ What are your best zero waste tips?

  • My best tip is to get a decent cycle and start cycle commuting! Check youtube to learn how to take good care of it so it lasts long and will be in perfect condition! You will need cycle oil for sure.
  • When buying new clothes, buy wool, cotton, linen instead of fleece/polyester, since fleece contains of PET/polyester. Plastic clothes spread micro plastics into the water that the water purification plants aren’t always able to catch – it ends up as fish food disturbing the fishes reproduction.
  • Get rid of the classic dishcloth and use one in linen or similar.
  • Eat more vegetarian!
  • Bring your own grocery bags to the grocery store ­ – for vegetables and fruits and for and to pack foods in.
  • Bring your own water bottle and thermos – so you don’t have to say yes please to another paper or plastic cup.
  • Buy used clothes, especially for kids – they grow fast and buying used makes a lot of sense. Rent or borrow things that you don’t use that often, instead of buying.


You might think that it’s too costly and therefore not for everyone and – yes, there’re expensive things to buy for this lifestyle. But Instagram is full of inspiration from people who for an example sew their own mesh bag from lace curtains and using old clothes as dishcloth or sewing their own grocery bags.

What is inspiring you at the moment?

 A friend gifted me a booklet with recipes for eating vegan food (cutting out milk, cheese, yoghurt, egg, sugar and gluten) that really inspires me at the moment and I’ve made a roughly plan for this weeks meals. I bought new ingredients that we don’t usually have at home like whole buckwheat. Today I made chocolate smoothies for breakfast for me and my daughter and she loved it! It contained buckwheat, almonds, blueberries, banana and cacao.

I'm also inspired by the new environments in my everyday life, I just moved to a new office and love my new area of Stockholm, Aspudden.


Name three of those slightly random things that give you joy:

  •  Excursions on bicycle with my 6 year old
  • Cycling fast through the Stockholm night
  • Drawing objects, animals, and people together with my 6 year old

 

Craving more practical tips on how to be a little more sustainble? We made a 5-step game plan for you on how to turn your groceries a shade greener. Also be sure to check out Annamaja's Instagram for more inspiration. 

 

nokonen

pictures: inlace media, pihla laine
writer:ona rihu

Clothes made out of nettle, raw silk and hemp, is it a thing? Oh yes it is! New age fashion designer Aino Kovalainen made it happen with her Finnish clothing brand Nokonen. Her brand is totally Mother Earth loving and ready to bring some spring to your closet. We got inspired by the beautiful colors and shapes of her clothes and decided to combine it with some vibrant spring tones from Zuii Organics on our faces. 

Read Aino's thoughts on sustainable fashion, working for yourself and feeling beautiful. 

Introduce yourself shortly, who is Aino Kovalainen?

I’m a 31-year-old artist soul with a side of diligence and getting things done. My family is from Kainuu, but I’ve spent my life moving around inside Finland and other countries while never really rooting myself in one place. Craftsmanship runs deep in my family. Ever since primary school I’ve felt a calling towards the textile- and clothing field. I’ve always had skills in that area and to this day it’s still the only line of business I’ve been interested in. I’ve always had a strange and lively imagination and that’s where I source a lot of my ideas from.
 

What’s your inspiration behind Nokonen?

I’ve dreamt of my own brand for over 10 years, and Nokonen is the result. I finally feel like I’m free to do what I want and work according to my own values. There are no limits or boundaries to my design or execution. I observe my surroundings and gather inspiring things into my mind and combine them into new innovations.

I often create patterns just by painting the canvas with whatever comes to mind and letting my paintbrush move freely. Whenever i feel the need for a certain type of garment I simply create one. The best ideas often come from “mistakes”. You need more than just inspiration to create a functional garment. Skill and knowledge about the production process, materials etc. are also very important factors. I’ve kept improving myself in these fields for ten years by studying and working in versatile tasks in design, manufacturing, sales and clothes maintenance.

 

Why is sustainability important to you? How does that show in your brand? 

Being environmentally friendly has always played a big role in my life. Ever since I was little I’ve been taught about the imporance of recycling, useful plants and respecting nature. Because of this background it’s been kind of obvious for me to build my brand according to these values. The whole production process of Nokonen is sustainable. I use ecological fabrics and aim to design clothes that are timeless and multi-use. 

Do you have any tips for someone who wants to pursue a sustainable career?

Educate yourself and never let go of your values. Being sustainable might not always be the cheapest or fastest way to go, but it’s all the more rewarding. I’ve noticed it’s difficult to stand behind your values while working for someone else since brands often have their own production process already figured out. That’s why I’m happy to be able to build a process that is true to my values.

How to be stylish while still respecting mother earth?

I think it’s pretty easy. There are new interesting and ecological materials being invented all the time. It doesn’t take much research from a consumer to find a more environmentally friendly option for fashion. Especially smaller brands often pay attention to ethical and sustainable factors. I think natural fibres like nettle, hemp, and banana fibers are a wonderfully luxurious and interesting choice of material. I don’t see why choose anything more harmful to the environment. 
I also like to to modify old clothes. Sometimes making something new out of something you already own is a better option than buying a new garment. This way you’ll get something unique to wear. You should always pay attention to the quality and material of a garment, whether you’re buying it new or used. High quality clothes are also easier to recycle or modify than low quality. 
Flea markets have unique and bold fashion. They’re a much better place to find clothes than low-quality production companies, but it’s good to remember to check the quality also when thrift shopping. Flea markets also encourage a certain type of mass consumerism,
because people tend to thing they can buy clothes with little consideration and sell them later if they have no use for it.

Lastly, what makes you feel beautiful?

I like to dress bold and stand out from the crowd. When I'm wearing something that looks and feels good, I feel confident and through that: beautiful. For Nokonen I also try to create so called power clothes. Clothes that make you feel good, confident and unique when you wear them. I think the fact that most of Nokonen’s clothes are unique will emphasise the feeling of individuality for the customer. Also fresh air, nature and enjoying what mother earth has to offer always makes you more beautiful!

meet the illustrator & co-founder: Ona Rihu

Picture: Catarina Böckerman

April is here and spring is slowly starting to show in Helsinki (ok very slowly but still). The girl behind this month's stunning drawing for our calendar is our very own Ona Rihu.  This sparkling soul is always a bliss to have around.
We love Ona for her bold and creative ideas, her thrive to turn inspiration into reality and our shared day dream sessions over a cup of steamy matcha. 

What important lessons have you learned during the last 12 months?

The importance of friendships. They say you are a reflection of your friends, and I think there’s some truth behind that. So I’ve learned to surround myself with people who inspire me, people who push me forward and people who love and accept me for who I am.


How did you get into the sustainable lifestyle? 

Once I turned vegan for ethical reasons I started to pay more attention to my behaviour as a consumer in all aspects of my life. I want to make informed decisions so I do a lot of research and that helps me make better choices. I am in no way perfect though and still struggling sometimes to find balance. The most important thing is to try. 


Speaking of that, what are your best tips for anyone interested in going plant based?

Education is key. There are so many myths about diet out there and it’s really important to make the research yourself to see what’s true and what’s not. Watch Cowspiracy and What The Health, and Earthlings if you dare. Once you have the proper knowledge it's much easier to make a choice. 

What is inspiring you at the moment?

I always get super inspired in the spring. It’s something about the light. Right now I’m feeling inspired by all the strong women around me, learning about the law of attraction and seeing Helsinki come to life after spending 3 months abroad this winter.


What would a perfect Sunday breakfast look like?

Avocado toast, carrot juice and warm lemon water or matcha. Breakfast is best shared with your loved ones <3

All time favourite thrifted item?

Probably my 1€ black vintage silk dress. It’s my go-to when it’s warm enough to wear. Also the vintage faux leather jacket I'm wearing in the picture is a fave!

What tunes have you been into lately?

Erykah Badu, Kali Uchis and Musiq Soulchild have been the highlight of my playlists lately. Also anyone who knows me knows my love for 90's RnB never dies.