NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
Welcome to our March 2021 Issue. This month's issue we are talking about 'Our Planet' with Ocean Bottle. This is our first themed issue, and we thank all of the creatives who focused their content on what 'Our Planet' means to them. We hope you enjoy reading and engaging with our March 2021 Issue.
Question: How many Ocean Bottle's can you spot in our beautiful cover by Imo Crossland?
INTERVIEW WITH THE CO-FOUNDER OF OCEAN BOTTLE
March 26, 2021
If you could fit Ocean Bottle’s mission into two sentences, what would they be? And how does Ocean Bottle go about achieving its mission?
We enable anyone who gives a damn about this planet the opportunity to help turn the tap off ocean plastic. Each of our smart chip activated reusable bottles funds the collection of 1,000 plastic bottles in weight at purchase and stops this from entering the ocean.
22 million kgs of plastic pours into the ocean each day on average. The combination of growing single use plastic production and a lack of waste management infrastructure particularly in impoverished coastal communities has led to plastics flowing into the ocean at an enormous rate. It’s now estimated that unless we do something drastic, ocean plastic will double by 2030. We are enabling individuals to have an impact on turning the tap off ocean plastic, whilst creating social mobility in coastal communities worldwide.
Ocean Bottle defines itself as an impact brand, what does it mean to be an impact brand? And what has your impact been to date?
Since launching, we have funded the collection of 1,228,028kgs of ocean bound plastic, the equivalent in weight to 108,025,000 plastic bottles. Sustainability is about creating a positive impact, ensuring that future generations have the resources they need. ‘Simply doing less damage’ as a company is not enough. For us, this is about doing more for the planet and its inhabitants.
Ocean Bottle is a Social Enterprise and a B-Corp, what are your key social goals impacts?
Our goal would be a world where we go out of business, with all ocean plastic stopped!
Our pledge is to fund collection equivalent to 7 billion plastic bottles by 2025. In the shorter term we’re hoping to make through Christmas and we are hoping a lot of companies will be wanting to give their employees Ocean Bottles. We also have a lot of exciting partnerships and marketing plans, as well as new products and also the smart chip platform. Each of our products is NFC activated for continued impact so people can fund more plastic collection just by bringing their bottle with them to partner locations which will enable us to exponentially increase our impact.
As a company prided on sustainability, and reducing plastic waste, what do you think is the single best thing individuals can do to reduce their plastic waste output?
It’s no surprise that we might say, carry a reusable bottle! It’s very simple, but the effects are massive when you start to imagine 7 billion people doing or not doing it. We would recommend investing in durable, reusable items to eliminate single use plastics, such as bottles, coffee cups, bags and cutlery. It is an easy way to stop single-use in everyday life. We as consumers have a massive influence to change the world, just by being conscious about what we purchase.
What were your inspirations for Ocean Bottle? Was the idea born from the desire to have an environmental impact, a social impact, or both?
Co-Founder, Will Pearson first became aware of the plastic crisis whilst working as a deckhand in the Indian Ocean. It was here he encountered Thilafushi in the Maldives, also known as ‘rubbish Island’. On Thilafushi, the plastic from resorts is predominantly burnt and left to drift out into the ocean. He then travelled to Colombia and found rivers quite literally choking with plastic.
After these encounters, he felt inspired to take action. Action began with further research into the plastic problem, learning that 22 million kgs of plastic pour into the ocean every single day. He was left questioning how we could collect plastic before it enters the ocean, which is when he came across Plastic Bank who were in the process of setting up recycling infrastructure in some of the worst-hit places such as Haiti, Philippines, Indonesia, and Brazil. He realised that this was a great solution and that we should connect people all over the world to it, which is where Ocean Bottle came in. I was determined to do something positive in the environmental space, but combine it with business. Noticing that consumers wanted to be empowered to make positive choices and be part of the solution, he started working on Ocean Bottle. Will met co-founder Nick at London Business School in 2017, they incorporated the company in 2018 and then travelled out to Norway to design the product with our design partners, K8. The design of the product itself took a full year and thousands of hours. It received the Red Dot Design and Green Product Award 2020 and we ended up with a Norwegian looking thing which balances aesthetics, sustainability and new levels of versatility.
Currently, there is a lot of literature surrounding environmental racism, and your brand believes that ‘environmental justice is social justice’, can you expand on this?
Environmental action that fails to recognise the link between environmental injustices and dominant systems of racism, sexism, colonialism patriarchy and ageism is not acceptable. Internally, as a company we must take critical steps to educate ourselves how to find the often hidden injustices, we need to recognise them, admit them and turn them into action. Communications need to vocalise these injustices and we will strive to work with people, provide a platform and hire people who are in positions of injustice. Actively seeking and working to bring environmental justice.
Environmental justice is a just and fair future for people as well as the planet, and environmental movements and organisations, including ourselves at Ocean Bottle need to do more to ensure the future we create is socially, racially and politically equal, just and fair for all.
What can we expect from Ocean Bottle in the future?
We’ve got some big goals to reach this year, one of them being to fund the collection of 3 million kgs of ocean bound plastic and further support the livelihoods of collectors in coastal communities. We will also be launching a new product in the summer, and growing our team to help us reach our impact goals. One of these new roles will be the Head of Platform, who will help launch and develop the world’s first impact platform and app for ocean health, helping individuals grow their impact from collecting 1000 plastic bottles at purchase to 10,000 a year! We also want to triple the donations to campaigns, NGOs and activists as equal to our revenue predictions.
BY KATHY BALDOCK
A LIFE ON OUR PLANET: MY WITNESS STATEMENT AND VISION FOR THE FUTURE - DAVID ATTENBOROUGH
March 26, 2021
I am 94. I have had an extraordinary life. It is only now that I appreciate how extraordinary.
As a young man, I felt I was out there in the wild, experiencing the untouched natural world - but it was an illusion. The tragedy of our time has been happening all around us, barely noticeable from day to day - the loss of our planet's wild places, its biodiversity.
I have been witness to this decline. A Life on Our Planet is my witness statement, and my vision for the future. It is the story of how we came to make this, our greatest mistake - and how, if we act now, we can yet put it right.
We have one final chance to create the perfect home for ourselves and restore the wonderful world we inherited.
All we need is the will to do so.
When I was told by Snippets Magazine that they wanted to do a themed issue for March around ‘Our Planet’, I had to think for a few days around how I could incorporate a book review into that theme.
I wanted to review someone who is passionate about our planet, someone who had the credentials to really speak on the things that are happening in our world. David Attenborough more than fits that description.
A Life on Our Planet - in David Attenborough’s words - is a witness statement and a vision. For me it reads as a love letter, the passion that Attenborough has for our world is illuminating, his descriptions of all the places he has been, and we can only hope to go brings a smile to your face as you read.
Then comes the heartbreak, the lump in your throat moment where he so accurately describes the consequences if we, as humankind carry on as we are, our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, will in no way understand the world we are living in today because we would have killed it, they will have a greater struggle than we do now.
I will be honest and admit that I was aware that we needed to do more to save the planet, and I guess I was naïve enough to think it would just all be ok in the end this book if it did nothing else. It made me think about how I can have a positive impact on this world and truly leave it as a better place.
I urge every person to read this. EVERYONE. It will tell you factually what will happen if we continue doing what we are doing to our planet.
Then, like in any good book, comes the optimism despite all the terrible things that are documented. Attenborough still gives us hope and optimism, and a plan of how we can make things right if we all as a collective chose to.
My favourite thought from this book: - “I have to remind myself of the dreadful things that humanity has done to the planet in my lifetime. After all the sun still comes up each morning and the newspaper drops through the letter box. But I think about it most days to some degree. Are we, like those poor people in Pripyat, sleepwalking into a catastrophe?”
INTERVIEW WITH PERL COSMETICS
BY DEVON HARVEY
We had the pleasure of talking to Isobel, the brains behind Perl Cosmetics. In our discussion with Isobel, we spoke all things sustainability, skin care and business. Isobel also gave us an insight into Perl Cosmetics’ future, and we are looking forward to seeing what exciting new product they launch later in the year.
March 26, 2021
What was your inspiration behind starting Perl Cosmetics? And what made you chose skincare?
I have always been obsessed with makeup and skin care, but it wasn’t until I read an article about two young guys in Australia who set up a really successful skincare business selling clay masks, that my interest was spiked. I felt like that it was really cool that they managed to build a skincare business with just one product, especially a new one in a really saturated market. They must have started in around 2018, they saw the trend of pink clay masks on social media and thought ‘yep’ we are going to hop on the band wagon and create a business. In doing so, they created such a powerful business, using social media. I am obsessed with social media myself, I am obsessed with skincare, and I just thought to myself – this is really interesting, I wonder whether this was something I could do.
On the flip side, I was frustrated that it was two young men who have created this business for women. I find it so frustrating, women have these ‘hobbies’, such as, women like to cook, but the ‘best’ chefs are men, women like to horse ride, but the ‘best’ horse riders are men, and why? Why is it that when you get into a professional setting that it is always the men that are the trailblazers, this annoyed me. That is when I thought… maybe I can start my own skin care business. It also ties into my degree. I studied biology at Uni, so I spent most of my time in a lab. I am technically a scientist by education and training, so it went hand in hand. Of course, it wasn’t until the pandemic that I bought it to life.
Sustainability is very central to our March Issue as we are focusing on ‘Our Planet’ in collaboration with Ocean Bottle. We wanted to ask how sustainability operates within Perl Cosmetics, and how you centre your brand around sustainability?
One major part is that it is all hand made by me. There are no factory emissions, no wastage of product because I do it all myself. I can keep on top of recycling, any supplies that come to me in cardboard boxes are either reused by us or recycled. On top of that we use glass packaging, we use glass jars and glass bottles, which can be upcycled or recycled. This is similar with our bamboo lids; we try to keep our plastic use to a minimum. All of our packaging is cardboard, which is recyclable. On top of that, one thing that I found quite frustrating within the beauty industry, is the amount of plastic. The industry is notoriously known for its plastic use, so much unnecessary packaging, and once you run out of something, you have to buy the same thing, in the same package. It is so silly. Why can’t you just buy a refill?
So, we also sell refills. Our jar refills arrive in these craft pouches, which you can open them up and tip them into your jar. And our oil comes in these little bottles, with aluminium lids, so the lids can be recycled, and you can pop in your old lid with the pipette. We are just trying to be a bit more environmentally friendly, a bit more waste free. You can keep your jars rather than get rid of them and buy the same thing again. It is also a bit more cost effective as well for customers.
Your clay mask can be tailored to individual skin types, how does this work? And can we expect any new products soon?
So, we make one mask, and how its tailors to your own skin type is that you can add in a different amount of our oil. Come summer we will be launching a new product which is very exciting. I reckon our clay mask though will always be our number one, as it was the original.
What would your advice to be to anyone starting their own business?
The biggest thing is to believe in yourself. The going will get tough, there will be tears of both happiness and sadness. It is all about perseverance, there will be ups and downs. Initially, make sure you do your research. Someone gave a really good piece of advice, don’t think of starting a business and then find an idea, you need to have an idea you can turn into a business. If you are starting a small business because you want to try and make money from it, you will not be invested, you will potentially not be passionate about it. that passion is the only thing that will keep you going. If I wasn’t passionate about what I was doing, I would have given up. But I am so passionate, I know it will be worth it in the end. So, make sure whatever it is you are wanting to start, you’re invested and passionate – that is what will keep you going.
After our chat with Isobel, we just had to order one of Perl Cosmetics’ clay masks for ourselves and we love it! We would highly recommend them for all you skin care lovers!
BY RIMA ISMAIL
4.54 billion years ago our planet earth came to be
3 hundred thousand years ago our species homo sapiens emerged
this means the modern human has only been a 0.0066% part of this planet's history
let us compress the earth's entire 4,540,000,000 year past into 1 year
a mere 365 days
of this 1 year, homo sapiens have only occupied planet earth for 34.7 minutes
34.7 minutes out of 1 whole year
let us now instead compress the 4,540,000,000 years into 1 day
a mere 24 hours
of this 1 day, homo sapiens have only occupied planet earth for 5.7 seconds
5.7 seconds out of 1 whole day
can earth ever truly be 'our planet' if we are only temporary lodgers
sheltered here for 5.7 seconds
yet claiming the planet as our own
perhaps not so much as we thought
Established in 2020 in the peak of the UK’s national lockdown Halo Knits began from a living room in Tooting. Inspired by my grandmas knitting I set myself a goal to learn the craft whilst there wasn’t anything else happening and I fell in love. I want to create hats that are wearable, playful and bring some warmth and joy to these turbulent times! I’m keen to always source the most sustainable fabrics and using vegan wool. I also make custom knots so the client can create and personalise their own hats. I hope you enjoy my knitting and look forward to what the future holds.
WORLD WILDLIFE DAY 2021
BY KIMBERLEY JOHNSON
March 26, 2021
This year, World Wildlife Day is being celebrated on Wednesday 3rd March. The idea of creating a specific day for wildlife awareness is to celebrate the enormous variety of species that we see globally; while also encouraging people to care for the world around them.
Spending time outside and enjoying nature has some obvious health benefits - namely from exercise, but what you might not realise is that spending time in the natural world and observing the nature around us affects other areas of our wellbeing too. There are suggestions that time spent outdoors can help to relieve symptoms of anxiety, the natural light will boost your vitamin D levels, and being outside is an excellent way to relax. Obviously not all of us are surrounded by wide, open spaces where we can spend our time, but whether you live in the middle of a busy city, or enjoy the seclusion of the countryside, there are still things you can do to support our ecosystem and enjoy the world around you.
When you live in an apartment or built-up area, you may think that there isn’t very much you can do - after all, you can’t create a garden out of nothing. Or can you? While it is true that space is limited for you, there are still options, you just need to think a little more outside the box. Why not consider planting a window box with wildflower seeds? Your blooms will attract bees, butterflies, and other insects which are vital to our environment as well as providing something beautiful to look at. Many wildflowers will also come back year after year, meaning that you don’t need to keep replanting. If you have space on a balcony, you could also try hanging a bird feeder and see how many different species of bird you can attract.
If window boxes and bird feeders aren’t enough for you, another option could be to look in to renting an allotment, you pay an annual fee for your own plot of land which can then be used to create a garden and grow produce. The waiting list for allotments can sometimes be very long, so a quicker solution could be to find a community garden nearby. Here, you can enjoy time outdoors, socialise and help your local community while also giving the wildlife a boost.
Those living in a rural area or with access to a garden will undoubtably find it easier to spend time outside. In a similar way to those living in apartments, you can create flower beds filled with wildflowers which will encourage insect populations as well as setting up bird feeders to help the local birds. But it doesn’t stop there.
If you have children, building a bug hotel can be a fun activity to spend time together and teach them about the world around them. There are lots of easy tutorials online which take you through the process step-by-step and it is always fun to check and see who has moved in. Some people, with larger outdoor spaces, decide to turn a whole corner or designated area in to a ‘back to nature’ section. Here, weeds are left to grow and things are essentially left in their natural state to create a habitat for a wide variety of garden species. These corners are also perfect for creating a safe, sheltered space for hedgehogs. These areas provide sanctuary from predators; especially during the winter months when they hibernate.
Whatever you decide to do this World Wildlife Day, don’t forget to just take a moment to stop and enjoy the world around you.
I was born and raised in Tokyo. My family has an art related background, so I learned from my family. I started my career as a professional illustrator in my early twenties. I’ve created illustrations, logos, posters, window paintings and so on.
My illustration style is minimal and monotone with subtle details like tiny dots and shades. It’s influenced by Japanese cultures such as Japanese calligraphy and manga. Living in London for 2 years solidified my illustration style.
ENTERTAINMENT SNIPPET: 5 MUST-SEES SURROUNDING OUR PLANET
The living world is a unique and spectacular marvel, yet the way we live on Earth is sending it into a decline. Human-beings have overrun the world, and we’re replacing the wild with the tame. Our planet is headed for disaster, we need to learn how to work with nature rather than against it.
Those words come straight from just one of David Attenborough’s various ground-breaking documentaries, phenomenons that we’ve all come to know and love. He’s just one of many voices channeling the same message. Whether it be the climate crisis, deforestation, overfishing, food waste, pollution or any other issue of the many this world is facing; our planet is falling apart.
For this Entertainment Snippet we’ve outlined 5 absolute must-see films and shows aligning with that very message. These are only 5 of a whole host of creative outlets that serve as beautiful but uncomfortable reminders of just how special our planet is, and how important it then is to protect it. From ourselves more than anything.
DAVID ATTENBOROUGH'S LIFE IN COLOUR - BBC IPLAYER
Released in February, David Attenborough’s duel-episode, Life In Colour, is a vibrant reminder of the natural spectacles that our planet has to offer. In fact, it’s a poignant reminder of exactly what we’ll miss if we let our planet continually suffer. The colour saturated from coral reefs, the splendour of our lush green rainforests and the pigments in Earth’s meticulously adapted wildlife. It all feels bittersweet when we reflect on what it will look like in years to come.
It’s a dazzling, kaleidoscopic experience that answers pressing questions about the colours of our natural world. Why are flamingos pink? Why are tigers such a striking colour? How and why do fiddler crabs communicate using polarised light? In under two hours, he answers these questions and more with a fair few surprising answers.
BEFORE THE FLOOD - DISNEY +
Produced by, and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, during his work on The Revenant, Before The Flood seeks to make climate change a part of our shared global consciousness. Made in 2016, it’s still a relevant and comprehensive account of the realities of global warming. It’s a strong warning sign to how our planet is slowly being worn down and the sincere method of illustrating that point is the perfect start in conceptualising this global issue.
He flys us over the Canadian oil mining sands, he takes us to the decaying icebergs of Greenland, and to the ocean’s disappearing corals. He meets with Elon Musk, Barack Obama, and The Pope; we see the burning Sumatran rainforest of Indonesia, and the ignorant American senate. There is a truly global stance at play throughout this documentary that makes Before The Flood a must-see for those interested in getting to grips with the ramifications of global warming slowly taking hold of our planet.
SEASPIRACY - NETFLIX
Seaspiracy is an examination of our planet’s defective global fishing industry, the concept of sustainable fishing and how our actions have caused widespread environmental destruction.
The documentary’s primary focus is overfishing - a subject which takes up plenty of the global ecological and economical conversation. Here however, pragmatic activist and filmmaker, Ali Tabrizi, dives deep into an issue close to his heart, unearthing an uncensored exploration into a whole new world of crime lurking in the background of a $10 billion industry powering our love of fish.
It’s a somewhat controversial watch as he sets about simply understanding what more we can do as individuals but discovers far more corruption at the heart of our planet’s seafood industries. At the rate we’re going, every species of fish will become extinct. Is the harm that comes to marine life really worth it?
THE MARTIAN - NETFLIX
In March, NASA’s Perseverance Rover sent some breathtaking 4k images of the Jezero Crater on Mars’ surface back down here to Earth. Those images have sparked conversation and debate of all kinds. One such being this: could we ever live on Mars? Could that arid, cold, desolate landscape be our future planet in a few thousand years? Moreover, could it ever resemble our current planet?
Well, Ridley Scott’s 2015 space-thriller, The Martian, is an albeit more accessible take on just how hard it would be to live out there. It’s what’s called a hard sci-fi movie, based on real world science as opposed to the fantasies of Star Wars. What makes it interesting to consider in relation to our planet is the difficulty one man has of growing plants up there, coping with the freezing cold conditions and the slight adjustment of gravity.
Sure, it’s fictional. But the facts have been checked. So if you want a closer look at where our species is going once we’ve destroyed this glorious world then watch The Martian. Sure Mars looks cool, but it’s really quite a lonely, hostile place.
DAVID ATTENBOROUGH'S A LIFE ON OUR PLANET - NETFLIX
Finally, and arguably the best documentary surrounding our planet to have been released in the last decade, is A Life on Our Planet. An absolute must-see.
The 2020 documentary acts as Attenborough’s "witness statement", chronicling his extraordinary life and sharing first-hand his concern for the state of our planet because of humanity's impact on nature.
But it’s in his hopes for the future of our planet that will inspire you to be a part of the solution. It’s in his prophetic warning of what our planet could look like in 5, 10, 50, 90 years-time that will horrify you. It’s in his empathetic words of regret and self-awareness that will deeply move you. And everything is backed with the most up-to-date science and situates us all as part of the problem.
It’s far removed from Attenborough's previous work; a blend of both condemnation and inspiration of how to address the climate crisis that has slowly gripped our planet throughout his lifetime.
‘I’m Julia, creator of @bloosteelillustrations on Instagram. I have always loved creating, and after trying out new hobbies over lockdown, this one really stuck. The art I create often incorporates strong womxn in solitude, of all colours/ages/sizes. I have been using my art to celebrate and draw attention to vitiligo, an autoimmune disease that I have had since I was small and results in patches on my face and neck (I think it is beautiful and should be celebrated more). Looking forward, I hope to create more whimsical illustrations that make people feel empowered and that also combine art with my love for the natural world - I study environmental science and always feel inspired by nature.’
LETTER ON AMERICA NO. 3:
‘THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A USABLE NUKE': THE LEGALITY OF THE U.S. NUCLEAR ARSENAL.
BY EMMETT SULLIVAN
A RETURN TO NORMALITY?
On 26 January 2021 the newly inaugurated President of the United States, Joe Biden, signed an extension to the New START Treaty with Russian President Vladimir Putin. New START – Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty – limits the operational nuclear arsenals of both signatory nations, and would have lapsed if the Forty-Fifth President of the U.S. had been re-elected. The renewed treaty will now run until 5 February 2026, fifteen years after it first became operational. After a period of reductions to 2018, the U.S. and Russia agree to maintain a maximum of 700 deployed nuclear delivery systems (ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers able to carry nuclear payloads), no more than 100 delivery systems in reserve, and a total of 1,550 operational nuclear warheads on the active systems.
The renewal of New START ended the possibility of a new arms race, with both sides posturing from early in 2017. All of this seems to represent a return to the ‘normal’ path of international diplomacy, with a destabilizing increase in weapons technology avoided. However, Biden and Putin, in signing New START, were endorsing illegality. Not in the terms of the Treaty per sa; but by the very act of holding nuclear weapons: the United Nations had declared them illegal four days before. The world changed, and hardly anyone noticed.
The 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons came into force on 22 January 2021. Signatories included Algeria, Cuba, Kazakhstan and South Africa. The French detonated nuclear weapons in Algeria: the French are not a signatory to the Treaty. Neither are Russia, the lead nation of the USSR, who based nuclear weapons in Cuba in 1962-63. As part of the USSR, nuclear tests took place in Kazakhstan, 1949-89. In 1979 South Africa may have detonated a nuclear weapon in cooperation with Israel; and along with Kazakhstan, South Africa unilaterally disarmed their nuclear weapons in the 1990s – Belarus and Ukraine make up that exclusive quartet. With changes in domestic and geopolitics, none of these nations consider holding nuclear weapons a good idea.
Other nations who came onboard had been subject to planned targeting with nuclear weapons. Vietnam, another of the 86 signatories of the Treaty, was a potential destination for U.S. nuclear weapons late in 1969 – Kissinger asked for all options to be considered in October-November 1969 before the Nixon administration decided on conventional bombing of the North. Nations in Latin America, Africa, South Pacific states and South East Asia dominated the signatories: Eurasian nations were poorly represented – Austria, The Holy See, Ireland, Liechtenstein and San Marino gain an honourable mention here. None of the current nuclear weapon’s states are signatories – France, Britain, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea make up the nine. ‘The mouse that roared’? Not quite – Brazil, Mexico and South Africa are all G20 states and signatories of the prohibition treaty. However, the issue should not be that the 2017 UN Treaty has no teeth: we should be asking why it has taken 76 years to declare the ultimate weapon of mass destruction illegal?
INTERVIEW WITH FUNKY DESTINATION
BY DEVON HARVEY
What was the initial inspiration behind Funky Destination?
When I went travelling around Asia when I was 18, I was really inspired to create something myself. I saw so many people making a living out of hardly anything, especially in India, and it really inspired me to go home and make something wonderful. I have so many opportunities here in the UK, I thought I would grab them by the balls and work hard and try to build my own business. I was also sat in a park one day with my boyfriend and he pulled out this wooden pipe that he had made out of a branch and I just thought it was incredible, we started making pipes together. Then, I was just starting at a branch one day lying in bed, and thought if I sliced that wood up, I could make earrings, and the rest is history.
We can tell sustainability means a lot to your band, but was there a particular moment which made you decide to make your products sustainable? And do you think this is the way forward for the jewellery industry?
From the age of 17 I’ve wanted to be a lot more sustainable because I am much more aware of the damaging effects of fast fashion and accessories, as they contain a lot of plastic or even harsh chemicals. It has always been my drive to make everything as sustainable as possible, as I’ve grown up with second-hand clothes, and handmade clothes as well – it is just something that I am really passionate about. When I was younger, I used to shop at fast fashion places, quite a lot, not loads but more than I do now. Now I can’t remember the last time I bought anything from a fast fashion shop. I just think it is really important to be as sustainable as possible and I just think it’s really nice to have a business that isn’t causing any damage to the universe. If you lost one of your earrings, it would be okay, because it would be the equivalent of a bit of wood falling on the floor, which was already there before, which I think is really quite special. I definitely think sustainable jewellery is the way forward. I see so many brands, and no offence to them, that make things out of plastic and it just makes my skin get itchy. It’s just more plastic in the world, that just isn’t necessary. Jewellery can be made out of products that are already here on the earth, just like wood. I think wood is an amazing material to be used for jewellery, it’s so strong and durable and it’s just so eco-friendly.
We think your style is very unique and eye-catching, do you feel that your funky colours and designs are what attract people to your products?
Firstly, thank you so much for saying my products are eye catching, and I do think that the colours and the designs do draw people in. Ever since I was born, I have been obsessed with colour, everything bright (except when I was a young teenager, when I went through my emo phase). Apart from that I have always loved colour, especially now! I just love everything bright and eye catching – I just love it. I feel the more colour and brightness, and the uniqueness of the designs, brings more peoples in. I have some earrings that you would just not find anywhere in the world, which I love. Having unique designs is very special.
What is your most popular product? And if you had to pick a favourite product, what would it be?
My most popular product varies from time to time. There was a time when my mushrooms were my most popular product, and then Pickle Ricks were really popular, my cowboy boots have been really popular as well. I just have so many different designs! I can also do custom designs, but overall, I don’t really have a specific most popular product, because I do make a lot of one-off earrings. If I was going to choose a design that was most popular, it would probably be the cowboy boots because I just love making them. Freda’s have been popular as well, and I do enjoy making the Freda’s, but they just scare me a little bit because the paint work is just so detailed it stresses me out.
If you had one message for someone looking to start their own business, what would it be?
My message to someone who is starting a business is to just be yourselves. Enjoy what you’re doing, if you’re not enjoying it, there is no point. Reach out to people, communicate with people, try out new things. Try and find a unique thing you can make, your unique product. I feel the more unique your business is the more likely it is to bloom, because if you make something that everyone else is making it is hard to stand out. I think the most important things are to be yourself, be genuine, to post lots and of course be happy really.
AROUND THE WORLD, AROUND THE WOOOOORLD: HOW I CAME TO KNOW, UNDERSTAND, AND MOURN DAFT PUNK.
BY ELIOT K. RAMAN JONES
March 26, 2021
What the end of Daft Punk means for me cannot really be put into words. Their heart-wrenching breakup video, uploaded to their official Youtube channel on February 22nd with the title ‘Epilogue’, really put into perspective how much I’ve enjoyed their music, and how their music has featured in so much of my life.
Tonbridge, Kent. 14 years ago, aged 9 – I think my first introduction to Daft Punk is one shared by many others, which was the viral video Daft Hands, released in 2007 on Youtube. The clip in question featured a performer moving her fingers and hands in time with the French duo’s worldwide hit Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. I was 9 at the time, and I remember being captivated by the intricacy of the movements more than by the song or even the music itself. I’m fairly sure this wasn’t my first exposure to Daft Punk, but it’s the earliest clear memory I associate with the group. My music taste until I was around 11 or 12 was pretty much the same as my parents’ music tastes, and while house music in general was not on our regular family radio rotation, a few Daft Punk songs flitted around my dad’s ‘Driving Playlist’.
Tonbridge, Kent. Different house (I believe). 13 years ago, aged 10 - Although I was yet to acquire total musical taste autonomy (this would happen at school when I became heavily invested in rap and electronic music), I witnessed more Daft Punk for the second time just a year after my first encounter with the band. I remember my mother calling me down from my room to watch a clip from the 2008 Grammy Awards, where Kanye West was performing. I’m not sure if I had heard a great deal about Kanye West at the time, despite how now, 13 years later, he is my all-time favourite artist. I remember some songs on Dad’s playlist were from his album The College Dropout, and hearing both the songs ‘Family Business’ and ‘Gone’ make me think of comfy headrests and long drives to this day. But back to the Daft Punks. My Mum called me down because in the middle of Kanye’s performance of Stronger, which featured a sample of the French house duo’s chorus of Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, the back of the stage lifted up to reveal the duo performing their sample live. This was the first time I had seen Daft Punk.
For those unfamiliar, both members of Daft Punk, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo wore helmets as part of robot personas assumed in the late nineties, along with outfits and gloves, and, although I did not know this at the time, they were known for making few media appearances. Seeing two, for all intents and purposes, dancing musical robots appear to perform live at a concerts left me briefly convinced that their personas were real and they were stage props, but after a subsequent google I discovered that no, that was what these musicians did all the time. Not to disparage other conventional musicians, but a gimmick like that of Daft Punk is a winning strategy when attracting curious new fans, and it certainly worked out that way for me. I believe that was the time when I first listened to an album of theirs, and started to learn the hits. The music of house and electro, mined from soul and jazz samples of the 70s, was just beginning to take hold in my soul, and although I did not know it at the time, I was about to fall head over heels in love with Daft Punk.
Perhaps the apex of my interest in Daft Punk coincided with the apex of their musical careers, which was the release of Random Access Memories in 2013. I was in Turkey with my family when the album was released, and thanks to Spotify downloads and a group of people who were mostly older than me and more familiar with Daft Punk, the album was playing for most of the trip. It feels strange writing about RAM now, as despite some production work for The Weeknd, a soundtrack for Tron: Legacy, and some bit parts here and there, it comprises Daft Punk’s fourth and last body of work. Even though it’s been 8 years since Random Access Memories, I still remember it and rank it highly – in fact, on a recent procrastination exercise, I’d rank it as my second favourite pop album ever, just after Calvin Harris’ Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1. I really enjoyed the neat little crossovers in the album between grand and orchestral funk and pop in Give Life Back To Music to the melancholic nature of Game of Love as well as the soulful yearning on Instant Crush.
Random Access Memories, of course, benefitted hugely from its main single, the ultra-smash hit ‘Get Lucky’with Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. The song was everywhere from 2013 through to 2015, which comprised the middle to the late period of my teenage life, and so a lot of fond memories are inextricably linked with the songs on the album. It’s one of those albums where there’s only like one or two songs you feel are dead weight, so for the most part it’s practically all killer, no filler.
There is probably no better compliment to the legacy of Random Access Memories other than I was so satisfied with the album that I didn’t feel like I needed another Daft Punk album. Especially in hip-hop music, artists dropping albums is expected to be at least semi-regular, because for the most part, modern hip-hop is dominated by trends and the audience for these rappers want to see their favourites tackle the new musical zeitgeists and continue to pad out their body of work. The current rapper the media spotlight has laser-focused in on is Kendrick Lamar. Lamar’s last album came out in 2017, so four years more recent than Daft Punk’s 2013, but already the hip-hop media and fan channels are saying that another album is overdue, and that the expectation is staggeringly heavy. Aside from co-producing Kanye West’s 2013 album Yeezus, Daft Punk didn’t have that same weight of popular expectation weighing on them in the media.
As fans, we were hopeful of the possibility of more music but it wasn’t a hope that was driving or all-consuming. It was altogether expected that after eight years of no new music that was quintessentially ‘Daft Punk’, that the band may be going on, or returning from, a hiatus. The breakup did not feel like a shock, because most people assumed the band had broken up already, or simply had not thought about the band in a long time. In Random Access Memories, Daft Punk had given us a piece of their soul, and the hugely popular critical and public reception to the album surely must have left Bangalter and de Homem-Christo thinking about whether another feat would be possible in the future. In The Weeknd and Kanye West, Daft Punk were now facing the prospect of working alongside both their contemporaries and those who were directly inspired by them. Daft Punk were not relics of a forgotten age by any means, but in the last eight years Daft Punk’s legacy and impact on popular music has meant that there was no need to release new music on their end either, as their influences could be felt in the Travis Scotts, the Busta Rhymes, and the numerous DJs and EDM producers who followed in their wake. I’ll be sad to see them go, but I’ll be glad I was able to experience Daft Punk’s finest work, and I’m glad that they went out on a high.
Lauren Emily R. (she/her) is an illustrative artist from the West Midlands who specialises in watercolour and ink paintings. Some of her most recent projects include a set of pink bird-orientated greeting cards as well as handmade illustrated tea towels that come in mustard and navy. She also has commission spaces for pet and house portraits that work as great personal gifts!
At the heart of all Lauren Emily's business is the planet. As an eco friendly brand, she uses 100% organic and recyclable materials in her packaging and products.
Lauren Emily strives to create bespoke art works and products that would compliment anyone's home. You can find her items for sale on her Etsy or Ebay - or equally view her paintings and art on her website or instagram, all linked through her linktree below
What was your inspiration behind ‘Make Everything Colourful’?
Make Everything Colourful (MEC) reflect my initials – Meg .E. Clancy. When I decided to start a business, I wanted it to be an extension of myself and my artistic practice. Art has always been an escape for me, when I was struggling with my mental health, I found that reconnecting with art helped to bring me back to life. I began with art that was focused on mental health and used it as a visual way to explore my cognitions and develop positive mantras to aid my wellbeing. The people in my life encouraged me to push my practice and to put myself out there as a business.
Make Everything Colourful was born in 2017, during this time I mainly conducted my business at makers markets and through selling to friends. Since then, my skill, passion and professionalism have greatly developed, as well as my confidence in charging for my time and resources. Above all, Make Everything Colourful represents my life view and passion, I put colour and vibrancy into everything I do and love to see my work in people’s homes. I create illustrations, custom portraits (canine and otherwise!) and sublimate my designs onto a range of products, including accessories and home-wears. I am constantly finding new processes to add to my process and love to be creative wherever I can.
If you could sum up your brand in 3 words, what would they be?
Colourful, chaotic and playful.
How have the various lockdowns impacted your brand?
Lock down has been a catalyst for Make Everything Colourful. Whilst I have been undertaking my MSC in Psychology, I have also found more time than ever before to make and sell my work. Some months have been better than others, but I have learned that for my business, sales come in waves and when I put my energy into social media and marketing the sales always follow.
What is your favourite product that you sell?
My favourite products to sell are the one-of-a-kind pieces that I produce from the waste materials of other products. I create beautiful cushion covers and totes that are truly unique from recycled sublimation products, and curate distinctive patterns by hand. I love that these products are one-off, eco-friendly in nature and they allow me to push my creativity and further expand my process.
If you could speak to your younger self and give advice on running a small business, what would you say?
Absolutely do it! Start sooner! Don’t be afraid to charge for what you put into something, if people want it they will pay. It is so tempting to give away your work for free/cheap but in order to effectively run a business, the cost of materials and time need to be considered in everything that you do. Play with your art, push your style and create art for you always. Art should never be created purely to sell; it is the creation of it that stimulates the soul and connects you to the present.
What can we expect in Make Everything Colourful’s future?
In the very far future, I’d love to have my own shop in Manchester! I have visions of a beautifully colourful space where I can print designs on to products there and then for customers. Of course, when lock-down is over I will be venturing out into markets again to sell in-person, I absolutely cannot wait for that! In the meantime, I am getting more and more products on my Etsy store (EverythingColourful) and expanding my product range to include more clothing, jewellery and home accessories such as cutlery, kitchenware and soft furnishings. I never want to stop creating and feel that my art reflects myself more and more as time goes on.
"My name is Cloud Vincent and my new track “Hair’s Too Short” has just released! This is my first single of 2021 and the song is filled with energetic guitars, a groovy bassline, and booming drums. I wanted to go for an indie rock sound this time around, and I couldn’t be happier about how it came out. This song sounds like The Strokes x Dominic Fike x Car Seat Headrest, with an insanely catchy chorus for summer days. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do, get “Hair’s Too Short” into your summer playlists for Summer 2021!"