October 2, 2017
GB Labels meets pebble magazine
pebble magazine is inspiring its readers to design, dress and think differently. With a focus on creativity and ways to live more eco-friendly, it’s the home of all things sustainable.
“Knitting. Slow fashion. Crafting. Eco-villages. Vegetable leathers. Turning plastic bottles into clothes and shoes. Supporting people who have taken a risk to find a better way of doing something.”
We caught up with editor Georgina to chat about the rise of slow fashion, the importance of buying ethically and how to wear clothes made from nettles and orange peel (yes, really).
Hi Georgina, let’s kick off with a little bit about you. Where did your career start?
I’ve been a magazine editor for 15 years, starting with the launch of a music and street art magazine with some friends straight out of university. I’ve been in lifestyle magazines ever since.
In the last few years, as a freelance travel and food journalist, I kept coming across stories that really resonated with my own interests in sustainable living. I realised that the mainstream media is missing huge swathes of brands, stories and people who want to live lightly but don’t want to sacrifice their style.
Then my stepdad died suddenly last year – he lived a very sustainable life naturally without any fuss. That gave me the impetus to launch myself back into running my own business. From food to fashion, permaculture to pretty things, pebble is the digital hub for all things ethical – but with the style and professionalism of a coffee table magazine.
Tell us about a typical day at pebble magazine HQ.
I’m up early most days. I’d love to say I start the day with some kind of mindful activity but usually it’s getting all the social media posted before I get up. I go through emails over a smoothie or coffee and then either run between meetings in London or get lots of writing done at home.
Being a small start up, daily work features everything from content creation to social media strategy, sales, marketing, working on new ideas, scratching my head over the latest SEO change or Facebook algorithm. I have some part time help but I could really do with a clone! My awesome design and tech partners, Makermet, are in Nottingham so we do a lot of video conferencing.
In under a year I’ve taught myself so much about digital marketing, as well as becoming a mine of information on anything ethical. Days I love the most are when I put ethical companies in touch with each other or help raise awareness of green brands through our editorial work. I’m lucky enough to be able to interview people who are genuinely inspiring – from futurists to the guys behind Noma.
From October I’ll be moving into an office, which will be fab, and I’m trying to fit yoga back into my day for some kind of life balance.
In terms of the sustainable movement, what do you think needs to change to encourage more people to get actively involved in it?
There’s so much.
We need more government incentives to act, travel and shop green. We need to look at our own actions and realise that every pound we spend is a choice – we can choose to spend our money on green companies, social enterprises and local shops to force a change from the bottom up.
We need to untangle the relationship between consumption and happiness, and reframe the sustainable movement altogether. That’s where pebble comes in.
We want to show that being sustainable can be stylish, community building, exciting and interesting – rather than some kind of dry, technical lecture about how we’re all doomed.
We’re increasingly seeing ‘slow fashion’ on the catwalks. Do you think sustainability is affecting independent clothing brands as well as high street brands?
It’s actually much more prevalent in independent brands than high street brands. There are so many wonderful slow fashion indie brands that are absolutely killing it. We do a weekly edit of eco-fashion brands and there’s no shortage of people making everything from designer gowns to leggings from recycled plastic, bamboo and even nettles – they all look amazing.
High street brands are shamefully lagging behind in their sustainable credentials – they’re still in the model of flogging cheap clothes as fast as possible. Fast fashion is one of our biggest problems when it comes to waste.
What materials do you expect to see take over ‘slow fashion’ over the next year? Are there any methods or materials that you think are currently underused?
It’s really exciting at the moment. Recycled plastic in the form of ECONYL is becoming much more common and there are companies making fabric from all sorts of things, including orange peel. I think an appreciation of traditional handwoven or handmade techniques is starting to grow. We’ll become more used to the idea of buying less but better, looking at price per wear rather than buying something cheap and chucking it away six months later.
The fashion industry is the second most polluting on the planet, but as with all issues, there’s no one solution. Moving away from the high street’s insistence on fast fashion would be a really good start.
What’s next for pebble?
We have a good few things up our sleeves. We just launched the pebble pod – our Facebook community where we encourage anyone to chat to us and our readers about ethical fashion and sustainable living. We swap tips, discuss issues and network, it’s a great addition to the magazine.
We’ll hopefully be doing more events and festivals next year where you can come and chat to us. Next year we’ve got a big new development too but I need to keep it under wraps for now.
Thanks for chatting with us Georgina – we’re so excited to see what the future holds for pebble!