There are so many women that inspires me in their own unique way and through these conversation posts you and i get the pleasure of getting to know a bit more about them. About those ordinary but interesting things like for example what it is that inspires them, what a typical day in their life looks like, where they find beauty...
This time it is the lovely Sandra that has sat down and answered my questions.
V: I am so excited to do this conversation post together with you Sandra and i thought it would be nice way to start with you telling a bit about yourself? I am very excited about having this chance to get to know you better...*smiling*...
S: Hi, dear Vibeke, I'm quite flattered to be one of your guests and I'm so happy you like to know something about me, my blog and my works.
So here I am. I'm Sandra and I'm currently living in Northern Italy with my husband and our white lovely cat. I spend a great part of my day with yarns and fabrics or dreaming of them. Sometimes I also work as a translator and I do phonetic spelling for documentaries which may seem a weird job but it's usually extremely interesting and instructive.
V: 5 words that you would choose to describe yourself?
S: Five words that I can choose to describe myself are: yarn, books, animals, travels, ecology.
V: You are the owner of the lovely and inspiring eco fashion blog "The slow catwalk", i LOVE visiting there! Can you tell us about what it was that made you start up this blog/the inspiration behind it and also about the choosing of it's title?
S: I'm really happy that you appreciate my blog:) Amost 2 years ago I was looking for alternatives brands to fast fashion and to my surprise there were a lot out there. So I've decided to open a blog dealing exclusively with eco fashion in order to show these brands, to know new ones and to get in contact with people who love eco fashion. And I've choosen to call it The Slow Catwalk because I love the magic and the excitement behind fashion but I need it to be slow, ethic and sustainable. I can't imagine a different way of thinking at fashion because I can't understand how a thing so completely connected with beauty can be sometimes strictly linked with pollution and exploitation.
S: My mother was a seamstress and I spent my childhood playing with fabrics, yarns, needles and fashion magazines so I grew up loving clothes and the entire process to make them. My brother and I were always dressed with things made by my mother or with my many cousins' secondhand clothes. We also usually sold our used garments and other objects at flea markets and in our table there was often organic and local food. So in a way we can say that I've always paid attention for what there is inside food and behind a garment. In these last years as my passion for fashion grows I've started reading books and articles about sustainable fashion. I can suggest reading something by Sass Brown and Giò Rosi's Made in Italy, Il lato oscuro della moda (unfortunately only for Italian speaking language), a book that definitely open my eyes.
V: What is for you the best things about having your own blog...what do you especially enjoy about it?
S: The best thing about having a blog is the surprise: to find people around the world with the same strong interests, to know and sometimes get in touch with beautiful sustainable brands and to spend my time in what I love.
V: I am sure that it is a lot of blogs that you enjoy visiting but would you mind sharing three blogs with us that you especially enjoy and also tell is about what you like so much about them?
S: There're hundreds of blogs I appreciate and that I usually visit:) These are my three favourites right now:
•http://abigaildoan.blogspot.it/ with her inspiring and beautiful art related to craftsmanship and slow fashion.
•http://landscapetillyn.blogspot.it/ for the pictures she takes and her works. There is always a story to imagine behind them and it's a beautiful one.
•http://fringeassociation.com/ because after reading Karen's posts I have to start knitting something. It's like a knitting handbook to me.
S: My father's father, Remo, opened this shop in the late 50s and it was the only shop in town where you could buy clothes, yarn and haberdashery. In the 70s my mother worked as a seamstress and usually went there looking for things to use for her works. So that's the way she met my father. Then the shop closed in the 80s and all the renmants were put in a flat very close to where I lived. I remember spending hours wandering around these rooms full of clothes and boxes.
V: Do you have some favourite materials or fibers to work with and also why do you like them so much?
S: I'm always looking for new organic materials to work with. Lately I'm in love with nettle yarn and soy bean yarn. But my favourite one remains alpaca wool because when you use it everything turns out great and always so warm.
V: I know that you do both sewing, crocheting and knitting. Have you grown up in a crafty family and who did learn you these different crafts?
S: Yes, the family were I grew up was definitely a creative one with my father working with woods, my mother sewing and my brother always drawing. But since I've left my family home when I was nineteen I have to thank also some friends for teaching me how to crochet and knit. And in these last years blogs and youtube are my precious teachers:)
V: Do you have a specific room or place in your home that you use for your crafty work?
S: We are currently living in a little home with a bright dining room in which there is also my desk where everything happens. There are skeins and wool everywhere and you can barely find the table.
V: Is there a new craft that you would have liked to learn?
S: I want to become more skilled with the art of knitting and embroidery. It's an everlasting experience of learning and that's so exciting. I will love learning how to dye wool and fabric with vegetables. One day I will!
V: Where do you find inspiration?
S: I get my inspirations from nature where the colours are perfect, from movies, books and from the works of other talented artisans.
V: People/crafters/makers that inspires you?
S: The artworks of Arthur Bispo do Rosàrio that I have the chance to see live last summer in Venice, the perfections of Jenny Gordy creations and again the genius behind Abigail Doan fiber art.
V: Other than creating what do enjoy using your time on?
S: I love reading, walking in the country and around big cities and eating what my husband cooks.
V: How does a typical day look like in your daily life?
S: It depends a lot if I have or not translations to do. If so when I wake up I spend all morning hours on them and then after lunch I dive myself in my craft works. The only permanent feature in my days is the presence of my sweet cat sleeping by my side.
V: What makes you happy?
S: Summer, the sun, my husband, my family, my friends, touching wool, animals, improving my future.
V: 5 things that has made you feel grateful lately?
S: Things that have made me feel grateful lately are the same ones listed on the above answer. They are more than five but I can't choose between them:)
V: You already know that like you i am interested in ethical and sustainable fashion. Among other things i am also passionate about cruelty free and non-toxic skincare. It is easy to think that it doesn't actually have an impact what "little" me can do but i strongly believe that every single choise (small or big) that we do to the better actually MAKES a difference. It can feel quite overwhelming and challenging to start doing more "consious" choises. For example i have been looking more deeply into the ingredients in skin care products lately and what i learned made me feel both horrified, sad and quite overwhelmed. I think that it is wise, at least that is how it has worked out best for me, to start slowly. With that i mean to not put it on ourselves that we should be able to do EVERY single choise to the better immediately because then it is so easy to feel overwhelmed and instead fall back into old choises/patterns again after just a little time. I think this is a process...it takes time, so it is important to focus on and be happy for the choises that we have actually managed to turn into better ones and not to focus too much on the ones that we haven't been able to change yet. By focusing on what we have actually managed to change to the better births the inspiration and excitement that we need to continue on this path....*smiling*..
SO lastly i want to ask you if you could come with some ideas and thoughts about how to be able to easier choose ethical and sustainable fashion. Maybe you can share some links with us to different online shops/brands that offers it and also other sites/blogs like yours that are passionate about it?
S: I totally agree with what you say. When I've decided to buy only secondhand and sustainable clothes I didn't trow away all my closet. It would be a waste and a paradox. As you say it's a process, a path you decides to follow once you deeply understand that fashion doesn't have to create suffering and pollution but only beauty. The same thing can be said for makeup and skin care products. At the beginning it can seem difficult but you will be slowly surprised by so many alternatives you'll find.
Here there's a short list of places where to go in time of ecoshopping:
And here there are some links to web sites and blogs deeply devoted to sustainable fashion: