Happy International Women's Day 2019! To celebrate we're releasing a series of interviews with women that inspire us. Starting with the lovely Georgina, founder and editor of pebble magazine
, who shares everything from how pebble started, to her very own eco tips.
International Women’s Day 2019: We chat to Georgina, Editor of pebble magazine
Hello Georgina! Let’s start with pebble magazine. How did it all begin? What sparked your interest in sustainability? What was life like before pebble?
I launched pebble magazine
in November 2016 after I realised I wasn’t happy working in the media covering things I didn’t care about and that I could see weren’t helping the planet. I had just spent six years editing magazines and living in Dubai (so the opposite of a sustainable life) and just felt it was more and more at odds with my beliefs and things I care about – like ethical fashion, eco-travel and the exciting, sustainable innovations in everything from architecture to fabrics.
I had a bit of a moment, where I nearly quit the industry to be permaculture hermit on a farm, but soon realised I can have a much bigger impact playing to my skills, finding and sharing positive stories that help inspire change and pulling together practical, actionable advice for sustainable living. Since then pebble’s reached hundreds of thousands of readers, we’ve got a lively Facebook group, launched sustainable city guides and have our first eco festival, pebblefest
, happening as part of Fashion Revolution Week on Saturday 27 April in London.
What’s a typical day like for you?
About 12 hours in front of a laptop and rushing around to several meetings. At the moment I’m putting the final touches to pebblefest
, (which means everything from confirming the last sponsors to sourcing secondhand chalk boards for signage), planning more events, editing and loading stories onto pebble, working on content partnerships with several brands, trying to get better at Instagram and dealing with the hundreds of emails that come into pebble every day. I definitely don’t do as much exercise as I should and I’d love to go to more press events but sometimes it’s not possible to do everything. I’m working on a getting a bigger team!
What’s your favourite way to unwind after a busy day?
On a good busy day, yoga followed by a Scandi noir boxset. On a bad busy day, I’d like to say I’m all-virtuous but I’m more likely to have a glass of wine. I’ve just moved to be by the sea in Margate and a lovely long walk along the beach has become one of my favourite ways to unwind.
Do you have any essentials that are a must to get through the day? (This could be anything from coffee to meditation!)
Both of those! I run everything off a rather ancient Mac laptop from various different offices so making sure I’ve got chargers and phone leads is pretty essential. As is my trusty Moleskine notebook which basically runs my life. I left it on the Eurostar recently and was overjoyed that a Belgian gentleman found it and returned it to me. I’m trying to be more mindful and focus on what I want to achieve rather than just endlessly answering emails – Buddhify is a great app I’ve found to help with that.
I’m addicted to Pukka’s Turmeric Gold tea in the afternoons and I’ve tried to wean myself off oat lattes in the morning but it’s not always successful.
What changes did you make to transition to a more sustainable life?
It’s been a long journey and isn’t finished yet! I slowly assembled a zero waste kit (like this one), so I don’t use single use plastic when I’m running around between meetings. I have stripped out all single use plastic from my bathroom and only use organic/plant based skincare, make up and toiletries. I pledged to stop buying fast fashion around two years ago. I don’t have a huge budget for clothes so my wardrobe is now a lot smaller, I mend things, I knitted myself a scarf last winter, I shop in charity shops and buy vintage and then when I do buy new, I invest in something ethically made that’s timeless and going to last.
I’m trying to tackle my food waste at home and getting better cooking with what’s in the fridge rather than buying for every meal. I’m using the Too Good To Go app to pick up surplus food when I’m out in London and try and buy from our local zero waste, organic greengrocers when I’m at home in Margate.
I did want to buy an electric car when we recently moved, but it’s just not feasible from a first floor flat. I’m the first to admit you can’t do everything but you can do something.
It’s not all easy, I admit and you can’t change everything at once, that would be mad but small changes do make big differences. Our campaign for this year at pebble is around #everydayactivism so it’s breaking challenges down and see what you can do.
Do you have any go-to eco tips that you can share with our readers?
So many! I’ve become a bit of a walking advice bureau for friends with eco questions. pebble magazine
is full of green tips and hacks, from how to mend your clothes to how to find the best green energy supplier. I recently went to a Repair Café in London where some friendly volunteers taught me how to shorten my jeans (I’m not very tall) and mend a hem. Tea, biscuits, free advice and I Iearnt a skill. There are similar cafes all over the country, seek out your nearest and head down.
Do you have any advice that you’d give to others thinking about starting a business of their own?
As a woman I think you have to trust your gut, if you think something’s a good idea and you can make it work, believe that you can do it and try it. Have a clear purpose, think about becoming a B Corp or social enterprise, own your story and most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all try and do everything ourselves and sometimes it’s the thing holding you back. There are so many collaborative, supportive networks out there now for women in business so get talking.
Since it’s International Women’s Day 2019, we’d love to know the woman that inspires you the most.
At the moment I have two I’m totally in awe of AOC – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – for not being afraid to challenge the status quo, her smarts on social media for getting her point across and her ambitious Green New Deal in the States, and Greta Thurnburg who is behind the global movement for children to strike over climate change. We need more people like them at every level.
How are you celebrating International Women's Day 2019? Let us know in the comments below!