Friends Jemma Finch and Ella Grace Denton are on a mission to make sustainable living more accessible. Having garnered a huge Instagram following, the pair have hosted a series of successful clothes swaps, and there’s a plastic-free project in the pipeline. We speak to the duo about their motivation and why it’s important to understand where things come from:
What led you to found 'Stories Behind Things'?
We both went through a time in our lives where we felt pretty disconnected from our world and the material things in it. We wanted to create a space where we could combine our love for sustainable living and fashion and the community as a whole. Our moment of conception was sudden, we were at The Earl of Lonsdale pub in Portobello discussing conscious living and within 20 minutes the idea had formed. We’re pretty in sync, that night we bought the domain, Instagram and Twitter handles and have been working on it ever since.
As two friends working together, what's the dynamic like between you?
We met at University but had always had friends in common growing up. Being genuinely best friends means we understand each other better than anyone, and that can be a great tool when it comes to business. We’re able to support each other creatively and emotionally. And we love it!
You recently ran an amazing clothes swap event. Do you borrow each other's clothes?
Yes! We inter-change our wardrobes as if it’s one. We both have the same colour palette preference, leaning towards neutral and earthy colours. We’re always picking out clothes for each other when we are thrift shopping too.
Do you have any simple life tips for people trying to live more consciously?
Cutting out single-use plastics is the best way to easily live consciously. Doing something as simple as taking a re-usable coffee cup instead of buying a cup in the store. It’s shocking to think that every item of plastic that has ever been made is still in our environment, clogging up our rivers and intoxicating our animals in the oceans. Take the issue into your own hands, small personal changes do add up – there’s power in numbers!
Do you have any favourite sustainable cafes/restaurants in London?
We love a cafe with a story. Our favourites at the moment are both on Brick Lane, firstly Kahalia Cafe and also vegan-friendly The Canvas Cafe that also hosts a program of awesome events around mindful living.
Which countries are on your travel wish list this year?
We’re hoping to get away to the quiet side of Ibiza to soak up some sun.
Who are your heroes and why?
Women. Such a general answer but truly we couldn't name them all. Women have risen and risen and risen, through thick and thin, and through oppression that still runs very deeply through the veins of our society. Not only do women persist every day, they do so with a compassion and wholesomeness that our world needs more of. Kudos to women worldwide fighting the good fight!
What are you listening to right now?
We are loving Fearne Cotton's new Podcast series, Happy Place. She gets really wicked guests on to talk about how and where they find their happy place and elaborate on both their emotional and creative journey in life.
Do you have any favourite new discoveries in the world of sustainable fashion?
Yes we are both fascinated by the recent progress in sourcing fibres that can be made into fabrics. For example, there’s a new material that is constructed from banana waste and another from mushroom fibre.
What's in the pipeline for Stories Behind Things?
We’re launching a Kickstarter for a new project to make Plastic Free Toolkits for Busy People. Our biggest project yet the aim is to grant people an easy way to go plastic-free in daily life. Launching on Kickstarter on 29 April, we’d appreciate any funding support to make this happen.
Interview by Daisy Allsup for Antibad