For the series Good Folk on this blog I have sent interview questions to some really wonderful people who are either making things, running shops, or generally promoting sustainability. I think you will enjoy reading their answers as much as I have, and I hope they inspire us all with the knowledge that there are people doing good in the world!
This interview is with Georgina Wilson-Powell from Pebble Magazine. Georgina is on a mission to reduce overconsumption through positive storytelling. As the founder of pebble, she has been inspiring consumer change through her much-loved magazine, events and community for the last 4 years. I have loved being involved in two of her real life events as well as the last virtual fest, because not only is she a super lovely person, but she always tries to practice what she preaches! Her first book, Is It Really Green? is out now. She hates the word sustainable and is allergic to jargon.
Tell me about yourself and the work that you do.
I run pebble which comprises a magazine, events and community. My mission is to reduce overconsumption at a society wide level and make sustainable living the norm. Pebble launched in 2016 and since then we’ve reached over 1.4 million people and helped many embrace sustainability at home, at work and when they travel.
I’ve been in media for 17 years and now love the mix of work across editorial, brand strategy, events and community building - all with a purpose of promoting planet first ideas, brands, swaps and hacks.
How or why did you get started?
I was frustrated at the lack of stylish, simple and accessible options for information around sustainable living back in 2016 and thought featuring sustainable stories and swaps once a year in ‘green issues’ in magazines was a cop out. I could see a place for a platform like pebble that helps move people away from mindless consumption to something more mindful and conscious.
What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?
I love hearing from readers who have changed their habits or swapped to a sustainable brand because of something they’ve read on pebble or attended one of our events. But I also love seeing sustainable brands grow and find their tribe - we work with a lot of start ups and SMEs and a lot of them have become like family over the last few years and we love sharing those stories of people changing the game.
Do you have any advice for people trying to shop or live more ethically?
Don’t give in to overwhelm. It DOES matter what you do as an individual, in terms of food, plastic and other waste as well as remembering you have a voice and power in your pocket in terms of what you spend your money on. Choose to give your money to people who are going to use it to look after the planet, shop your values and campaign on the issues you care about.
What’s your favourite thing to do with your free time and why?
I used to be a big yoga fan but an ongoing health issue has meant I haven’t been able to practise this year but instead I’ve thrown myself into sea swimming in Margate where I live. So far, I’ve managed to get through from April to December with no wetsuit! I love the mental and physical challenge and the cold water really is a reset. It’s also given me a small community of lovely people who have helped each other through the various lockdowns.
How/has working sustainably impacted your non-business life?
Most things have changed since pebble launched. I no longer buy fast fashion or impulse buy. All my skincare, make up and haircare are organic, plastic free or zero waste. We try and reduce food waste as much as possible and I’ll be doing Veganuary for the first time in Jan. We have stopped travelling in the same way and no try and limit flights to one a year or every other year for a really special trip. We’ve swapped to renewable energy, I’m looking at eco friendly banking and pensions and lots more. It’s a constant journey of working out what you can change every day - which is why our ethos is #EverydayActivism.
What are your plans for the future?
I have a book out in Jan 2021, Is It Really Green?. It’s all about solving everyday eco dilemmas for people who are busy or who aren’t sure where to start on their sustainability journey. It’s the kind of book you can dip and out of when you’re not sure what the greenest thing to do is. I’m super excited to see if come out, as the publishers have also worked hard to make it the greenest book printed as well.
What would be the top thing that you would change about the way we treat the planet if you could?
That people would realise they are one of 7 billion plus people and we can’t keep acting as if we’re not. Global overconsumption around quick, plastic wrapped food, fashion and stuff is killing our planet. Slowing down is something we’ve got a glimpse of this year, let’s not speed it up again.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Yes! pebble is growing and evolving next year and we’re looking at changing up our community to make it richer and deeper and enable more discussion and peer to peer sharing and learning so we can all be more sustainable or understand more complex issues, no matter where we are on that scale. We will also be working on smaller virtual evening events and a big podcasting festival!
Where can we find you on the internet, buy your work, or join in?
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