This afternoon was my sister’s bridal shower (AKA her THIRD hen do) and I was mostly in charge of organising it. Naturally I went with a vague Alice In Wonderland theme, hence, the labels and bunny rabbit night light that made its way onto the table…
I just had a little spree at Neal’s Yard and got some great stuff to liven up my skin and hair:
Frankincense hydrating cream – an organic moisturiser to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This is probably the best moisturiser I have ever used. After less than two weeks my skin feels really soft and looks much more refreshed. My skin went through a very blotchy month when I tried to find some anti-ageing creams and reacted badly to all of the Simple stuff I had bought. Now it’s better than it was before.
Frankincense hydrating facial mist – essentially a spray form of the hydrating cream. Keep it in your handbag and give yourself a quick spritz when you need some moisture and a pick me up. This feels really cool and refreshing.
White tea facial mist – another really good mist but with a much stronger scent than frankincense. This one has the fantastic heavy aromatherapy smell I love. I feel really awake and smell amazing after spraying this one. This is made with antioxidant, anti-ageing white tea and is good for sensitive skin.
Rosemary and cedar wood hair treatment – a solid treatment that turns to oil in the hands to deeply condition the hair and scalp. It smells fantastic!
Clarifying mahonia skin gel – for restoring balance to blemished skin. I only really bought this as a little extra to bring my order up to £40 so I could get free delivery, which was worth doing. I only get a little acne very occasionally but after the blotchiness I had a month ago from suddenly changing my 10-year skin regime I thought it would be useful to have in the bag. You only need to use this stuff on the problem areas. Smells like honey!
Bullets made into rings, ‘climbing’ lamps and crate-turned-desks are just some of the statement pieces available on Moorbi.com, a website striving to revolutionise up-cycled fashion and home accessories. JennyVintage talks to its chief executive, Martina Basile, about her mission, trawling through landfills and why she’s no tree hugger.
What is Moorbi.com and how did it come about?
Moorbi is a marketplace where sustainable designers, artists, upcyclers and makers will be first time all grouped together online aiming to provide a valid alternative for a richer and more sustainable living.
We see a future where design will drive the change, where sustainable will be normal, where designers will be conscious about their responsibilities in thinking about the whole product life-cycle, where all the people will have possibility to have rooms and houses like magazine covers, unique in the world.
We are a team of people passionate about design, sustainability and revolution.
Where did the site’s name come from? What does it mean?
Moorbi was the name of a toy I did out of waste and old cloth when I was a child. It was quite ugly but screamingly funny – I remember was quite crooked, unfinished but uniquely mine.
What makes Moorbi.com different from other websites focused on vintage pieces and recycled materials?
Vintage is a trend, recycling is overused – what we have in mind is to create the main referent for people loving authenticity, style and quality but also something uniquely theirs and not impacting the environment or their pocket.
It is going to be a revolution of the entire production process; we decided to start from promoting the designers already conscious about their responsibility.
We are neither tree-huggers nor fashion victims. We like cool things.
How do you source sustainable designers and what are your criteria for sustainability? Does it differ at all from product to product?
We source sustainable designers directly at exhibitions, fairs, design weeks or reading about their projects on newspapers and blogs. Our criteria for sustainability? There are many of them, sustainability is many things and can seem nothing.
Generally I can say that all of them have a wider vision of the product – they do think about the beauty of it, but only after having considered what material to repurpose, reuse, upcycle, recycle, save, restore, how to assemble and deliver, ship it, how will it be dismiss and which message to give to people.
Some of them spend three days per week sourcing materials from landfills or around their houses and then working to save them, others have invented a new material much more sustainable, some others and saving materials and leftovers of production processes.
Who are the greatest designers you have come across so far in your search for sustainable products? What does it take to be a Moorbi.com featured designer?
As Victor Papanek – the godfather of sustainable design – said in 1972 “There are professions more harmful than design, but only a few”. So, the greatest designers I came across so far are the ones that are creatively approaching the sustainability factor and sustainably letting their creativity be.
Being a designer at Moorbi.com is pretty easy – all of them dream about and work hard to build a green future for all of us with even more quality and richer lifestyle. All of them are creatively revolutionists building great things out of leftovers of a consumerist society.
Are there any particularly young and new designers you have found?
We are actually planning to focus more on young and emergent designers. I believe it’s needed to give them a space and the right visibility but also since the beginning one clear rule: no more designers designing cosmetics, now the hardest thing is being a designer with a brain and think about before, during and after your project has been produced, sold and used.
What are your favourite items available on the website and what are the dream Moorbi.com products you are still on the lookout for?
I select personally all the designers to contact and to get on board as well as collaborate with the designers about the products to put on Moorbi.com. I love all of them, and I am so amazed looking at this when I think that has been only few months we’ve been up and so many designers and people interested in design to get in touch and interacting with this site. I dream about giving people the possibility to be sustainable and make everything around them sustainable from A to Z but never forgetting style and quality.
How would you describe your own home’s style?
My own? Essential but warm, functional but romantic, tiny but mine.
What’s next for Moorbi.com? What are your goals for the site for the rest of the year?
Moorbi aims to become the first place where design and art will be something everyone could get. Where sustainable won’t be more expensive than unsustainable, and where designers will be actively improving our own areas, cities and countries.
We want to democratise quality in terms of products and production. Everyone’s a tastemaker and an artist and would love to own something special and unique in the all world while dad Design always gets under people’s skins.
Today my gorgeous friend Auriol and I found an absolute gem of local-ish history, architecture and design – the only house designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in England. Just 40 minutes from our home in Milton Keynes.
78 Derngate, a terraced house in Northampton town centre, is a fairly modest-sized building in what was a quiet and middle class street in the First World War. In 1916 engineer JT Lowke bought the property as a wedding preset for his son WJ Bassett-Lowke for about £200. The young Bassett-Lowke, who became a successful model and toy maker, then spent £700 renovating the house to the designs of the already famous Mackintosh.
After the couple sold up and moved to a large art deco villa on the other side of town, a string of subsequent owners covered up, painted over or pulled out the Mackintosh fixtures and fittings. But in 2003, after a £1.4m restoration, 78 Derngate opened as a museum in almost the same state as when Mackintosh finished the commission (Mrs Bassett-Lowke hated the original black and yellow living room and it was toned down to grey…).
Full Price – £6.70
Concessions – £6.20
There are two brilliant 1940s things in this outfit – an English-made 1940s tweed jacket and a leather wartime handbag, both in fantastic condition and both from my favourite vintage shop, Ollie Vee’s in Leighton Buzzard.
The jacket was one of my first and is still one of my best ever purchases from Ollie Vee’s and was a bargain at just £40! Once we get more normal spring weather both items will make regular appearances in my Bletchley Park tour guiding outfits.
What I’m wearing:
1940s tweed jacket – Ollie Vee’s Vintage Emporium, Leighton Buzzard
1940s leather handbag – Ollie Vee’s
Dress – Peacocks via a charity shop
Cardigan – Beyond Retro
Belt – Primark
Brogues – Pied A Terre
Socks – Tesco (kids’ section)
Earrings – Claire’s Accessories
I’ve just discovered Ruche, a very feminine and affordable line of vintage-inspired clothing and accessories that was launched in 2008 by then newlyweds Mai Olivo and Josh Olivo. Here are my favourites from Ruche’s Tea For Two collection…
If you like these pieces it’s worth checking out their 1950s-inspired range too. And Ruche’s blog!