INTERVIEW
TOM
YOUNG
INTERVIEW
MAX
POOLMAN
INTERVIEW
Tom
pieper

Updated: Jan 21

All our t-shirts are made from ring-spun combed organic cotton and our bags from a mix of recycled cotton/recycled polyester. For us it is very important that our products are made from materials with a smaller impact on our environment.



We work with white label brand Stanley/Stella for our t-shirts. They know very well what they are doing, and we love what they are doing. All the t-shirts we work with are made from organic cotton. 'Organic cotton is a natural, GMO-free fibre that uses less water than standard cotton. In addition, its production does not involve the use of chemicals (no fertilizers or pesticides) and encourages rotation of crops to keep soil healthier, more fertile and maintain humidity. Waste from the cotton ginning process is also recycled for the animal feed industry.'


GOTS certified

The products from Stanley/Stella are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified. 'The strictest certification for textiles made from organic fibres. GOTS tracks the entire chain of production from farm to factory: from harvesting of the cotton, weaving of fibres, assembly of items, to the final product before printing, including even the export of our clothing! It certifies that Stanley/Stella cotton is GMO-free and is grown without the use of chemicals and is processed and dyed without using any banned toxic substances. GOTS also ensures compliance with the labour standards of the International Labour Organisation throughout the chain of production.'


Recycled cotton and recycled polyester

'The Global Recycled Standard label certifies that the materials used are recycled: in the case of polyester, from plastic bottles, and for cotton, from cutting waste. GRS also guarantees compliance with social and environmental criteria such as treatment of waste water, the absence of certain toxic additives and respect for working conditions in our partner factories. The cutting of different pieces to make our products naturally produces scrap material. Since the idea of throwing this material away is out of the question, we have a partner who collects and recycles it into new cotton thread that we use in the manufacture of our tote bags.'


Ring-spun combed cotton

Not only is organic cotton better for the environment, our ring-spun combed cotton t-shirts are of very high quality. Most t-shirts that are sold as '100% cotton' are made from a less expensive, less refined open-end cotton, offering good value for a basic tee. Ring-spun cottons are smoother and stronger. They've been through a spinning process that softens and straightens each fiber. Another step up in quality is combed ring-spun cotton, which is even more refined. After the cotton fibers have been spun, they're combed to remove any impurities or imperfect strands.

If you treat your t-shirts well, don't wash them too often and if you do with an organic washing liquid, you'll be able to enjoy them for a long time! Check out here your next favorite tee!









Photo of cotton by Trisha Downing on Unsplash

Tom is a marine conservationist with many talents. With his true adventurous spirit he is eager to raise awareness for the rewilding movement. He creates great visual material to support conservational work, and videos to show a lifestyle closer to nature.


How do you unf*ck the world?

Plant more trees! Stop destroying wild landscapes, rewild the land, and rewild ourselves. By pro-actively creating wild habitats and protecting existing ones we can help reduce and potentially reverse impacts of a changing climate. It will also give people greater opportunities to reconnect with their inner animal, that ancient wild soul inside us that has been compressed by modern society. I strongly believe people will be happier, care more and support more sustainable causes if they spend more time in nature. Strolling through the park, sitting in a garden, hiking in the mountains, hammocking under the stars in a forest. 


How do you unf*ck the world on a personal level?

On a personal level it’s tricky! I tend to be extremely aware of my consumption, making more environmental choices whenever I can when buying products and travelling. A massive downside to my work is the carbon footprint that comes with travel. I try to reduce this by supporting active tree planting charities like Trees for Life in Scotland. And when I travel personally, I tend to favour big wild hikes and less impactful public transport to get around. Anything to help reduce my carbon footprint. I’m a relaxed vegan that doesn’t want to support the modern intensive farming industry; where I have the choice I will always choose to cook and consume vegan products. Although sometimes I have found myself in rare situations where refusing a non vegan meal would be socially or morally offensive (Basically try not to be a nob about it), having been invited into many traditional homes on my travels, where certain cultures rely heavily on the consumption of meat and dairy just to sustain themselves. A tribe member I had just met in the rainforest of Borneo might have prepared me a traditional piece of chicken, and to sit down in a strangers home who has kindly welcomed a weird white westerner in and gone to the extra effort to prepare me dinner would be completely insulting. So I’ve learned not to beat myself up in these situations, enjoy that damn finger lickin good piece of chicken and accept that in some cultures in the world veganism is an unheard of and unfeasible concept. If I can inspire others to take similar actions to help unfuck the world, then that’s a massive win too! Hopefully some of my photography and filmmaking can contribute to this.



You travel the world for your work. What do you do exactly? 

Currently, I’m creating video and image content for a travel company that specialises in volunteer experiences helping endangered wildlife at its core. Time is split between the office editing and planning with shooting on locations and meeting the people that make the projects happen. There are so many dedicated and passionate people out there and places where the physical and financial help of volunteers seems to make a genuinely massive difference! There’s a heap of stories I’d like to continue to tell through film that I’m hoping I find the time for in the near future :)


What have you been working on lately?

At the moment I’m based in the UK near London working for The Great Projects. Predominantly my work so far has been with orangutans, and the sanctuaries in Borneo that have been rescuing them from habitat loss and the illegal pet trade, amongst many other species. The primary aim of the sanctuaries is to rehabilitate them and ultimately release them into safe and protected areas of rainforest where possible. To be able to see a single species that makes up a huge and vital role within its rainforest habitat, and see how devastating the impact the world is having on them and the wider consequences is heartbreaking. We have to remember that the countries where the impact tends to be greatest are often developing and culturally very different from the western world, we can’t judge them based on the baselines we take for granted here. Resources are spread extremely thin for conservation work and it seems to me that there is too much for them to currently be handling.


My latest work trip was to South Africa to film great white sharks, a massive dream of mine since I was around ten years old fulfilled! The work here is more scientific based, focussing on understanding a species that forms a vital part of the ocean ecosystem that we know relatively little about. 



We hear that conservation work can be dangerous in some regions. How is your experience with this?

So far, I haven't had any experiences in the conservation field where I have directly witnessed or been involved in anything particularly dangerous, but I have heard first-hand stories. In some parts of the world conservation can come into conflict with the interests of others. For example, in many farmers eyes in Borneo, orangutans can be viewed as pests that damage their land, and a charity swooping in telling locals that they need to protect them and the land instead of shooting, selling or eating them can create tension. I'd say the majority of dangers are related to the illegal trafficking of animals, where poaching and black markets are involved. There are reports of 100's of wildlife rangers being killed by poachers every year. 

For people wanting to get into the field of conservation, what would be a good place to start?

In my experience, volunteering is a huge part of getting a foot in the door of conservation work. Obviously the pursuit of relevant qualifications helps too, but the conservation world is full of committed and passionate groups of people, and those two qualities are extremely valuable. Find which areas of conservation interest you the most, and take every opportunity you can get to build any experience possible. 


If you can be a superhero, which one would you want to be and why?

Super hero! Hmm, it's a tough one. Selfishly I'd love to fly, or have some form of gills for extended underwater ocean exploration. But then I'd need extra blubber for warmth. and better limbs for swimming with. In fact, I'd love to be able to animorph, turn into animals. That'd be pretty ace!


Follow Tom his adventures on his website, Instagram and Facebook.

Tosh has a critical mind and an entrepreneurial spirit. After having set up Uit De Grond, where people could order local produce for home delivery, he recently sold his other venture: Veganbox, home delivery of complete ready to prepare vegan meals. (Which he was still running himself at the time of the interview)



How do you unfck the world?

Haha o wow, that's not something I have thought about. I don't think the world is fcked though, that's not my view of it.


Alright, let's put it different. How do you contribute to a more beautiful world?

That’s a complex question. I don't have the illusion that we, with the Veganbox, have a big impact. Maybe in certain cases even a negative one.


Making a positive impact, I mostly see that on a more personal level, in a smaller circle. With your partner, friends, family and colleagues. In case of the Veganbox I try to make sure that the team is doing and feeling well, that they are growing as individuals and that we add value for our clients and partners.


Big societal changes can be made, but that's very complex. For example, if everyone would order our Veganboxes, would that mean that they eat more meat the other days? Is home delivery more efficient than people going to the store, or would it actually increase traffic? And what about the import of exotic products and meat replacements? I do believe that there are businesses that can have a real positive impact, but I believe they would have to operate on a much bigger scale.


Social- and environmental activists almost always make a moralistic truth of their goals, comparable with ideologists. This often makes it a big challenge to discuss the difficult problems and get to implementable solutions.

So where do you think most impact can be made?

This is a very broad question. It depends on your background. But I do think that it starts with people's attitude. Actually, I think a big part of the activists movements that are becoming more popular are very problematic.


Why problematic?

That's a long story, I think that real development and solutions always come from an honest vision and analysis of the problem. Social- and environmental activists almost always make a moralistic truth of their goals, comparable with ideologists. This often makes it a big challenge to discuss the difficult problems and get to implementable solutions. I see this happening on a daily basis with climate- and migration debates.


I think being able to talk about the hard problems honestly is a really big part of solving them, both with the daily level as on the big societal.


That's what I like about entrepreneurship & capitalism. The market is always honest, which forces you to face the hard truths.



So who do you believe to be a good example of working on the (in your eyes) right issues?

Depends on you the person! I think in pretty much in every aspect of society there are things to improve, so I think wherever you are you can make an impact. As you grow as a person, you can improve more people's lives. I try to be honest, kind, develop myself and work hard. 

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