At Home With… Wendy Graham
In keeping with Himêya’s global launch, we’re delighted to include international voices that resonate with our philosophy. Wendy Graham runs Moral Fibres, a green lifestyle blog, vested in her belief that “sustainable living should be hip, not hippie.”
We enjoyed hearing about how she balances her passion for the environment with raising a young family. An insightful read any time of year, but especially if you could use a dose of hope and perspective in year two of a pandemic:
2021 so far...
2021 has been tough, that’s for sure. However, I have been in a really privileged position of my work not being impacted by the pandemic, and being able to work from home throughout. This hasn’t been the experience for many people, and every day I feel so lucky to be able to continue to work.
Featured: Vitamin D Flannel Blanket School Blue / Clay Red
Through Moral Fibres, you advocate sustainable living without compromise on style. What are some of your favourite possessions or practices that emphasise this philosophy?
My favourite practice is taking things I already own, but perhaps don’t love anymore, and transforming them into something I do love. Sometimes all it takes is a little paint, or a few tools, and you’ve got something that’s just perfect without having to buy anything new.
This cabinet (above), for example, belonged to my grandfather, and I inherited it a few years ago. My grandfather is 99 now, and has smoked cigars for at least 70 years of his life. The cabinet was ingrained with the smell of cigar smoke, and anything we put in it came out smelling of cigars. It had also been painted with a really dark varnish that hid some of its beautiful features. After stripping all of the varnish, sanding it, and recoating with some wood oil it’s turned out to be the perfect cabinet which now doesn’t smell of cigar smoke.
From being a student of the environment and sustainability with two related degrees, what has kept you passionate about this subject over the years?
I’ve been part of the environmental movement for 22 years now, and what keeps me passionate is that despite all this time, every day I’m continually learning something new. From new data to emerging issues which need our attention, such as microplastic in sunscreen, the science is always changing the more we understand about the environment and our impact on it. And I’ve been learning from activists focusing on intersectional environmentalism which is really helping to broaden my perspective.
“There isn’t a day when I haven’t learned something new.”
Featured: Vitamin D Gamchha Towels in Mud Brown & Honey Mustard
It’s not so much a routine but a regimental process! I get up, get the kids up, get the kids fed, make lunches for the kids, get them dressed and ready for school and nursery, get me dressed, and get them out the door and to the places they need to be. I then come home, have some breakfast, and try to de-stress before I start my working day! Mornings are hectic in our house.
“I try to remember that it won’t always be like this, and one day I will miss these busy starts, but at the moment it is hard work!”
I’ve been on a yoghurt and fruit kick lately. Sometimes I fancy it up with nuts, seeds or even dark chocolate chips when I feel like something a little more decadent. On cold mornings when I need something warm and comforting to start the day, it might be porridge oats. With yoghurt, I like to experiment with my porridge toppings. And other times, when I need something speedy, it’s probably toast and marmalade. I cannot get enough of marmalade, it’s a favourite of mine.
How are you keeping your immunity up?
I try to eat a balanced diet, I try to make space to do some exercise each day, and I try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. Mostly because these things make me feel better, but they do have the added advantage of helping to keep my immunity up. I’m also learning to say no to more things, because I find when I do too much work, I feel run down, and more prone to illness, so that’s been a bit of a lesson for me in the last couple of years.
Favourite from Himêya’s Vitamin D collection...
I really love your Rescue Towels. The fact that they are made from the by-product of waste yarns makes them a great low impact addition to any home. It’s also great to know that Himeya donates 20% of proceeds from the towels to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), which helps to support people whose livelihoods have been shattered by conflict and disaster, to survive, recover and regain control of their future.
Featured: Vitamin D Rescue Towels
Favourite space at home?
We created a little home office under our stairs last year. Our house is small and space is at a premium, so we took out the overly large and impractical cupboard, and now it’s a lovely little workspace for me. We created it before the pandemic, and couldn’t have known just how important that space would become to me, as I’ve ended up working there full-time. I’ve got a desk I got from Etsy, and a chair I found in an antique shop and it’s all I really need to work.
In a time of much uncertainty, what's keeping you creative and inspired?
I’ve been making sure I go outside and have a walk each day in my local area. I find that really helps when it comes to creativity and inspiration as I tend to have my best ideas when I’m out walking.
“The fresh air – and the act of moving my body – helps keep me energised, and gives me space to think away from my computer or phone.”
It used to be red wine, but this year I’ve really cut back on the amount of alcohol I’ve been drinking so now it’s a cup of peppermint tea, and I really do feel so much better for it. Getting up in the morning is a much easier task when wine isn’t involved!
Before turning off the lights…
I’m probably already asleep! With having small children, and the hustle and bustle of family life, as well as my day job, and my work on the blog, my days are very full. I’m lucky in that I’ve never had a problem falling asleep, so yes, I’m probably already asleep before my partner switches off the light!
Photography of Wendy at home courtesy her nine-year-old daughter