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Meet Aina Velasco

" CREATING A SUSTAINABLE FASHION BRAND OR TRANSFORMING A BRAND INTO A MORE SUSTAINABLE ONE IS NOT EASY. BUT THERE ARE A MILLION PLACES TO START FROM AND WE SHOULD ALL BE ENCOURAGING BRANDS TO START TAKING THE STEP TO DO THINGS BETTER".

1. CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?

I was born in Barcelona 21 years ago and I’ve lived here my whole life. I’m finishing a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and I also studied Humanities for two years. At the moment, I combine my studies with freelance modeling, writing and editing irreverent magazine (a digital magazine focused on sustainable fashion, beauty and lifestyle) and directing and creating content for different brands (including the vintage label I’ve co-founded (am pm)).

2. HOW ARE YOU?

I’ve been better, probably like most of us. It’s a hard time in our history, and it’s difficult to stay informed and stay sane at the same time. But I also feel very lucky. I’m grateful I have a home to stay in, grateful to be able to work in these circumstances and grateful for being healthy and to have a family, partner and friends who are too.

3. WHAT DOES YOUR STAY AT HOME LIFE LOOK LIKE? ARE YOU FOLLOWING ANY ROUTINE?

 I’m a very organized and methodical person so I try to stick to a routine similar to the one I had before all of this. I wake up early, stretch and workout for 45 minutes and then read while I’m having my breakfast. That’s one of my favorite things to do, and during a “normal” week I was only able to do that on the weekends. I then work, have lunch and work some more in theafternoon. If it’s sunny I like to sunbathe for a while. At night I usually watch a film, read some more, or call my friends and my girlfriend. I miss them so much!

4. HAVE YOU INTRODUCED ANY NEW ROUTINES OR RITUALS SINCE STAYING HOME?

I have much more spare time than I had before so I’m trying to take better care of myself by doing more of what I love. I’m watching loads of films and documentaries, cooking much more and learning how to do it better (I’m the worst cook ever!) and spending more time with my loved ones (even if it’s through a screen). I’ve started buying flowers from my local florist again, and whenever I feel stressed, I light a candle or talk to someone. I’ve come to realize that the little things are the ones that keep my heart at peace.

5. WHAT OR WHOM IS INSPIRING YOU THESE DAYS?

Nature, architecture, and art are always my biggest sources of inspiration. I also love magazines. When I travel, I always buy a Vogue issue from whatever country I’m in and I keep them in a stack in my room. I’ve been flipping through them again these days. Ads and editorials from the 80s and 90s, Tumblr, and the people I follow on Instagram are also some of the things that inspire me every day.

6. FROM WHAT WE'VE SEEN YOUR SPIRIT IS ENTREPRENEURIAL; HOW DID YOU FOUND THAT PATH? WHERE YOU AFRAID OR INSECURE ANY TIME? 

Both my parents have been, and still are, some of my biggest references and the ones that have always fed that entrepreneurial spirit. Since I was little, I’ve loved having my own projects and being in charge, so I guess that’s also something that has always been important to me. And I’ve been afraid and insecure many times. I still am, constantly. I’m a big perfectionist and it’s hard for me to let things go and be happy with the results. Understanding that we’re constantly learning and that there’s not one way to do things in life has helped me a lot. And reminding myself of the things I’ve worked for and accomplished also gives me strength and makes me feel confident again.

7. HOW DO YOU STAY ORGANIZED FOR WORKING ON FOUR DIFFERENT PROJECTS AT THE SAME TIME? 

I’m a big organization freak. I thrive on routine and schedules and I also need them to stay on top of things. What helps me the most are daily to-do lists, to remember everything I must do that day. I also set certain times a day for each of the different projects I manage, so they have my full attention and I can accomplish everything that I’ve set for that day. I get some tea or coffee, sit down and put my phone on airplane mode to focus on whatever I have at that moment. I also think though, that accepting that you can’t do everything and finish every single task it’s important. Having moments to relax, go out or see your loved ones are crucial too when you manage your own time.

8. FIVE MONTHS AGO YOU FOUNDED IRREVERENT MAGAZINE; WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT IT? AND WHY DID YOU FIND THE NEED OF CREATING THIS NEW PROJECT?

We started irreverent magazine because we couldn’t find a place that united sustainable fashion, beauty and lifestyle in the way we wanted to talk about it. Both Claudia and I started being more conscious about our choices three years ago, and when looking for brands to buy from, the ones we found didn’t really match our style and values. We wanted a digital space that featured brands with a minimalistic, ethical and curated approach to sustainability and that would also draw attention to some of the biggest issues the fashion industry, one of the most polluting in the world, is creating. We’ve been educating ourselves a lot during this time, and the knowledge we’ve gained, mixed with our journalistic drive to talk about what’s happening in the world and raise awareness towards certain issues, is what created irreverent magazine.

9. FROM A PAST CONVERSATION WE'VE HAD, WE TOLD YOU THAT WE ARE NOT 100% SUSTAINABLE BUT WE ARE WORKING ON IT. DO YOU THINK IT'S CRUCIAL RIGHT NOW FOR A NEW BORN BRAND?

 I think that choosing to not be sustainable is no longer a choice. Sustainability is not only about creating products that are sustainable, is about changing our core values and implementing  strategies that are true to them. That’s why we cannot have sustainable brands that encourage  crazy consumerism and that’s also one of the things I love about Nutka Studios: you believe in seasonless pieces that you can wear on the daily basis. Creating a sustainable fashion brand or transforming a brand into a more sustainable one is not easy. But there are a million places to start from and we should all be encouraging brands to start taking the steps to do things better.

10. WHAT THINGS DO YOU CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A NEW PIECE FOR YOUR WARDROBE?

The first thing I consider when buying is if I really need to buy that piece. We already have loads of clothes in our wardrobes we don’t wear. Who made it, where was it made and under what circumstances are some of my main concerns too. I also care a lot about what does the brand stand for and what are their values. I appreciate when a brand is transparent, accountable and is able to recognize they aren’t perfect but they’re trying to get there. Brands that commit to certain sustainability goals and work towards achieving them have all my respect. I want to add pieces in my wardrobe that make me feel proud.

11. DO YOU BELIEVE COMFORT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH SELF-CONFICENDE?

 Absolutely. Clothes are such a big part of how we perceive ourselves and a way to express our personalities. They also can be big mood changers. We all have pieces in our wardrobes that have been loving forever and that we instantly feel good in when we put them on. For me, nothing beats a good t-shirt and jeans combo. And that’s what all the clothes in our wardrobe should make us feel.