When Sidney Vollmer and his daughter water their houseplants, they greet them with a “hello”. The Amsterdam-based writer has used the time at home this year to transform himself – and his daughter – into green-fingered plant advocates, as he explains in his long read How we are going to save the world with houseplants. For Vollmer, caring for the plants in our homes is a first step towards living a more ecological life, and this led him to turn his lockdown hobby into an initiative for global change. His goal is simple: use the power of plants to improve the environment beyond your front door, whether by sowing flower beds on your local street or handing out cuttings and seeds to people in need of some green. The benefits of spreading nature are countless, from improved air quality inside to calmer, more livable cities outside. The result: a cleaner planet and happier people. Vollmer’s plan for change started with mini pots of sweet peas and avocados watered by his daughter. What little plant will inspire you to make a big change? (Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Pflanzenfreude.de & Cassidy Phillips)
Looking for good quality basics that you can combine with anything? Then Afora is for you! The Berlin fashion label came into being in 2019 as the dream of fashion designer Tine, who after thirteen years in the industry knew exactly what her brand would be about: fair and honest products, good manufacturing techniques and high-quality fabrics. The range features well-done basics – hoodies, simple T-shirts, oversized shirts and casual trousers – with relaxed fits and unisex styles. All for All: that’s what the name Afora means. The brand’s sustainable, fair production methods are fully disclosed on the website, which explains the design, sourcing and costs of each garment. Their Turkish-Dutch partner guarantees production standards throughout the supply chain, with cotton sourced directly from nearby fields in Turkey. The resulting products show that it is possible to have sustainability at a manageable price point, and the garments’ longevity is itself resource-saving. Even more good news: from Monday you can order a new range of knitwear too! (Text: Annika Hillig / Photos: Afora.World, Lexi Sun & Benjamin Heinrich)
We’ve spent a lot of time at home this year, and with winter here it’s time to make things cozy again with a little help and inspiration from Urbanara. At their new pop-up on Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz – where the brand was first born in 2011 – you can find picks from the online range to see and feel in person, including high-quality home textiles and accessories. If you aren’t sure whether this carpet or that runner is really for you, this is your chance to inspect them up close before taking the plunge. The range includes blankets, cushions, bathrobes and more that you can admire, touch and take home. This time, small brands are also taking part, including Garden State Candles with their heavenly aromas, Wonderbar’s chocolate and cinnamon natural vegan soaps for face and body, as well as beautifully shaped solid-wood tables and seating by Nutsandwoods. From small to large, firm to fluffy, you are bound to find the piece that matches your home. Running until 16.12.2020, the pop-up is also a perfect source of gifts for that all-important winter festival – yes, it’s coming! (Text: Hanna Komornitzyk / Photos: Urbanara)
The pop-up in Mitte will run until 16.12.2020 and offers shoppers an exclusive 15 percent discount code for the Urbanara products in store plus carpets and runners ordered online.
Urbanara Pop-up Store: Linienstr.221, 10119 Berlin–Mitte; map
Fiona Ficus, Monica Monstera, Stella Strelitzia – at Bosque they care so much about houseplants they give them names. The Kreuzberg-based service hand delivers a great selection of lovingly-cultivated plants right to your door, meaning the days of tiring trips to the garden center are gone. Launched in 2018, the website offers themed plant boxes containing a pre-selected set of gorgeous greenery, already planted in elegant terracotta pots of your choice. If you are a beginner or take a “hands-off” approach to gardening, the Unkillable Plants Box includes hardy desert dwellers and cacti, which like all Bosque’s species are sustainably bred according to FSI 2020 standards and come delivered fresh and healthy in a sleek wooden box. Whichever box you pick (you can make your own too!), you can give your new green friends a great start with the accompanying app that offers care tips and reminders. That’s not all: the whole service will be CO2-neutral by the end of 2020, making it a solidly green choice for indoor greenery. (Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Bosque)
SHIFT — SCHÖNEBERG HAIR SALON FOR TAILORED CUTS AND CUTTING–EDGE COLORS
This is the time of year when the sun and salt water have taken their toll on your hair, calling for some much needed tlc. Shift, hidden within an old post building in Schöneberg, is my current salon of choice for hair-based rejuvenation. Since opening in November 2018, the salon has been focused on sustainable hair services, from simple cuts right through to cutting-edge color treatments using the latest Aveda products. The stylist who cut my hair, co-founder Jörg Winkelmann, really took the time to discuss my needs and recommended a glossing to revitalize my hair’s natural color. But it isn’t just your hair that benefits here: the spacious interior featuring regularly-changing artworks combined with Jörg’s delightful head massages make the salon good for the soul too. The space is also high tech, with a state-of-the-art ventilation system which cycles the air twice an hour (handy in Corona times!) and creates power from waste heat. For a relaxing, tailored hair care experience, Shift is a cut above. (Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Ramona Razaghmanesh & Shift)