I can't put into words how much I adore and treasure this interview with Sofi Paniceva.
It was supposed to be an interview about her sustainable brand, Clue, but it has turned into more of a narrative about slow and ethical living, about reconnecting with nature and one's own roots in order to find one's true identity.
Take your time with this interview; relax with a cup of coffee or tea; indulge in some "me time".
One of the most idyllic and serene narratives you will ever read, I promise you that much.
Tell me, please, the story of Clue Linen.
I don't understand trends. I love the simplicity and beauty of high-quality design that never goes out of fashion.
I am aware that the things I use and the way I do things have a big effect on the world around me.
I know that taking care of others and the environment is the only way to build a real brand.
My journey as a mother and my desire to make the future better for my son led me to start my own brand, CLUE.
I only graduated from the College of Light Industry in 2017 because I felt my wardrobe lacked eco-friendly, long-lasting clothes.
As a fashion designer and clothing technologist, I decided to launch a project that offers clothing and household items made in accordance with ethical standards and full transparency, with a focus on timelessness and increased minimalism while best satisfying basic needs.
I put our planet's health at the heart of the project's philosophy and foundation, without sacrificing quality.
At Clue, I made a commitment to promote responsible fashion by using eco-friendly fabrics like 100% linen, which has its own distinct qualities that change the game in the world of sustainable fashion. I am also aware of hemp fabric and nettle fabric, but I have yet to locate a manufacturer.
How does a woman feel when she pampers her heart and body with Clue Linen garments?
In recent years, society has accelerated, and stress levels have skyrocketed. We are constantly preoccupied with money, career status, appearance, and limitless savings.
We are stressed and anxious, and we are not sure what is wrong. What we truly lack is a connection to nature and its rhythms.
Trying to overcome distortion and rise above unnecessary noise, yearning for a new paradigm—a modern way of understanding the whole and each other.
Breaking free from prevailing conditioning that restricts our exploration of what we no longer perceive and desperately seek to re-establish.
Nature is where we spend the majority of our time. We have this unbreakable bond with nature. We need to reconnect with what we are losing and where we have strayed.
The more technologically advanced we become, the more we lose touch with nature and become even more unhealthy.
The darkest times are when I can not find myself; when I can not hear my own thoughts, when society and social rhythms bring chaos and noise. It is so easy to get caught up in all of this and lose sight of yourself.
To avoid the flow of energy that animates and awakens the organs of perception, we must return to resonance with the earth.
What could be more satisfying than wearing a product that truly comes from the earth and cares for us? This continuous connection is built with organic clothing and household items that are completely natural and pristine in composition.
"What happens in the body should be as pure as the body itself", is our core philosophy. This is an opportunity and a ray of hope. Clue connects you to nature, meaning, and honesty.
Clue is more than just a product to me; it is a reminder to everyone who works to ensure the sustainability of their health and the planet's health.
I believe we are all linked and that our actions have far-reaching consequences that extend beyond ourselves.
Clue explores the relationship between all living beings and humanity's ability to change the fragile situation that remains malleable in our hands, calling on society to develop a deeper connection with the outside world and reflect on the importance of the planet on which we live.
The Clue collection recreates nature's pristine beauty. The product is made with the utmost respect for people and the environment, as well as the highest level of responsibility, quality, and durability.
My products are not seasonal and are intended to be enjoyed how, where, and when you want.
You also produce tablecloths and napkins. Why did you choose these works?
During that time in my life, when I was working every day and doing my best to follow my wellness rituals, I was thinking about the high-quality necessities required for daily housekeeping.
I learned about a theory that reveals the advantages of choosing feelings and attitudes about what you should do (after all, many routine tasks are perceived as a burden by people).
It is easy when we do something that a priori causes pleasant feelings, but we have a choice in how we treat it, which will determine whether time has been wasted or whether we appreciate and subtly delve into every task that we need to live a moment of contemplation and deep involvement.
As a result, I decided to add kitchen textiles to the assortment (serving napkins, tablecloths, linen curtains)—all home decoration items that will help form a harmonious, beautiful, lighthearted, and, of course, eco-friendly home environment.
We frequently underestimate the significance of minor details. The situation outside, of course, influences and directs the mental state, and vice versa; it is a two-way movement, and we can approach it from various angles.
As a result, I wanted to brighten up the household routine by including kitchen textiles (serving napkins, tablecloths, linen curtains) in the collection—household items that will help create a harmonious, beautiful, carefree, and, of course, eco-friendly home environment.
By including serving, linen napkins, and high-quality dishes, the eating process can become more than just the satisfaction of primitive basic needs.
It is no coincidence that the Japanese describe the concept of "mono-no-awareness" as "incomprehensible". So, if someone "feels the charm of a thing," he is incapable of evil. This is a look worth considering.
Is beauty truly so powerful, and if so, why? The Japanese call this contact "wa," which translates as "harmony" and refers to the primordial connection, the mutual balance of things. The soul of one merges with the soul of the other, and everything becomes one.
"A person who has found harmony is like other things in everything", ancient Taoists said. Nothing can hurt him or slow him down. He can do anything, including pass through metal and stone, as well as step on water and flame."
Beauty, like a key, reaches and opens all the hidden places, those that have been trampled and destroyed, those that require healing.
"To teach you to distinguish subtle shades of colour and taste in sensations", to awaken a person's sensual nature, to restore sight, hearing, and a sense of the beauty of the world in any of its manifestations - this is part of the Clue project's mission.
Beauty revitalises and nourishes. Beauty both comforts and heals. It undoubtedly shapes your emotional landscape. Observe everything, look for and find beauty. Is not that what life is all about?
What inspires you when choosing a subject, design or material?
Nature is my constant source of inspiration. Nature gives life, meaning, and a calm beauty. I admire nature and the nuances of its well-organized rhythms.
The energy in our soil and the earth itself is so powerful that when I remove my shoes and touch them to the natural layer, to the grass with morning dew, I feel this powerful force and compensate for my shortcomings.
Images of rivers that resemble our bodies' arteries.
Rivers, plants, animals, and birds all follow the same basic principles and laws that govern our land.
To comprehend this world, one must first return to its origins.
I live with the realisation that everything is interconnected, that our choices have an impact, that our actions are mirrored, and that the paths we take eventually intersect.
I am constantly working to broaden our circle of understanding and compassion, which is based on respect for all living things.
It is necessary to be aware of one's level of responsibility, to engage in conscious consumption, and to be grateful for and concerned about the planet's resources.
I work to keep our imprint small by using regenerative materials designed to best serve their wearer, guided by the poetic interconnectedness of nature.
Every step, no matter how small, taken towards a more conscious lifestyle is priceless. All we need to do now is get started. We must begin with ourselves, so I initiated a series of changes by using a personal example and a Clue project.
I made the base fabric out of linen. The authentic and textured linen fabric is unbleached; it is organic from cultivation to production.
Minimal water consumption for cultivation causes minor environmental damage, and the use of all plant parts ensures waste-free production.
Furthermore, linen is extremely durable—30% stronger than cotton—and wear-resistant;roducts made of this ffibre have been used for decades, allowing you to develop a sustainable attitude towards clothing. Linen is biodegradable because it simply degrades, entering the natural ecosystem while causing no harm or consequences.
The human-nature relationship is extremely complex. As inhabitants of this planet and a powerful force on it, our actions have incalculable consequences for the planet we have made our home, determining its future or, conversely, hastening its demise.
I am investing in the Clue project because I am concerned about humanity's place on the planet and the role we must play in protecting the natural world.
Fashion is often considered frivolous. In your opinion, what is the main role of clothes besides covering our bodies?
The primary request for clothing is, of course, ethical, which implies a desire for comfort and a light sense of self.
When clothing serves as an aid on all levels, when it does not cause discomfort to the body or interfere with self-identification.
When you have a subtle connection with yourself and an understanding of your nature, your clothes can reflect the inner you, and when the inside is fine, your clothes will not leave a negative trace after you.
What rituals and daily routines help you master the art of a beautiful life?
After experiencing emotional burnout and anxiety as a result of overwork, I began looking for answers to better understand what we require on a basic level to maintain our physical and mental health.
This foundation would then serve as the basis for productive work and life in general. I believe that daily rituals are the foundation for long-term and sustainable success in life and business, as well as the key to achieving a sense of balance.
There are numerous reasons to be happy in life. It is just that we often do not notice them as we rush by in search of something bigger. And happiness is made up of small things.
Every day, to notice the benefits, to make the daily, boring routine more comfortable, pleasant, and beautiful. It is not necessary to wait for a special occasion to set the table for dinner or to spend 10 minutes more on breakfast, but rather to add aesthetics and pleasure to the moment.
We do not always have enough time to stop, listen, get into it, and feel it.
Even mundane, routine moments can be sources of surprise and joy if we stop and think about them.
The light and shadows from the winter sun breaking through the glass, the taste and smell of hot, fresh coffee, happy children's laughter diluting the night's silence, shiny cobwebs heavy with dew on the flowers displayed on the balcony must all be felt more subtly.
I was born and raised in the countryside. For many years, I have been connected with genuine natural heritage, which has formed a stable, healthy foundation for me as well as a subtle connection with nature.
I recall how this naturally manifested itself in me at a young age.
Cooking is meditation, as is gardening; presence in the present moment; connection with nature and ingredients; home care; hygiene.
Everyday activities must be enjoyable because they consume the majority of our time.
Clue is the evolution of my beliefs, a full-fledged lifestyle brand, and the values of an eco-friendly lifestyle, both physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
I could not help but notice that you have a passion for plants and flowers. What effect do they have on you?
To awaken nature's energy, you must observe and participate in natural cycles, biorhythms, and seasonality.
The garden is the embodiment of the wild soul. The garden has a direct connection to life and death.
There is even a religion in the garden because it teaches profound lessons in psychology and spirituality.
Excess moisture, lack of moisture, pests, heat, storm, flood, invasion, miracles, dying, returning, grace, healing, flowering, abundance, and beauty are all things that can happen to the soul.
When you look at the garden, you can see signs of life giving and taking place in it.
Plants and flowers are a meditation in which the time between ripening and dying can be seen. We do not resist the breaths and exhalations of the great wilderness.
We assimilate the cyclical nature of the wild during this process. We have the ability to infuse energy, strengthen life, and not interfere with what is dying."
Every morning, happiness is born in the simplest of things. Timid and ordinary. A gate will creak from a light breeze somewhere in the yard, and an oriole will sign somewhere in the distance. It is simple, but it gets the job done.
A big spring field with the first flowers, warm bread with a golden crust that I bake with love for my family, and the sun dancing on a clay jug are all things that make me happy.
What does happiness mean to you?
Happiness is being in subtle contact with yourself when you can listen to these simple things and be fully happy from love and tenderness, from a subtle sense of harmony and inviolability of this special comfort of the soul.
Happiness is simply being where you belong, and home is anywhere you are at peace with yourself and the world.
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