Our heartfelt congratulations go to our founder Carole Bamford for being awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural Positive Luxury Awards.
‘It is a great honour to have been recognised in this way, particularly by an organisation that is doing so much to promote and support sustainable and ethical business practice. I feel enormously proud to find myself among a community in which individuals and companies are doing such innovative and pioneering work to forge a better future for our planet.’
‘A champion of sustainable and mindful living for more than 40 years, Carole Bamford believes that collective action is what will help us protect nature. She is a visionary in organic farming, and a promoter of natural beauty, as well as sustainably produced luxury garments that highlight skilled artisanal work. We are so pleased to celebrate Carole’s success in affecting change and enabling others to live and shop more consciously and present her with the Lifetime Achievement Award.’-
- DIANA VERDE NIETO, CO-FOUNDER POSITIVE LUXURY
Founded in 2011 by environmental trailblazers Diana Verde Nieto and Karen Hanton MBE, Positive Luxury connects luxury brands and people who care about the future through the unique Butterfly Mark.
The awards are a global celebration of sustainability and innovation within the luxury industry and recognise companies or individuals that are working towards effecting positive change in businesses and the world.
Q&A with Carole Bamford
WHAT'S BEEN THE ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR CAREER THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
When I look around at Daylesford and everything that we’ve done there since we made the decision to start farming organically, I do feel very proud. Daylesford began as nothing more than a collection of empty barns and bare fields and it has grown to become one of the most sustainable organic farms in the UK with the ability to lead and drive change. That’s perhaps what’s most important to me and what I’m most proud of – the capacity we have to inspire and enable others to make changes in their own behaviour and to live a more sustainable, holistic life. Whether that’s individuals, or other business. At Bamford, we’ve been making ethical clothing since we started and now so many others are doing the same and that’s really wonderful to see.
MAKING A BUSINESS RESPONSIBLE AND A POSITIVE FORCE COMES WITH CHALLENGES - WHAT HAVE YOU TURNED TO FOR INSPIRATION TO OVERCOME A SIGNIFICANT BARRIER (A PERSON, BOOK, FILM, PIECE OF MUSIC) - SOMETHING THAT HAS GIVEN YOU ENERGY, INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION TO PUSH THROUGH ADVERSITY)?
My family has been a huge influence, in particular my husband, who is a constant and unwavering support; I value his expertise, his advice and his knowledge.
My grandchildren remind me every day why it is so important we keep striving to push through any barriers – looking after our planet is vital so that we can preserve it for them and it breaks my heart to think that they might not see the beauty or enjoy the resources that we are so lucky to have.
And in my day-to-day, my meditation practice is something I rely on to balance any stresses or worries. I have practised yoga and meditation since I first went to India when I was young and they continue to help ground me and keep me centred and calm. When you practise yoga or meditate you’re creating your own space, a place and a time for yourself to recharge your energy and so to me that time in the morning is essential. I think everyone needs to have moments of that kind in their day, whether it’s by taking a walk, having a bath or reading a book – we all need to stop and refocus.
HOW CAN WE BECOME MORE CONSCIOUS CONSUMERS?
The first thing I would say is to start small and make changes that are sustainable for your lifestyle. Nobody is perfect and it is better to go slowly and make realistic swaps rather than embark on lots of big changes if you abandon them after a short time. Identify areas that are manageable for you.
Be mindful with your choices. There are lots of relatively simple swaps we can make to ensure we’re avoiding plastic, for example, but there are plenty of other small steps that we can take to adapt our lifestyle such preventing any food waste at home; looking after our clothes to make sure they last; and buying clothes that aren’t designed to be worn for a season then thrown away.
And of course, a huge part of being conscious is about arming ourselves with information – seeking out and supporting the brands and businesses that are doing the right thing and are behaving responsibly. It’s not always easy to make informed choices because there is so much greenwashing, which is why accreditations such as the Butterfly Mark and the Soil Association logo, for example, are so important. They are visible, vital indicators not simply of whether we’re purchasing something sustainable and ethical, but also that we’re choosing products or services that are going that bit further and using their business to have a positive impact on the planet.
THE 2020S ARE BEING CALLED THE DECADE OF CHANGE, WHAT ARE YOU BIGGEST HOPES FOR THE DECADE?
Every day I am encouraged and inspired by the voices of the younger generation and they fill me with hope for the future. The urgency of the actions taken by young activists such as Greta Thunberg bring into sharp relief the state of the crisis we are in and remind us all that we cannot sit by and let this happen. Children are taking a stand and my hope is that they will continue to reinforce the message that together we can be a force for change.