IN THE KITCHEN WITH JOY

Interview from marmaladeandkindness.com

This week Marmelade and Kindness sits across the table with Joy Vasiljev, CEO at The Organic Company, a Danish design company. Her mission is to promote organic farming globally and to encourage people to buy less, but better quality goods that they will keep for years to come. She talks with us about her approach to food, the routines that keep her grounded and, of course, her passion for sustainability.

1. MY COOKING INSPIRATION…
Is the vegetarian/vegan kitchen. Light, colourful and healthy and always organic. I have been vegetarian for 14 years (and often vegan). I think cooking is a tough job. I admire people bringing healthy and tasty meals to life on an everyday basis. My wish is to become a really good vegan chef.

2. A MEAL THAT REMINDS ME OF HOME…
Rarely happens to me. Because the Danish kitchen is a meat kitchen. With gravy and potatoes. I am so proud of Denmark, except for one major area: our meat industry. I think animals should be treated with respect and not like objects. My mum has become a genuinely good chef, especially since her retirement. She’s been experimenting in the kitchen and she brings small dishes with tastes from many kitchens to life so easily (or at least that’s my impression!)

3. A LIFE LESSON COOKING HAS TAUGHT ME…
That seaweed is an overlooked and amazing treasure. Our oceans are filled with it and you can prepare it in many great ways. This is a new journey for me. Food-wise as well as product-wise. So incredibly fascinating from many perspectives, including sustainability.

4. WHEN I WANT TO BE CREATIVE I…
Think of a problem to be solved, then think about the solutions.

5. THE MOST TRANSFORMATIONAL BOOK I’VE READ IS…
‘Regenerative Leadership’ by Laura Storm and Giles Hutchins. It’s a must-read for all fighting for a better world. It’s profound and holistic as well as solution-based.

6. THE ROUTINES THAT KEEP ME GROUNDED ARE…
A short yoga programme in the morning (not every morning but often) topped with meditative breathing exercises (every morning). As well as daily meditations. It’s my main key to feel life. We also meditate together in The Organic Company. Every Monday at 11 am, we gather and I guide all of us. Typically a body scan, chakra cleansing or the like.

7. I RECENTLY LEARNT…
Humans’ capability to change is high. Just think about COVID-19, how the world completely changed behaviour. Imagine, if the same happened within critical areas like pollution of our planet, eradication of species, climate change or the massive overconsumption…? Ohh, think about it.

8. FAVOURITE RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS…
To be kind. Especially when things are not working out. Like in traffic, at work, in the supermarket… I believe we need more love and less ego behaviour in the world. So we should all embrace whatever happens with acceptance and love. No negative feelings attached. This is also the best foundation for change.

9. TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN MY COMMUNITY I…
(And elsewhere) I’m giving lectures about sustainability for free. Primarily for educational purposes. College, university and design school classes. I have been doing this for several years now. I have developed a model to help the younger generation (which are very worried and confused (like the majority of all of us)) to navigate through sustainability and action.

10. RIGHT NOW, I’M GRATEFUL FOR…
So many things. I am truly grateful for living in a peaceful country, the sky, nature, my family, my company as well as the sustainable revolution.

The Organic Company is a Danish design company which creates meaningful and tasteful interior textiles from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. Joy Vasiljev founded the company in 2007, to prove that responsible business is good business. Every product is thoroughly considered with regards to both design and purpose, because Joy believes that the better the product, the better you take care of it. Since then, The Organic Company produces more than 200 different products and exports to more than 26 countries. Today, Joy is an important voice in the debate on an organic lifestyle, environment, and sustainability.