IN THE KITCHEN WITH JOY

Interview from marmaladeandkindness.com

This week, Marmalade and Kindness sits across the table from Joy Vailjev, CEO of The Organic Company, a Danish design company. Her mission is to promote organic farming globally and encourage people to buy less but better quality products that last for years. She talks to us about her approach to food, the routines that keep her down to earth and of course her passion for sustainability.

1. MY COOKING INSPIRATION…
Is it vegetarian/vegan cuisine. Light, colorful, healthy, and always organic. I have been vegetarian for 14 years (and often vegan). I think cooking is a hard task. I admire people who bring healthy and tasty meals to life every day. My wish is to become a really good vegan chef.

2. A MEAL THAT MAKES ME FEEL AT HOME…
It 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 big area: our meat industry. I believe that animals should be treated with respect and not as objects. My mother has become a very good cook, especially since her retirement. She has experimented in the kitchen and she brings small dishes with flavors from many cuisines to life so easily (at least that's my impression!)

3. A LIFE LESSON COOKING HAS TAUGHT ME…
Tang is an overlooked and amazing treasure. Our garden is full of it and you can prepare it in many good 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 that needs to be solved, and then I think of the solutions.

5. THE MOST TRANSFORMING BOOK I HAVE READ IS…
'Regenerative Leadership' by Laura Storm and Giles Hutchins. It is a must-read book for everyone who fights for a better world. It is in-depth and holistic as well as solution-based.

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

7. I HAVE RECENTLY LEARNED…
People's ability to change their behavior is high. Just think about COVID-19, how the world completely changed its behavior. Imagine if the same thing happened in critical areas such as pollution of our planet, extinction of species, climate change or the massive overconsumption...? Oh, just think about it.

8. FAVORITE RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS…
To be kind. Especially when things don't work out. Like in traffic, at work, in the supermarket... I think we need more love and less ego behavior in the world. So we should all embrace what is happening with acceptance and love. No negative feelings attached. This is also the best basis for change.

9. TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN MY COMMUNITY…
(And elsewhere) I lecture on sustainability for free. Primarily for educational purposes. Schools, university and design school classes. I have been doing this for several years now. I have developed a model to help the younger generation (who are very worried and confused, like most of us) to navigate through sustainability and action.

10. RIGHT NOW I AM GRATEFUL FOR…
So many things. I am truly grateful to live in a peaceful country, the sky, nature, my family, my company and the sustainable revolution.

The Organic Company is a Danish design company that 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. Each product is carefully considered in terms of both design and purpose, because Joy believes that the better the product, the better people care for 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 about an ecological lifestyle, the environment and sustainability.