May this find you well.
To our new subscibers - Lila, Debra, Marjorie, Kaushik, Kindbe, Riikka, Darla, and Monica - welcome. I hope you will enjoy these Sunday newsletters exploring sustainability and other related topics.
All previous editions are here, in our newsletter archive. Some people find it a real treasure trove to learn about Vegan vs. Real Leather, Up and coming materials, or that time I almost sent a really smug email.
Chloé, in Hyde Park, London.
Today you're in for a treat. You're going to meet Chloé El Bali: Luxtra's new Brand and Marketing Manager, and our first ever staff member. Chloé has been helping to hold the fort whilst I've been living it up Down Under.
So, Chloé - over to you. Please introduce yourself...
I am Chloé, French-born and Londoner at heart. It is funny - to me at least - that this introduction starts with the question I struggled with writing the most. I am so happy that I can introduce myself to you but I am not sure what you are interested in: How did I end up in London? What is my role for Luxtra? What does sustainability mean to me? If I like savoury pancakes or not?
You can put your mind at ease, I answered all of those pressing questions below... Hope you enjoy them *fingers crossed*.
As I mentioned before I am not from the UK but from a tiny village in France. Going on hikes, tiptoeing in the Lac Léman and horse riding through the verdant valleys were essential elements of my small-town upbringing. After Le Baccalauréat, the equivalent of A-levels, I came to London for a couple of months to gain some work experience... but I never left!
I completely fell in love with the city and kept busy waitressing at Jessica’s first business, a restaurant called ETHOS - the best veggie spot back then. With the support of her team, I had the opportunity to rapidly become confident in customer-facing and pursue a hospitality career. This was followed by a few years in a comfortable position at a trendy spot in Mayfair - do you know their egg shaped toilets?!
After a lot of fun and hard work in the sector, I decided to move on to other adventures and go on a different career path. A few marketing positions later, Jessica and I have rejoined forces at Luxtra!
Ethos, the vegetarian restaurant where Chloé met Jessica. Sounds a bit like a romance movie, doesn't it?
Tell us a bit about your work at Luxtra.
My role at Luxtra is very versatile and ever-changing, not one day is the same. From writing a blog on inspiring women, to fixing a little bug on the website, or even getting crafty with our vegan leather swatch packs, there is always something fun to do.
What would surprise people about your work.
The thing that usually surprises people is that my boss is teaching me German! And maybe the fact that we use fruit waste to make bags but I usually brag about the first one ;)
What does sustainability mean to you?
"Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." It was important to me to cite this definition before moving on to my own interpretation of "sustainability", hope you appreciate it.
As a 20-something today, I found it vital to be mindful with my day-to-day choices such as to be part of a transparent and ethically-driven company, to avoid big corporations and favour local enterprises, to switch to a renewable energy provider and other conscious decisions... Another significant thing to me is to be at peace with the fact that there are limitations to resources.
J'apporte ma pierre à l'édifice. Sneaky french idiom that quite resonates with this is and means contributing to a greater cause with your own assets.
Behind the scenes - getting crafty with our swath packs
What's your favourite part of your work?
My German lessons obviously... have I mentioned those? But more seriously, studying the most innovative materials we can work with and being part of a company that shares the same values as I do is my true favourite thing.
And the most difficult part?
The most difficult part is to not buy everything... hehe
Which is your favourite LUXTRA product?
I never go out without my Colvin Card Holder in Silver Piñatex. After 2 years of being on the road with me and no matter how many cards plus receipts I fill it with, it is still in perfect shape and not one stitch is out of place! Also, a couple of years ago I was delighted to find a Farrell Backpack under the tree (thank you Jessica) and since then I rarely go to work without it. It’s very slick and doesn’t take much space but the compartment inside is so spacious: laptop, chargers, water bottle, 3 notebooks (if not more), spare jumper and other miscellaneous things all neatly fit inside!
Chloé's favourite: The Colvin card holder in Silver Piñatex
What are your top 3 things to eat / see / do in London?
Eat: at Palms Green Café. Their savoury pancake truly feeds my soul. I am also often found at Mare Street Market, but if I am in the mood for a real treat, Frenchie or Nopi never disappoint.
See: Next on my list is the Waste Age: What Can Design Do exhibition at the design museum (go quickly - it closes Feb 20th)
Do: Theatre & Musicals!!
Mare Street Market, London, where you might just bump into Chloé
Et voilà ! There you have it. I hope that you have enjoyed meeting Chloé.
Me - I'm heading back to London tomorrow so I'm off to triple check that all my Covid documents are in order.
Catch you next week,
LUXTRA founder | Happy Boss | Proud B Corper