Well Being with Friends is a series of short investigations, not so much interviews, into the lives of people I know both closely and from afar. These people aren't just any people, they are people doing inspiring, interesting, innovative and meaningful things, for the greater good of Earth, our Universe, our ecosystem, our environment and, ultimately, our experiences here. The idea is to share the simple habits of the most with-it in wellness, providing an insight into what keeps them thriving. Whether it's a book, an app, a ritual or a rhyme, I hope you will discover new tools and take away constructive advice from each one. If nothing else, I hope this series connects you to more inspiring people and expands this community of people trying to make positive changes, both personal and widespread.
First up is Agata Kozak - founder of Cossac clothing. Agata is pioneering industry change towards eco fashion. Cossac is committed to slow fashion and sustainable design. Transparency, sustainability and social well-being is at the core of their business. They reject the mainstream practices of fast fashion that produce cheap, low-quality and disposable trend items by exploiting workers. COSSAC exists to offer women design-led conscious fashion to help drive awareness of the negative social and environmental impacts of the fashion industry and make it easy for women to make better choices. Find out more here.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being - by Milan Kundera.
I’m all about organic beauty; my rule is to use for my skin only things that I would eat; no artificial creams.
Recently discovered podcast:
Affirmation pod; it helps me sleep well during stressful periods.
Favourite guru / blog / website:
I love all food related websites; I’m an awful cook so I need the guidance :) I love your website, and also think the Hemsley sisters are great too.
Favourite or recently discovered app(s):
Headspace, and 7 MWC - a 7 minute workout app I swear by. I travel so much and sometimes cannot go to yoga or gym but with this app I find it easy to do a quick intense workout anywhere I go. Love it.
Favourite or recently discovered song:
Howling by RY X.
Favourite or recently adopted daily ritual or habit:
Meditation right before sleep.
Favourite or recently discovered film / series / documentary:
I love Chef’s Table and Abstract; find them super inspiring.
Something you've done recently:
I started making organic perfumes and candles which will be launched with AW18 next season :)
Wellness tip to try now:
Right after you wake up, take a glass of warm water with lemon and turmeric.
Favourite sustainable fashion brand(s):
I love Base Range and Girlfriend Collective.
Favourite Cossac piece:
SS18 scrappy jumpsuit. It was so popular back in SS16, that we are introducing it again this season.
Favourite country / city to visit:
My all time favourite place is Tokyo; it’s my happy place. The perfect mix of energising organised chaos and blissful calm.
A story from your favourite or recent travels:
All best stories are probably quite inappropriate actually :). But what I can share with you is how I learnt Tokyo is my happy place. When I went there for the second time, I was travelling from Tokyo to Kyoto on the bullet train and I was staring through the window at mount Fiji, and I just suddenly started to cry. I realised that for the first time in my life I was crying out of pure happiness. Since them it has happened to me 3 times more; always in Tokyo :).
Favourite or recently discovered wellness product(s) or tool(s):
Himalayan pink salt lamp; helps me to sleep and purifies the air.
Favourite or recently given or received piece of advice / quote / mantra:
Meditate an hour every day, unless you don’t have time - then meditate for 2 hours.
Something you live by - a mantra or general morals:
Life starts outside of your comfort zone; I tell it to myself every time I board a plane as I hate flying but have to travel often.
Beauty tip / rituals:
Relaxing baths with Epsom salts - at least twice a week.
Boiled water with fresh ginger, lemon and raw honey. I do not believe in popping pills. I believe in more holistic approaches and have a great respect for Chinese medicine. I travel to China often and love to visit their pharmacies, which actually look like more like herb shops.
Tips for sounder sleep:
Affirmation pod and a Himalayan salt lamp.
Whenever I travel, I don’t always have time to properly exercise, but everyday I try to do a 7 minute HIIT workout; you download an app and it can literally be done anywhere, anytime.
Favourite or recently discovered place for ultimate chill time:
Monocle cafe on Chiltern street; Monocle is my fave magazine and this little cafe is like a corner of heaven on Earth for me.
Favourite or recently discovered healer / bodyworker:
I have a physio in Guangzhou, China who I visit every 3 months. He is a magician and recently fixed my twisted ankle.
Favourite or recently discovered wellness cafe / restaurant / store:
One of my all time favourite places is a South Korean jjimjilbad. They are female-only public bathhouses where you can spend endless hours. They have hot springs, beauty rituals, cafes, sleep places and the best full-body scrub I have ever experienced. They are great to visit alone or to hang out with friends. My favourite one is Spa Lei in Gangnam.
Favourite healthy food / drink:
Matcha; I get mine from Tokyo fish market overtime I go there since the quality is so much better.
Work / life balance advice:
I love my work and I do it with so much pleasure and passion that I don’t feel I need a clear balance between work and ‘normal’ life.
Business advice - how do you remain mindful and conscious whilst successfully growing a business with a purpose:
When I started COSSAC I made a list of values/priorities and wrote answers to 3 questions in regards to my business: Why? How? What? I try to stay true to what I believe in and constantly reevaluate my actions and progress and make changes accordingly.
Favourite tip for instantly reducing stress:
Close your eyes and count to 10. My mom brought me that.
Spiritual practise (if any):
Affirmation/meditation and of course, travel.
First thing you do every morning:
Moan. I am not a morning person.
Last thing you do every evening:
Yoga, long walks and visiting markets; I love supporting local traders and learning new things from others. I also travels a lot. Sometimes I book a trip very last minute and just go away for the weekend to disconnect.