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Peppermint Issue 30

Our latest winter issue is out now and has us jumping for joy! We talk dancing and diversity with our covergirl Amrita Hepi, an Indigenous dancer, choreographer and activist who’s working to empower others through movement and community. And we profile other incredible women – including Stephanie Willard of Seven Women, Emma Isaacs of Business Chicks and Natalie Isaacs of 1 Million Women – who are creating positive change for our sisters around the world in all kinds of ways. We explore how traditional textiles bind people together and contribute to the fabric of society, and elsewhere there’s fair trade fashion from cool Kiwi label Kowtow, compost made from coffee with The Compost Mill, a chat with young Aussie Muslim author and nonprofit founder Yassmin Abdel-Magied, and the cutest dolls that help feed children in need with cuddle + kind. Plus a beautiful Bali eco retreat, artisan chocolate, vintage fashion, organic herbal teas, natural beauty, a free jumper dress pattern and more! Grab a copy today for stories that’ll warm your heart.


Peppermint Issue 30 - Kowtow


Issue 30 - The Fabric of Society

Peppermint Issue 30 - Compost Mill

Peppermint Issue 30 Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Peppermitn Issue 30 - Fivelements










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They say you shouldn’t go into business with your significant other – but what if love can actually smooth the way to professional as well as personal satisfaction? And what really happens when two people who share a passion as well as a life together join forces and start a business? We spoke to couples who have done just that – successfully navigating the challenge of being partners in more ways than one while running ventures that help make the world a better place.

Popp & Scott-3Based in Melbourne’s Northcote, Pop & Scott is a workshop cooperative, retail showroom and Australian-made furniture brand created by Poppy Lane and Scott Gibson. Combining their furniture design and making skills, they work from the bright and airy studio space they share with likeminded local creatives.

Poppy Lane

We met at a dodgy bar on Chapel Street in Windsor. Scotty had been out on a tall ship all day drinking. I sleazed onto him using the same pickup line he always uses. He thought he was being set up by his mates, but it was just a crazy coincidence that we both have a thing for teeth. We have been together ever since that night, which was eight years ago. Right from when we first met, Scotty and I would dream up business ideas together over a few wines. We nearly bought a flower shop a while back, so we really could have ended up going in a different direction! We decided to go travelling together instead, and on our trip we started to dream up Pop & Scott. We kind of did everything backwards: we bought the wood-working machinery really cheap from an old workshop at the airport, then we found the space. We stumbled across this warehouse, then realised we would need to get other businesses in to help us pay rent. That’s where the idea of having a workshop cooperative started. We had artist friends we knew would love to use the space and thought there must be heaps more out there too – and then we were inundated with small furniture businesses that needed a place to get started. Scotty and I loved this, as we were all helping each other out and inspiring each other, and it was the perfect support network for young businesses. We worked the space like this for a couple of years until our own business needed it – although we still have private studios and two other furniture businesses running out of here. We feel really proud of the environment we have created – our crew and workshop residents are all such beautiful, honest, supportive and inspiring people. It is like a really nice little family. Scotty and I love using recycled and ethically sourced Australian timbers for our products; I feel it makes sense to use the timber that is natively grown on our land, since we design our furniture to suit the Australian lifestyle, architecture and landscape. The colours, tones and textures of Australian timbers suit our aesthetic and what we are all about when it comes to design. Scotty and I work really well together. We do have times when we clash, but when it comes to designing, we really bounce off each other well. I always have a clear idea of what I want our furniture to look and feel like, and Scotty is the down-to-earth practical man who helps bring all the pieces to life.

Popp & Scott-1

Scott Gibson

I think our skills and strengths overlap in lots of areas while also being very different. At times I need to look at projects from a practical angle, but this never stops all the crazy “dream ideas” that Poppy and I have together. We are both doers and we find that everything is possible when you have that attitude. I love Poppy’s strength in design – I can look at her ideas and build them into tangible pieces. I think this makes us a pretty good team. Small business is challenging every day – you need to work bloody hard, dream big, stay honest and be good to the people who work for you to keep the life in your business, and that can be extremely challenging. Keeping family life and business life separate is not something we have done at all – I think it’s pretty difficult when you have children. Running a small business is all-consuming, and we’re in a very fortunate situation with the workshop because we’ve been able to have our daughter, Frida, with us every day for her first two years. When Frida was born, Pop & Scott started to have its first peak – we had gone from making furniture, painting pots and running a workshop all on our own to needing to employ staff and get some sort of real structure in our business. We are actually still trying to work this all out now, two and a half years later! We have loads of new designs we’ll be releasing this year, including a bed, couch, chair and lighting. We also have another baby on the way and are opening a new showroom. I love the feeling we get when someone chooses to buy a piece of furniture for their home and family that we have put so much love and work into producing. It’s consistently humbling and inspiring. We love everything about working alongside each other. We get to spend every day together, and Frida gets to see the most amazing people and be part of what we created together. We do have at least one shit day a week, as it’s pretty intense sometimes, but even that’s good because you get to solve the problems and make up in the end. Running a business as a couple is all about communication – you have to talk to each other all the time, and you need to keep in check with each other and make sure you are both happy. If you have a shit day, take some time to make it good and move on.

Read the full story – including interviews with Corrine and Amara from The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar, Jacqui and Arran from Vedic meditation school The Broad Place and Daniel and Justine from social enterprise Thankyou – in Peppermint Issue 29, on sale now. Photo by Tara Pearce. 

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Life as a woman in Nepal isn’t easy. Girls aren’t guaranteed the same educational opportunities as their brothers and women have fewer employment options than men. For disabled women, life is harder still, as deep cultural prejudices fuel discrimination, making it difficult for them to integrate fully into society and lowering their employment prospects. So it’s no wonder that when such women are offered education, a means to support themselves and even the chance to become leaders in their community, they compare it to being given light – and it’s this metaphor that has given a new documentary its title.

Bringing the Light tells the inspiring story of an social enterprise that is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. In November 2006, Melbourne resident Stephanie Woollard was travelling through Nepal and met a group of seven disabled women who were struggling to survive by making and selling handicrafts from a tin shed in Kathmandu. Stephanie decided to stay in Kathmandu for three extra weeks and out of her own pocket, funded training for these women in skills to grow their chances to create an income for themselves. The women started to earn money as Steph worked on creating demand in sales of their products. Since then, the group has blossomed and through fundraising and the sale of the women’s handicrafts has been able to establish two centres in Kathmandu (in buildings, not tin sheds!) and four branches based in villages in remote areas. To date, Seven Women has trained 5000 women, teaching literacy and numeracy and given them new skills to create income streams, enabling the most socially isolated and outcast women to shine.

Bringing the Light is screening across Australia, starting in Melbourne on May 26. To attend a session or inquire about hosting a screening, contact Steph @ or book online.

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Courtesy of Behind the Barcode

If you’re interested in making more ethical choices at the shopping counter, make sure you check out this year’s freshly minted Australian Fashion Report from the folks at Behind the Barcode, a project of Baptist World Aid Australia. This edition of the report features detailed assessments of 87 companies, including Zara, Cotton On Group, Factory X and David Jones. Each company has been awarded a grade from A to F based on their policies, supplier knowledge, auditing and supplier relationships and worker empowerment. It’s not just a fascinating read, but an important step towards creating a fairer fashion industry across the globe.




Fashion Revolution returns this 18-24 April 2016 – now extended to a full week of events and activism, rather than the original one day – to shine a spotlight on global fashion supply chains, three years after 1,134 people were killed and more than 2,500 injured in the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 24th April 2013. Founded by Carry Somers and Orsola de Castro, the global movement asks people to delve into their own wardrobes and share a selfie asking brands #whomademyclothes to encourage greater transparency within the industry and demand better conditions for workers. Last year, tens of thousands of people in over 70 countries took part, and this year it’s hoped the response will be even bigger. As well as getting involved on social media, you can attend a number of events around the country – from factory tours and movie screenings to pop-up shops and clothing repair cafes, there are plenty of ways to be part of the revolution. See the full list of Australia and New Zealand events here, and remember to follow along online with the hashtags #whomademyclothes and #fashrev. Raise your voice this Fashion Revolution week and help transform the fashion industry into a force for good!

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Pins to Kill

If sauntering about town in super comfy but not at all daggy Aussie-made yoga pants is your thing, you might want to check out Pins to KillDespite the slightly homicidal-sounding name, the new Melbourne label by Linda Vydra actually offers the chance to dress your pegs in stand out leggings you can design yourself. Just upload your own print or artwork, choose your size and lycra type, and then wait for the goods to be delivered direct to your postbox from Melbourne, where each set is printed and sewn on demand. You can even scrawl your own motivational message in giant caps across your left leg, and pop a customised message inside the waistband – which might prove handy if you’re prone to losing your stuff. Or, for the lazier folk among us, Pins to Kill has its own colourful range of pre-designed leggings featuring delightful pineapple, parrot and lemon prints, among others. Linda’s keen to support women chasing big dreams and has already mustered up a crew of P2K ambassadors from around the world, including pro-surfers, actors, ballerinas, pole dancers, hip-hop dancers and models. That means her Instagram profile is an inspiration rabbit hole, full of seriously awesome women clad in seriously cool leggings conquering some of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s little wonder Pins to Kill sold out just a couple days after its February 2 launch. Happily, killer pins are once again go.

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Quilted bomber jackets, slouchy jumpsuits and floaty midi dresses – Melbourne designer Sara Bailes’ first couple of collections under her new eponymous label seem designed for maximum comfort with a dash of panache. And you can feel good about wearing them, too. Designed in Melbourne and produced in Bali, the range features locally sourced fabrics, in-house prints and a bunch of natural fibres, including cotton blends, linen and 100% bamboo. Sara knows her stuff – she clocked up almost a decade as a fashion designer with Karen Walker and then Gorman before going solo last July. She chose Bali as her manufacturing base after an Indonesian fashion industry friend hooked her up with local indie suppliers skilled in traditional techniques. Her small production team is made up entirely of Balinese women, while printing happens from a small, family-owned factory which uses hand screen printing techniques, hand dyeing and mostly natural dyes and inks. It does mean a lot more toing and froing because, unlike places such as China and India, Bali suppliers aren’t set up to handle all phases of garment making in the one factory. But Sara reckons that’s a plus – “It eliminates sweatshop conditions in which women are forced to repetitively make a single element for days on end. It also means I am personally very involved in the production process and spend a lot of my time visiting small specialty shops in the back streets of Denpasar on my scooter using my best Bahasa – which needs a lot of work – to try and get what I need!” she says. And in good news for the fellas, Sara’s introducing menswear pieces from 2016. Check it all out here.

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Looking for a different kind of evening out? We’re delighted to announce PepTalks – our new series of events created to inspire, inform and uplift. Each PepTalks gathering will feature speakers from the pages of Peppermint magazine and beyond – don’t miss our very first one in Brisbane on Tuesday 22 March at the fabulous Wandering Cooks! We’ll hear from Justine Flynn, the passionate co-founder of life-changing social enterprise Thankyou.; Hailey Bartholomew, gratitude convert and maker of beautiful short films at You Can’t Be Serious!; and Shannon Sheedy, fair trade trailblazer and founder of online store The Dharma Door. Come along, be inspired, make authentic connections and prepare to go home feeling refreshed and a little more positive about the world. Let’s hear it for evenings with meaning! Book your tickets here.

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The days are getting cooler, so it’s the perfect time to wrap yourself up in the warm hug of our love-themed Autumn issue – on shelves now! Featuring the inspiring Daniel and Justine Flynn of Thankyou on the cover, Issue 29 is all about how love makes the world go around. We catch up with Daniel and Justine and three other creative couples to find out how they thrive as partners in business and in life, and learn all about love in our main feature, with pearls of wisdom from Eoin Finn of Blissology, Kon Karapanagiotidis of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Swami Govindananda of Ji Living and more. We chat with Young Environmentalist of the Year Amelia Telford about her vision for climate justice, discover how Hero Condoms are saving lives in Botswana, unravel the amazing story behind Armadillo&Co’s beautiful handwoven rugs and peek inside the stunning salvaged lace bridalwear boutique Lost in Paris. We also talk healthy eats with Brisbane’s All Real Food, visit the dreamy Love Cabins treetop retreat in the Blue Mountains and bliss out in the bath with sustainable soaks. Pick up a copy today – you’ll love it!

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Peppermint Love Letter Template

They say that love makes the world go around – but how often do we take the time to tell our favourite people the reasons we adore them? We’re often too busy with our lives, our jobs, our routines and the millions of little things we fill our days with, when, in the end, all that really matters is love. Love is all you need! For our Autumn Issue 29‘s Assignmint we’re urging you to put on your thinking cap, bust out your best glitter pens and write a heartfelt letter to someone special telling them why they float your boat. Don’t know where to start? We’ve made it super easy to dish out the compliments with this cute downloadable letter template. Fill in the blanks, pop in the post and feel happy that you’ve made someone’s day.  Share your experiences via social media using the hashtag #assignmint.

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