Slowing down with Emma Richarxson

Across currently locked-down borders, we connected with the Kuantan-based Emma Richarxson, a mum of two, fashion entrepreneur, and affable champion of a slower, more sustainable lifestyle.

Describing herself as the “anchor of her family”, Emma’s approach to sustainability is all about doing the best you can. “I’m not perfect,” she tells us, “but I try to remember what zero waste chef, Anne-Marie Bonneau, once said, ‘We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.’"

Emma and her family taking a day out to explore nature at Kuantan Pantai Balok last year. Image c/o Emma.

Emma standing on a hanging bridge at Taman Negara last year. Image c/o Emma.

Emma, you describe yourself as someone still adapting to a lifestyle of slow living. Can you explain what that means?

To me, living a slow life is about living mindfully, connecting more with nature, and doing what I love without following trends. I am more interested in buying less, living with what I have, and surrounding myself with good friends.

Nature was what drew me towards this lifestyle. I had the chance to visit Taman Negara for the first time last year and was so excited! I was standing on a hanging bridge surrounded by a 130 million-year-old jungle! It was amazing.

Was it difficult to make the change to a more eco-conscious lifestyle?

Yes! I love going to the wet market, but one challenge I had was that sellers only use single-use plastics. Even when I offered them my reusables, they would insist on using single-use plastic bags to avoid delays and inconvenience. I would also forget to bring my reusable bags out, especially if I made unplanned trips to the stores. These small challenges would sometimes get me down, but I tried to remain persistent and positive.

"I'm not perfect but I try to remember what zero waste chef, Anne-Marie Bonneau, once said, ‘We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly."

Do you teach your children about sustainability?

As a mum, I try to educate my kids about living more sustainably. Enver, my firstborn, is 6 years old and now understands the idea of bringing your own bag out for shopping. Whenever he goes out to the neighbourhood shop for ice-cream or snacks, he insists on not taking plastic bags.

Matheen, his younger brother, is more than happy to follow that as well. On top of that, I also teach them to refuse single-use plastics such as plastic straws.

Emma and her two sons spending a relaxing morning in bed with our Cloudy Grey duvet and pillowcases in French linen! Image c/o Emma. 

How else do you practice slow living at home?

I miss travelling and am luckily blessed with beautiful beaches just a stone’s throw from my house. However, we’re trying to stay home more to keep our family safe, so we’ve started planting, painting, and learning how to sew simple DIY projects with the kids.

Emma making some sweet treats with her son. Since the pandemic, the family has tried to spend as much quality time as possible at home by embarking on DIY projects together. Image c/o Emma.

Despite her busy days, Emma always tries to sneak in some alone time for herself. Here, she unwinds with a book. Featured here is our Build Your Own French Linen set in Cloudy Grey and Sunny White. Image c/o Emma.

Finally, you’re also expecting your third kid! Has anything changed from when you were expecting your first child to your third?

The excitement is definitely the same, but I will say that I am more mature and prepared, especially when it comes to buying things for my new-born. When I had my first child, I really had no idea what to buy and ended up with many unnecessary items.

I prefer to buy pre-loved items from my friends now, especially if I know it’s an expensive brand. It’s better to buy quality second-hand items instead of new, cheaper ones. I am also planning to use reusable diapers and wet towels as much as I can this time. Wish me luck 🤍

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Cloudy Grey Sheet Set in French linen

Sunny White Sheet Set in French linen