Savant is a digital slow lifestyle publication challenging the cult of speed. And here is the exclusive interview with Hanna-Amanda Pant who is the founder of this interesting and innovative magazine. Enjoy!
1. Where does the name “Savant” come from?
It describes a savvy, ultra clever person, who is more enlightened and aware than the others in the same cultural context and environment. So in my head, it perfectly captures someone who is always ahead heading in the right direction of trends and consumption. It perfectly summarises a melting point of the fashionable and conscious woman. I guess you have to be a degree more intelligent to think about the social and environmental impact of fashion before the actual act of consumption takes place.
2. Why have you chosen the ethical fashion as one of the main subject of your magazine?
It’s a combination of many factors and passions. Actually, it all dates back to year 2015 when I was working on my Final Major Project at university (I studied Fashion Journalism) and we had to create our own magazines from scratch. In due course, I discovered that many designers started coming up with unique and fashionable collections that also pushed forward ethical principles, yet they were highly underrepresented. Then I thought to myself, ‘This must be the future of fashion’ – ethical fashion must gain more visibility and shouldn’t be regarded simply as ‘hippie and outdated’ anymore, so we need to start publicising it from the bottom up, and all visual media is a huge power nowadays.
Not that I am an environmentalist myself, but there’s always been this more altruistic mission in me that I want to make the world a bit of a better place as much as I possibly individually can, so I created a platform that showcases all these pretty new, often up-and-coming fashions that are also conscious and sustainable, ergo doing something good for the environment instead of making us women feel more inadequate, something ‘less-than’. A side note: for about a year now, I mostly wear brands that have incorporated a degree of social mission into their very DNA, and use mostly vegan skincare. I guess I wouldn’t survive the sustainability industry otherwise!
3. How much committed is fashion in the go-green and/or ethical fields?
Fashion now? It’s slowly touching the surface. Actually, ethical brands are gaining more and more publicity, but I am only hoping that it’s all for the right reason.
On one hand, there are brands that are pursuing these values for real, but as sustainability to an extent is also regarded as ‘trendy’, then there’s a lot of greenwashing going on – meaning, brands invest more in campaigns to make their products LOOK sustainable and consciously made, however, in reality, it’s little to do with exemplary ethics and more with attracting customers spend more and helping to boost their profits…
4. What is the meaning of slow life nowadays?
It has very little to do with completely denying the digital era and going proudly back to the Cave Age, which perhaps is a common misconception. The purpose is to acknowledge the era we are living in, but CHOOSING to be more mindful, aware, caring and environmentally oriented in the mindset. It carries forward the idea of focusing on things that improve your own life quality for the better and consequently also the entire mankind’s and our planet’s. More stressed and mindless people contribute to more chaos and wrong decisions. It’s really about practicing some slow lifestyle principles in a modern environment to improve your life quality, efficiency and productivity.
5. If you could collaborate with another magazine, which one would you choose and why?
If I would like to go big on the subject of female sexuality that I am quite passionate about (as in a cultural context), I would definitely choose Vogue Italia, as they have the best shoots and no strict boundaries, so it could be pretty experimental.
From the slow lifestyle publications that are the forerunners of what I do, Kinfolk has also been a dream of mine to work with really.
On another note, I wouldn’t imagine any of the big London-based magazines be ahead of slow fashion any time soon, they might dedicate a tiny fraction to it, but then the cycle of consumerist ideals goes on, or it simply won’t sell.
6. Three adjectives to descrive your magazine
Mindful, slow-approach, thought-provoking, for the dreamers out there…
7. Who would you like to interview for your magazine?
Bruno Pieters, the Belgian fashion maverick behind http://www.honestby.com, or Mats Rombaut known for his own namesake label www.rombaut.com. Hopefully some day.
8. The article you would never write is about …
I just want to say I absolutely despise promoting and presenting the white-slim-kale-avocado-and-detox-teas-conscious-vegan female as ideal. We all know that there are women all around the world, who care about the environment and their bodies as much, but come in various shapes and sizes and skin tones. It’s the direction of thinking that matters. Sometimes you love eating vegan, but are not super skinny only because of your natural diet, so this idea must be toned down a bit I feel. I have really been trying to avoid it, and now I want to bring more focus to the content that caters for male readers as well. Although I am not doing shoots very often, then various skin colours, body types and ethnicities should be well encouraged and represented in fashion. I am all for diversity.
9. Do you think we can go back to a less social life?
If we lose Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Whatsapp from this planet, then yes. It would be an ideal torture for everyone! Would love to see it one day, maybe we could reverse time and go back to the age when everyone read books and met people irl only…
10. Your magazine 10 years from now…
Hopefully conscious fashion would have made its second comeback by then, as we are still entering the first wave now… (or it’s already current).
11. Are you going to create some Savant conscious products too?
I am actually a little bit working on that aspect now, although everything takes shape at its own pace… so cannot disclose much at the moment.
12. From your point of view when fast-fashion brands create a conscious collection is it really all conscious, ethical and green?
A good quote I came across recently was that ‘a landfill of organic cotton is still a landfill’, so an “ethical”, greenwashed collection per se doesn’t make any difference in the long run. We really do need to think about the quantities produced. Also, more and more, clothes have become just disposable, and latest research about consumption habits in UK only shows that we are really destroying the environment with the way we consume: you wouldn’t even believe how many thousands of clothes reach the charity or second hand stage with price tags still on… shopping has become more like a leisurely habit, a quick high, an ego-boost that leaves us empty and unfulfilled the moment the purchases reach our already bulky closets. The way we consume nowadays wraps up our search for identity, status and validation – more or less, more is more. In reality, many clothes end up unworn and never even appreciated.
12. Some tips for a better, slower, greener and healthier life
– Get proudly rid of all digital nuisances before bedtime.
– Meditation helps to slow down
– I like to take time for cooking in the evenings, it really helps to slow down the pace of contemporary urban living (especially living in such a vibrant city as London doesn’t help much, there’s always something happening and something screaming for your attention!). That way I am also more in touch with nature, as I always buy organic and consume only vegetarian meals packed with nutrients, about 5 small portions a day in fact.
– In addition to cooking, I like to read a lot instead of YouTube and experiencing FOMO on social apps (haha!). Well, my day job is all about digital engagement and social media, but at least I try to cheat the addiction post 7pm.
For more info visit www.savant-magazine.com