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Interview by:

New Norm Magazine

Photography

Country

London, United Kingdom

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The Wild Together was born from a desire to create a new generation of organic skincare that delivers quality, multi-correctional performance by combining the best from nature and science. Our launch range — The Black Collection — features five multifunctional, unisex products that can be blended together to adapt to specific skin needs. With a strong foothold in sustainability, we hope to make a significant difference not only to the skin but to species protection and environmental conservation.

- Robyn Ford, Co-founder of The Wild Together

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Where are you from / call home?

I’m originally from one of the most beautiful corners of the globe: Vancouver Island, off the coast of British Columbia, Canada.

 

Growing up there was such a blessing. Every day, immersed in natural beauty. There is a slower pace back home — a more considered pace — that places nature at the heart of the community. 

 

I now live in London with my partner and Co-founder, James. Living in the big city can take its toll on the skin, which was partly the inspiration for creating The Wild Together; I was searching for a high-performance organic range that could deal with the free radical damage we face every day.

 

Although I’m in London now, the aromatic side of our products is really inspired by my grassroots upbringing. I believe earthy essential oils have the power to completely transform our emotions, and whenever I open one of our products and take a deep breath, it transports me back to the woods of BC.

What are some simple pleasures that you’ve rediscovered during the coronavirus pandemic?

There’s no doubt that the recent pandemic has had a terrible impact on many people’s lives and livelihoods, and we’re hoping — like everyone else — that this will soon be a thing of the past. That said, there are clearly lessons and learnings we can all take from this forced pause. 

 

For me personally, I’ve been captivated by the precious stillness this time has brought, and the opportunity to reconnect with simple pleasures like baking bread, gardening, and having the time to enjoy the natural spaces around where we live.

 

When you’re running a business, taking time for yourself can be difficult, and so a wonderful treat has been having more time for self-care — taking time to indulge in a multi-step skincare routine or to have a long soak in the bath with epsom salts and some mellow music — simple but essential rituals we often neglect when we’re on the run all the time. 

Reflect

Embracing slower living

How have you and your creative process changed?

We have been fortunate in some sense, in that from the start we created The Wild Together to have a focus on connecting and selling directly to our customers, living largely online and delivering straight to our customers without the reliance on third parties. One of the key reasons for this was to reduce the time from ‘farm to face’ for our ingredients — we create in small batch and given that we are working with the finest organic ingredients, we want them to be as fresh as possible when they’re being applied. The upside is that building the brand this way without the reliance on a physical retail space has meant that since the outbreak we haven’t been too affected beyond the usual safety measures and making less trips to our workspace in Shoreditch

 

Creatively, the pause has allowed us more space to think about what should come next for The Wild Together, and has also allowed us the time to engage more with our community — our Wild Tribe — who are at the heart of everything we do. 

 

This has seen us putting an increased focus on communicating to our community through our social media channels and on creating content for our community to help their collective physical and emotional wellbeing during this time. 

 

From the start, community has been incredibly important to us — we love to connect directly to our customers and feel a real sense that we are here to serve them.The rest looks great and love the images you've chosen to go with.

 

When the pandemic happened, we started thinking about the ways we could serve them beyond the rituals that our range brings to people’s everyday lives, and off the back of that we created The Wellness Sessions — a series of live classes on our Instagram page where we collaborate with health and wellness experts as a way to inspire and support our Wild Tribe during these challenging times. So far we’ve hosted sessions on meditation, yoga, life coaching, vegan cooking and a workout class. It’s been a fun and new way to collaborate and connect to our community — as well as providing a platform for many experts whose work has been affected during this time, giving them a way to reach a new audience. 

What are some of the things that have changed in your country as a result of the pandemic? What is the new normal?

The end of May will mark two months since the UK went into lockdown, when the government introduced restrictions on non-essential travel and physical distancing, and it feels in that time like a lot has changed.

 

The parks and open spaces are busier than they have ever been. This is in part due to the closure of other spaces such as gyms, but there also seems to be a real sense of people seeking sanctuary in nature and finding moments of calm in the woods and by the ocean. 

 

A move towards nature is also likely to be related to an increased interest in overall wellbeing, not least an interest in taking steps to improve immunity. We’ve seen an uplift in new customers during this time, which can be down to many reasons, but for some it’s because for the first time they’ve really reflected on how they treat their bodies — how to keep in the best health — and they’ve been looking at moving back towards a more natural means of supporting their physical and emotional wellbeing. 

 

If anything, the pandemic has created the space for us to reconsider how we live. There are many things that we look forward to returning — in person contact being one of those — but there are also many things we can reconsider. For a long time there have been issues with our growing consumerist society — the need to grow faster, quicker, even if at the expense of the world we call home.

 

Hopefully, this forced pause will help us to reflect on what is truly important, and make the necessary changes to our lives and the way we treat our world for the better. 

Remember

Travel from home

What was your favourite destination and why?

There are so many beautiful places in the world it’s tricky to choose, but from the moment I stepped on the cobbled streets of Alfama — the old town in Lisbon, Portugal — I knew it had my heart. 

What are some of your most memorable moments during the trip?

There’s no city on earth like Lisbon with so many memorable moments to cherish...  seeing the vista of sunset drizzling over terracotta tenements and the theatrical style of architecture of the old town; hearing the tram rattle and clank through cloistered, cobbled amber-lit laneways; listening to the hundreds of fadista singers perform every night in the streets; looking at Lisbon as a living museum of art, a safari park of styles, in paint, in metalworks, etched in glass. 

 

Lisbon has a sense of magic to it with a conscious community of makers and creators — something I feel very drawn to. 

 

And, roughly 900 miles off the coast of Lisbon, you have the Azores area with verdant valleys, steep oceanside cliffs, rows of blue hydrangeas and scattering of waterfalls — worth escaping the city and exploring for the day.

What does travel give you that everyday life doesn’t?

Running a business — especially in a busy city like London — means it’s easy to become caught in a bubble. Traveling helps to step outside of that — to see the world in new ways and to open up our understanding of what it means to be human. Traveling helps us learn about ourselves and others; it helps us to develop a deeper empathy and understanding to how others live — an opportunity to appreciate cultural differences. 

 

I always find that whenever I go away to experience a new place, I return  richer for it — and often brimming with ideas. 

There’s a beautiful quote by Saint Augustine that says: “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page”. I think there’s a lot of truth to that.

You have an unlimited travel budget for 24 hours, where would you go?

We were actually planning on travelling to Peru this summer to visit the stunning Machu Picchu and to explore the rich history there. Peru’s blend of history, culture, the cities and the forest, is captivating to me — so as soon as safe travel is reintroduced we hope to plan a trip [although we may need a little more than 24 hours to soak everything in].