Mette te Velde | Strawberry Earth
On the Bilderdijkkade in Amsterdam West, Strawberry Earth has formed an inspiring collective together with Charlie + Mary (sustainable fashion), Waarmakers (product design) and Berry
(coffee bar). Mette te Velde started the
blog in 2008 to inspire creative people to make
sustainable choices based on the idea that everyone can have a positive impact on the world. The blog features great products and must-dos, like delicious treats at organic cafes and
restaurants, clothing giveaways, and discounts on beauty treatments. With the third edition of the Green Film Making Project and several events on the way, Strawberry Earth is much more
than an inspiring website and must-read blog. We caught up with Mette at the Strawberry Earth HQ to talk about her plans for the future.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in what you could call a ‘hippie family’. My parents taught me a lot about nature and how to respect it. After studying journalism I worked for the Dutch broadcast association VARA (Het Lagerhuis, Vals Plat, De Wereld Draait Door and Vroege Vogels) and as a columnist for the Dutch newspaper Het Parool. I lived in New York with my boyfriend Ikenna Azuike about five years ago it was there that we were inspired of the many cool and innovative ‘green initiatives’. That’s when I decided to start Strawberry Earth , a blog to inspire young creatives to make sustainable choices.
What does Strawberry Earth do?
We inspire creative people to make green and social choices. We believe you can have a positive impact on the planet with every choice you make. It has grown into a source of daily inspiration for those interested in sustainable living, eco friendly design, and a good laugh. With a team of 13 people we connect you to the latest in sustainable fashion, design, film, food and oh well, everything else that makes us smile. On our blog we also offer specials and some of our favorite brands you can buy online, from backpacks to yoga lessons. With Strawberry Earth we also try to shake up the creative industry by connecting the key players to our partners and strawberry friends, accelerating the transition to a fair, social and clean world. With our Green Film Making Project, for example, we challenge young filmmakers to shoot sustainably. And we organize events. With the motto, “Get drunk for the environment”, we were able to create a more sustainable bar thanks to the revenue of our first event.
Can you tell us more about the Green Film Making Project?
The Green Film Making Project challenges Dutch film professionals to make production processes more sustainable on all levels. We’re literally taking the film industry into the future. We have been collaborating with entrepreneurs, trade organizations, leading institutes in the film sector and key broadcasters since 2012. The Green Film Making Project closely cooperates with the two chief academies in the Dutch audio-visual industry. We have gathered the most important tips and tricks in the first Dutch Sustainable Film Production Guide, How to Green Your Film Production (so far), that can be downloaded in Dutch. Dutch actress Thekla Reuten is ambassador of the Green Film Making Project. This year we’re organizing the third competition in the field of green filmmaking, and inviting European film students to participate in this challenge.
Would you say the city of Amsterdam inspires you?
New York will always be my favorite city but what I truly love about good old Amsterdam is that there is room for creativity, innovation and ambitious ideas. I enjoy working and living in this comfortable bicycle-friendly city where we think in opportunities and make amazing things possible. People here are opinionated yet humor plays an important part in everyday life. What’s not to love?
What are your favourite places to visit?
You’ll often find me at Berry , the coffee bar at our Strawberry Earth HQ on the Bilderdijkade 27. Owner Tiemen serves the finest coffee, ‘bloody berries’ and homemade carrot cake. We also share our office with Waarmakers (product designers) and Charlie + Mary (fair fashion agency). I’ve always dreamt of a collective like this. We bring together the very best in sustainable fashion, design, film and food, all under one roof! Other favorites include Vinnies Deli and Beter & Leuk , great places that serve organic and seasonal dishes. Deli-Caat just opened its doors, but it’s already my go-to for take-aways. For my daily groceries I stop by EkoPlaza or Marqt. On Saturdays I love to visit the Noordermarkt - I never leave without eating a delicious crepe. I also like to take a stroll in the Hortus Botanics or shop at our friends’ shop, Charlie + Mary, in de Pijp. They offer a a great selection of sustainable fashion brands for both men and women.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up with my boyfriend Ikenna and our two-year-old daughter Suki. We eat breakfast together – do a shoulder shake - and then head off to work. In the office I usually start with a cup of coffee, a newspaper and respond to my emails. My days are packed with team or partner meetings and finding new projects and innovations for our blog and the Strawberry shop. After a day of hard work, I try to relax with yoga every once in a while, although this doesn’t happen as often as I would like!
What's next for you and Strawberry Earth?
We will continue to work on the Green Film Making Project with the goal of taking the film industry into the future. We also work closely with partners in the fashion and design industries as there are great developments taking place in the field of sustainable innovations. For example, it’s now possible to create silk from wood pulp, and designers are making lamps from biodegradable materials like fungus. The problem is that designers often don’t know about innovations like these. We’re working with the industry to map and share this valuable information.
Thank you Mette for this interview! Find out more about Strawberry Earth on the website , check out the blog or follow Strawberry on Facebook and Instagram . Stop by the Strawberry Earth HQ on the Bilderdijkade 27 and grab a cup of coffee, a smoothie or freshly baked goods at Berry , open Tuesday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11am.