We are excited to share with you a conversation we had with the founder of MOSS Magazine, Veronika.
MOSS Magazine is a quarterly luxury sustainable fashion magazine containing beautiful things made ethically and/or sustainably. You can trust that they've spotted the green-washing and only feature brands that are truly care about creating consciously. MOSS is filled with inspiring articles to provoke thinking and fire up passion in its readers. MOSS shares insights from across the fashion industry, shining a light on new innovations occurring in the sustainable fashion sphere and providing its readers with a little black book of designers to have on your radar. While MOSS is a fashion tome at heart, the magazine also features beauty, culture, travel and lifestyle stories. Printed on recycled paper, using veggie inks and non-toxic binding glue, this little keepsake makes for an interesting and enjoyable read and the perfect addition to your coffee table collection.
At a time where sales of print media are declining, we asked Veronika what prompted her to launch MOSS Magazine, and her goals for the future.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you and where has your career taken you so far?
My name is Veronika Makovey-Carafa, and I'm the editor and founder of MOSS Magazine. I'm also involved in the photography, styling, writing and graphic design behind the mag too. This has been my baby for the past year and a half, initially starting as an online platform before going to print this year.
My life and career has been nothing short of varied. I was born in the Ukraine and moved to Sydney when I was 3. For most of my life I thought I would be a professional tennis player and made it to the Women's International Circuit, which led me to move to Belgium aged 16. When the tour life got the better of me, I pursued a degree in teaching and made the move to Melbourne. Whilst studying I worked for Bassike for 4 years, a brand I really admired. I was a primary school teacher for the past 3.5 years and enjoyed helping kids find a passion for learning, however my own creative and fashion desires were being put on hold. I decided to leap back into the fashion industry but on my own terms, not to encourage more consumption but rather a more conscious way of interacting with clothing and style.
How did you meet / hear about Lois Hazel?
I knew of the brand Lois Hazel because I purchased some pieces and admired the incredible sustainable and ethical efforts being achieved within the brand. I then met Lois when she agreed to be on the MOSS Sustainable Fashion Podcast last year.
What was the inspiration behind starting Moss Magazine?
I've always wanted to work for a fashion magazine, however when it came time to apply for a position, there simply wasn't a magazine available that aligned with my core values. I couldn't in good conscience work for a company where sustainable fashion was just limited to 4 pages; something to tick off to be "on trend". I wanted to be a part of creating a whole sustainable fashion-focused community around the magazine; I wanted to create a magazine where sustainability was not an afterthought but at the forefront of every creative choice; a magazine that could show people that there are so many brands and labels creating beautiful things conscious of the environment, the people who create them and our limited resources. I wanted to work, write and create content that encouraged sustainable living and fashion whilst showing that it can be cool, stylish, innovative, timeless and made to last.
There is a popular belief that print publishing is dying, with digital media taking over. What are your thoughts? And what made you decide to launch your magazine in print?
I wouldn’t dispute that print media is a lot less popular nowadays but I still think that there is something about holding something, feeling the pages and ink and being able to flick open one page at any time to discover something inspiring. I decided to go to print as I feel now that all of the information and articles we digest are entirely filtered for our interests and likes and it’s harder to come across opposing views or new information when we have news tailored for us online. The beauty of magazines is that you don’t know what’s going to be written on those pages when you open it. You can embark on a new ideological trip whilst reading a magazine and be confronted with a new perspective, one that you might not have considered previously. I thought it would be a worthwhile venture if the magazine was a quarterly magazine, that was like a coffee table keepsake journal (not disposable) and not full of trends that last a week.
Tell us a little bit about the process of publishing a magazine. How did you get started? What challenges did you face in pulling the magazine together?
Well my first step was finding a local sustainable printing company that prints on recycled paper and uses vegetable inks. Once I found the Sustainable Printing company in Fitzroy I set about with the graphic design and compiling the articles that our writers had written for MOSS and the photo editorials that we had captured. I guess the main challenges were finding writers with the right style, learning some extra graphic design skills and compiling and editing the magazine, which takes so long when it’s only one person doing it.
What has been your most rewarding moment so far since launching Moss?
My most rewarding moment so far has to be without a doubt launching our first issue and seeing it sit on the shelves at various newsagents. I’ve also absolutely loved the collective effort it took and meeting so many like-minded and super fascinating people in this sustainable fashion sphere too.
How has the current global pandemic affected your business?
During this period of time most physical stores have been closed which has meant that a lot of stores in which MOSS would usually be stocked or could have been stocked in were closed. Unfortunately it also meant that businesses were tight on funds and more hesitant to stock a brand new product they haven’t sold before. However we persevered and continued to go to print despite the pandemic and I’m so glad we did.
What are your plans for the future, personally and professionally?
I’d love to see MOSS continue to grow both in terms of our international and national distribution and our online platform. I’d love to see it become a place that people head to for inspiration. It would be incredible to do some collaborations with brands in the future and even Melbourne and Sydney Fashion Weeks to continue to place emphasis on the brands making a positive change and operating sustainably and or ethically. And personally there are so many places I’d still love to travel to like parts of South America, Africa and Morocco, so hopefully the borders will be open again in the not too distant future.
We are excited to be stocking the first edition of MOSS Magazine online, you can grab your copy here