Sustainable style home interiors Stone and Sage Suffolk
12:00 16 January 2022
From accompanying her grandmother on trips to charity shops in search of vintage treasures as a young girl to browsing table sales, Sophie Harvey has always had a love for style. sustainable.
“I guess that was my introduction to vintage, pre-loved, and sustainability,” Sophie says.
She is still, she admits, ‘truffling’ – scouring car boot sales and charity shops for items that can be reused, upcycled and given new life, and has decorated her home near Long Melford in the heart of Suffolk using only second hand finds.
And three years ago Sophie, who also teaches art and design in Bury St Edmunds, launched Stone and Sage, a stunning online lifestyle store, selling an eclectic range of British vintage and antique goods and Europeans.
The loss of her beloved nan was the catalyst that drove Sophie to start the business.
“Juggling being a mom, a career and I guess I was slightly heartbroken over the passing of my grandmother, I decided life was too short and I had to try and see what that was happening.”
Vintage shopping is second nature to Sophie, and sustainability was at the forefront of her mind when it came to her own home.
“We found an old town hall house and renovated it,” she says. “Absolutely everything in the house is second hand, we didn’t buy anything new. We put a little barn conversion porch in the front, got an old oak tree that we had cut down and we got it now as a fireplace.
“We have heirlooms that have been passed down to us, we’ve been and collected things from car trunks, people’s homes, so the house is a mix of everything from 70s designs to a vintage aesthetic. closed.
“I have my grandmother’s old dressing table that she had that was passed down to her, so we have things that are over 100 years old, things that someone might not have wanted anymore that were new, which may have been made two years ago, so it’s a combination of everything.
And Sophie is always ‘on the lookout’ for treasures for Stone and Sage’s online store, whether it’s wooden items from the 70s or an Edwardian piece.
“Everywhere and everywhere I go, I search,” she says. “We call it truffles, we truffle. It can be car boots, it can be charity shops.”
Sophie’s in-laws live in France, and they also source for her.
“I’m doing my best not to go [to France] because I’m hot on our carbon footprint and have to be brand loyal, so everything I find myself is from here.
“A big part of the eco-green system is that I also give back. To date we have raised over £5,000 for charity through sourcing at charity shops.”
Now, in addition to building a thriving Stone and Sage online community on Instagram, Sophie also hosts online virtual trade shows and offers styling and photography packages to help other small businesses create content for their platforms. in line.
“We’ve been doing this for a year and it’s amazing – we mentor and support over 45 small businesses from across the UK and we also have international businesses that we help.”
In the spring, Sophie launches a magazine celebrating sustainable style, Preloved.
“I think creativity, photography, styling and design has always been something that has interested me,” she says.
“The magazine is about embracing a greener life, socially and economically,” she says. “So it’s about looking at sustainability in interiors and decoration, fashion and restaurants.
“Being a consumer society I think it’s so easy to go out and buy new and not actually stop and go could I fix it, could I recycle it, could I reinvent something new with it, could I reuse it in some way?”
Sophie’s advice for buying second-hand and durable
“I think it’s very important, first, to assess the interior and functionality of your home,” says Sophie. “I know that during the spring months we love to redecorate and we rush to buy everything ‘new’ – curtains, paint, cushions, accessories, etc.
“Personally, I’d give you a small task – do your best to buy some of these things second-hand: paint and wallpaper can also be found in charity shops, especially Sue Ryder’s.”
If you want to live more sustainably, Sophie recommends starting with the basics.
1. Buy a wooden toothbrush.
2. Repurposed plastic pots are great for lunches and sowing seeds.
3. Buy second-hand clothes. You will find that the villages often put “table tops”. Sophie bought her last two winter coats still with the tags for no more than 50p – one dated from the 1980s.
4. Prepare to invest time and effort into living more sustainably and embracing the culture of the Beloved. “Honestly, there are no taboos,” says Sophie. “If we all did any of the things mentioned above, collectively we can make a difference.”
Follow Stone and Sage on Instagram @stoneandsageshop and visit stoneandsage.co.uk