Aligned in Spirit 005
This episode of Aligned In Spirit features Sophie, owner of vegan, sustainable, handmade candle brand, Shmood. From Autumnal Spiced Chai to relaxing Chill candles, Shmood’s ethos is all about taking care of yourself and the world around you. Find out what keeps her creativity flowing...
Tell us about Shmood. What inspired it?
Ahh where to start? So I started my candle journey last year when my final year of university came to an abrupt end due to lockdown 1.0. I had candles lit in my room to help me feel more settled until I discovered that harmful chemicals were used to make many shop-bought candles. From that day on, I was determined to create something better - something better for our health and that of our planet's.
Shmood candles are designed to help you feel calmer in your everyday life. They are 100% natural made with unique blends of pure essential oils, sustainably sourced soy wax and cotton wicks. No paraffin, no artificial fragrances, just pure plant-based goodness.
Every product is made and packed by myself in my studio which runs entirely on renewable energy. Shmood candles are vegan, cruelty-free and all of our packaging is plastic-free, recycled, recyclable or biodegradable.
We also donate 50p from every candle sold to Mind and so far have donated over £800. Each scent also comes with its own Spotify playlist which you can scan from the candle to help create the perfect set-up.
What does sustainability mean to you and how does this impact your style/fashion choices?
For me, it is not enough to simply shop for clothes branded as 'sustainable', it is all about buying less but buying better to stop this continuous purchasing cycle. Rather than just aimlessly buying clothes, I try to ask myself these 3 main questions:
- Do I truly need it?
- Will I wear it more than 30 times?
- Can I get it second hand instead?
This means that my style and fashion choices are much more considered and I keep the items I buy for many many years. I also couldn't imagine ever throwing a piece of clothing away - if it no longer fits, it goes to charity or I sell it and if it's unrepairable it goes to a clothing recycling bank.
What are your wardrobe essentials/foundations?
An oversized shirt is the number one essential for me, it completes so many outfits. A good pair of jeans as these can be dressed up or down so easily - if I find a pair of jeans that actually fit me I'll keep them until they're almost in holes...those things are hard to come by! And lastly a comfy pair of trainers. I'm nearly 5ft 10" so anything heeled is a rarity for me.
How do you slow down/switch off? Inc any recommendations e.g books, podcast activities?
This is so important for me as my head is going 100mph through the day. After 8pm I try to switch off my phone, light a candle (of course) and snuggle my dog, usually with a good book. I make a conscious effort to do some breathing work and reflect on my day, what I've achieved and what I've got to look forward to. Otherwise, the week passes me by and I forget what I've actually done.
Best eco-conscious independent businesses in your area?
It would have to be The Zero Pantry in Kirkby Lonsdale. They were my first stockist so I may be a little bias but this shop has completely transformed the way I live. From refills to unpackaged goods, plastic-free swaps and natural skincare it offers everything you need to live a conscious, low-impact lifestyle. They're also huge on supporting local brands which is really important to me.
Head to our Instagram to find out how you can win Sophie’s Aligne buttermilk co-ord and a Schood candle.