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Environmental Heroes: Zem Joaquin

by on April 28, 2014

Zem Joaquin. Via West Coast Green.

“Being wasteful just never made sense to me. But neither did giving up my personal aesthetic.”

Our week of Earth Day (#WorldWow) love continues! Previously you met Michele Grossman and Graham Hill. Today, we’re happy to present Zem Joaquin, Founder of and publisher of Zem’s List. Zem is a globetrotter whose wanderlust sparked her lifelong love for beauty and function.

Lake Como. Image by Joyborg. Via Creative Commons.

Findery: Where were you the first time you were truly in awe of nature?

ZJ: I have always been in awe of the majesty of this planet, but I do remember standing on the bank of Lake Como, floored by the beauty.

Como was a trip I first took when I was 15. I later lived in Milan and spent many afternoons there. I learned a tremendous amount about design, style and limited resources by living in Europe. We didn’t take anything for granted. Spaces are smaller, so you use them efficiently. Closets are restricted, so you buy classic pieces with accessories as flair. Fuel is expensive, so you drive compact, smarter vehicles. Bags aren’t free, so you bring your own.

Findery: What was it that really moved you on that first trip to Lake Como and has stayed with you?
ZJ: The juxtaposition of the meandering lake, picturesque architecture and Italian warmth made the 15 year-old me cry. Actually, I still tear up at the sight.

Findery: How did this experience stay with you and inform your career?

ZJ: That trip has influenced my design aesthetic deeply. I don’t know how conscious I was of my desire to protect and cherish what we have, but I am clear in hindsight.

I have always had a serious wanderlust. I am astonished by how many exquisite places there are in the world. From the Tyrol in Austria to the countryside of Korea, I’m frequently moved by the grandeur. But I have a weakness…luxury. I adore witty, yet refined, unique style, doting service and spotlessness. Post Ranch Inn is the epitome of ecofabulous travel.

Dessert prepared by chefs Søren Westh and Torsten Vildgaard. Image by Frederik Lentz Andersen for Euroman.

Findery: What’s one place in the world that you haven’t been that you’re dying to see?
ZJ: Denmark! I am a huge fan of the foraging movement and the amazing Nordic delicacies that chef’s like Soren Westh are creating. Soren is the first to develop Cradle to Cradle cuisine. The Danish fashion industry is also one of the most conscious. This week the amazing Connie Nielsen is hosting The Copenhagen Fashion Summit. Bonus: my son is studying Nordic culture and is dying to go there for some empirical research.

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