circle conversations │ fiona golfar

Fiona Golfar started her journalistic career at British Vogue, where she stayed for 25 years as editor-at-large and is now a contributing editor for the Financial Times and writes for House & Garden. Fiona also runs The Little Shop, attached to Fowey Hall Hotel in Cornwall. Here, she curates an eclectic range of items, ranging from pottery and aromatherapy oils to cashmere throws, many of them produced by local craftspeople and all of them ethically sourced. We met Fiona in her house in Cornwall and discussed sustainability in fashion and life.

Fiona wearing Land sweater and Sora shawl.

Photographed by Cathy Kasterine.

What is moving you at the moment?

I am very moved by the way that local communities have come together to support each other during lockdown. I live in Cornwall and I support the brilliant Farms To Feed Us which supports small farms and producers, I think the way people have come together has been very moving.

What was the best experience for you during the lockdown?

Slowing down, I have lived my life at a very fast pace and I’m always onto the next thing. I have really learnt to enjoy using my time and letting my creativity develop.

You recently said that ‘our common experience with COVID has increased our longing for connection and the idea of small independent shops appeals to that’. Can you expand on this and are there any other ways you think clothing can help us re-connect?

I think thinking about the source of things is new to people. If I buy this will it help sustain someone or even a community. I don’t buy clothes like I used to, randomly and without thought and the clothes I do buy are mostly from makers whose stories I know. It gives them a value that means something to me.

What does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability means a lot of things, I like the idea of sustaining a small supply chain, it means I take the responsibility for the product, how it was made, who made it, was it made responsibly and will the money that comes in sustain the makers. It also means in as far as it can it will not harm our planet more than it has too.

What book are you reading right now?

Let me tell you what I mean by Joan Didion, she is one of my favourite writers and in her writing there is no waste. She is the master and this is a collection of uncollected articles which are as ever extraordinary. She inserts herself into every story in a quiet and powerful way.

What does the future of fashion look like to you?

Fashion needs to re-examine itself. It has been a big greedy and often destructive machine in recent years but it is also magical and inspirational and I think it is taking a good hard look at itself. But I believe it can learn and grow and inspire.

I have a few simple questions. You can reply with just a word or a couple of words.

If I say blue, what comes to your mind?
Cornish sea