At the inaugural Positive Luxury Awards on 25th February, 2020, Carole Bamford was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award in honour of her work to promote mindful living and sustainability. Carole is the founder of Daylesford Organic Farmshop and her eponymous lifestyle brand, Bamford. The award was presented to Carole by Louise Burns, the Head of Strategic Marketing Projects at Bentley.
Carole has demonstrated both a personal and professional commitment to social and environmental sustainability. She’s shared her knowledge and fostered collaborations to help advance this agenda, working closely with the NSPCC, the Soil Association and the Slow Food Movement. She’s built schools and communities to support vulnerable women and children in India, Iran, the USA and Brazil, as well as establishing creative centres to preserve artisanal skills. Following the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Carole sat down with photographer and founder of What We Seee, Misan Harriman, for a Q&A.
To kick it off, Misan asked Carole what the crowning achievement of her life has been, so far. “My children and my grandchildren inspire me every day,” she said. She then told a story about discovering how her flowers were being fertilised more than 42 years ago, and wanting to eliminate that from her farm so her daughter could breathe fresher air. “What we grow, how we grow it, it’s who we become,” she added. “And the clothes we wear, they go into the soil, so the health of the soil is all we have.”
Misan next asked Carole what she draws on when times get tough; she said, “Passion. And you’ve got to really believe in what you want, then follow it through. What really keeps me going is the inspiration from going to India when I was 20.” She talked about her time meditating there, and making India her spiritual home. “I think you need to look after the mind when you’re troubled. I meditate and do yoga every morning.”
After her four decades in the industry and promoting mindful living, Misan then asked what advice Carole has for young people who are looking to follow in her footsteps. “Believe in yourself, and have a passion,” she said. “Just believe in what you’re doing. I think that’s the most important thing. And ride the waves.” Next was her advice for consumers, which was to both look for Soil Association accreditation and the Butterfly Mark, too. “You can also make little changes in your life every day. Be mindful of the way you shop, and shop with a conscience. We can all make a difference, and you’re all here because you want to.”
Acknowledging the next decade of change ahead of us, Misan looked to Carole for how she thinks businesses and governments might step up to the challenge of solving the climate crisis. “If we listen to the young, we’ll know that now is when we have to make changes. I think we can all make tiny changes in the way we live.”
Images: Dave Benett
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Written by - Tara MacInnis