A lifestyle designer with a penchant for all things sustainable and mindful, Jolynn Carneiro, or Nonsense Curry as she is fondly known on Instagram, is a story-teller in the truest sense, using different media to weave her narratives on slow fashion, slow living, and of course, life in Goa. So, this #PlasticFreeJuly, we decided to collaborate with her to know more about the said life, her love for Goan beaches, and most importantly, to delve deeper into the plastic pollution problem that plagues everyone's favourite beach destination.
We love the name ‘Nonsense Curryʼ! What is the story behind the name? How did you come up with it?
Nonsense Is how I perceive life in a ludicrous manner; peculiar things said whiles speaking to my mates, whether it's 'What is that nonsense curry' or 'You're such a brinjal', or 'You're a sneaky lil speck of fly fart' or 'You're a bowl of commode juice' - you get my drift! You know you are close to me when I use my vernacular with you - my tough love kind of love. Curry is my Goan origin and roots; so when I think of home, I immediately think of my nani's outhouse kitchen where she used to make her curries on wood fire in terracotta pots (Kundlem) and coconut shell spoons (Dovlo) that produced the best flavour.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey with slow fashion and slow living.
As a kid, I have absorbed my Pop's energy, ethics, traits and adopted how nifty he used to be. Be it using recycled wire to keep growing plants from falling over, leftover wood as door stoppers, handwritten posters using old memo books over printed, using glue to fix his shoes instead of being too quick to buy. To me, slow living is about being frugal with the resources I have on hand and about being a conscious human stepping out of the hustle bubble where we get so consumed with outside factors that we forget to take it all in. As a beach bum, a swimmer since age 5, and indulging in nature - that's my zen and a huge part and process of my inspiration for work, to get you interlinked and knotted within my calm and realm.
How do you practice sustainability in your daily life in Goa?
My day easily starts off with being connected with animals because of my fur babies Switch and Dot, their mama, our mouse Jerry, being surrounded by a chikoo tree and acres of fields. Mornings are my favourite time of day when I immerse myself in my thoughts whilst watering my home plants, propagating stems, making home concoctions of floor cleaners using home ingredients, composting my waste in my home bin, decluttering and adding to a pile of things to donate; to keep riding the wagon of circular fashion and living, returning the pile of egg container packaging to our local supermarket to reuse them as well as the bags of mince and curry pieces we buy for our dogs. Since I drink almond and oat milk, our supermarket lets you return the bottle for a couple of bucks. Having a keen eye to convert rubbish into treasure, I collect trash like interesting bottles, and wooden packaging crates around my neighbourhood as well as jam jars, etc to refurbish, repurpose, and replenish items. When I visit family and friends, I never miss the opportunity to ask and skim through stuff they would want to discard; even clothes that I think can have a new life by mending, sewing, or taking it to my tailor for alterations. I teach folks on our platform how to spot-decorate spaces using misfit/broken items.
As a resident of everyone's favourite beach destination, Goa, what does the beach and proximity to the open sea mean to you? Is it a rewarding experience, being part of a clean-up operation or do you find the amount of waste discovered disheartening?
Although beach clean-ups have become a trendy thing now for monetary gain, likes and playing good Samaritan. As a local, collecting people's trash is something we have been practicing for a very long time when we venture out to water bodies like waterfalls, quarries, springs, and beaches. It's frustrating to be doing so and to clean up after people for the mere fact that the culprits still don't get how littering is a vicious circle that impacts us all ultimately.
What would you say has been the biggest challenge in your slow/ sustainable fashion journey?
Identifying brands and people Greenwashing, which is designed to make people believe that your company/platform is doing more to protect the environment than it really is. Whilst brands like ourselves are doing the work purely based on passion and gut instinct towards the bigger cause and picture i.e projecting solutions to combat fast fashion by showing you the beauty in preloved and second-hand clothes, encouraging people to adopt basic mending and sewing skills, and creating awareness around the repercussions of a fast-paced life/fashion.
What are your hopes for the future of beaches in Goa and India?
I still remember as a kid, picnic-ing at Baga beach where the water was blue, and the sand had a lil green foliage around the coconut trees with not a shack insight. It felt like paradise. That's what our beaches were in Goa, can't really say the same right now given the current situation. As a state, we are afloat because of tourism and the revenue it generates at the cost of selling its charm, authenticity, and not paying attention to maintaining what Goa is known for. Speak to any local who has resided here for 60+ years and they would tell you the same: rampant change has occurred over the course of time due to bad governing. Today, Goa's beaches are infiltrated with men in their tighty whities, holding kingfisher bottles, wearing 'I love Goa' banians, harassing women who want to take a dip in peace, and God forbid you wear a bikini! Tourists throw frooti packets, mango skins, chip packets, liquid courage bottles etc. As much as traffic cops fine people for not wearing helmets, the same lawful punishment should be applied on beaches for littering as well. The garbage gets swept into the ocean, causing our marine life to mistake it for food which then enters their system and in turn enters ours.
What is one eco-friendly habit you'd recommend others to practice?
Make the effort to keep an 'on the go bag' aside before you leave the house; it should contain at least two reusable containers, steel/bamboo straws, empty or full water bottle depending on where you are going, a garbage bag, hand towels (instead of disposable napkins) and an extra bag just incase!
What drew you towards collaborating with us? (How does our ethos resonate with you?)
I work with brands that have the same rhythm and principles as mine, i.e., working towards the bigger picture through our passions and ambitions.
Now that you've tried our new Nautical Edit, what are your thoughts about the same? What did you think of our pieces?
As a person with a smaller waist and wider hips, it's usually difficult to find a cut that fits me perfectly. I wear a lot of high-waisted pieces and having worn the classic brief, I can say that it fit like a glove! It sat on my waist perfectly, giving me full coverage on the badonka-donk; it's definitely my new go-to piece to lounge around the house.