Taking time away from screens has never been so educational and aesthetically pleasing than with the latest eco-zines. Our multimedia designer Sophie Parsons shares her favourite magazines that inspire environmental change.
For most of us, the first thing we see and do in the morning is reach for our phones, with the initial goal of turning off your alarm turning into mindless scrolling through social media. According to digital detox advocates It’s Time to Log Off, UK adults are spending an average of 8 hours and 41 minutes a day on screens – more than ever before. Perhaps in reaction to this our craving for physical experiences, be it IRL communication or visiting our local library in search of a real life book, seems to be on the rise.
As a graduate of design school, print magazines – especially those that are independently produced – have always been the perfect antidote to hours spent working on my laptop. The very nature of a magazine encourages readers to dip lightly in and out, flicking through pages in a slow, easy manner that is not too dissimilar to the scrolling we do on our phones – the difference being that with print, it is slow and considered. Unlike mainstream publications, which focus broadly on women’s fashion or travel or celebrity culture, indie magazines and zines are embedded in niche sub-cultures.
2019 saw climate marches led by 16 year old Greta Thunberg, the rise of eco-anxiety and devastating global wildfires in the Amazon, California and across Australia. In response to this, creatives and activists have combined forces to design a cohort of indie magazines grounded in environmentalism and the climate crisis, with hopes of lessening our fears for the planet and better encouraging positive change. Here are some of our favourites for the new year.
The Earth Issue
Created by a collective of artists, Earth Issue hopes to raise awareness for ‘the beauty of nature, using art and image culture as a driving force for environmental activism’. Covering everything from slow fashion to zero-waste dining, its online journal covers all things current and topical within sustainability, while the print journal uses art, photography and op-eds to encourage environmental activism. The best part? The journal is printed using non-soya vegetable oil-based inks and on 100% recycled uncoated paper, ensuring that it embodies sustainability from start to finish.
Find it at @theearthissue
Printed bi-annually, Considered magazine is an independently published journal that embodies sustainability and mindfulness through minimalist photography and design. The latest issue focuses on the beauty of slowness, with photo essays on living in a thoughtful home and the art of slow food. If you’re a fan of cult favourite Cereal magazine but are looking for something with more of an environmental twist, Considered has everything you are looking for.
Find it at @consideredmag
In addition to its online resources, manifesto and regularly held events, Fashion Revolution has produced a range of zines to help educate people on the negative impacts of the fast fashion industry and how we can act more consciously. The zines themselves cover everything from wages to supply chains, the waste problem within the industry to repairing our old clothes. The first two issues are available online for free, making it easy to absorb all the knowledge of Fashion Revolution. Its latest issue follows a more interactive format, designed to guide you through a year of fashion activism in 2020.
Find it at @fash_rev
It’s Freezing in LA
It’s Freezing in LA (IFLA!) is an indie magazine which hopes to find the middle ground within environmental activism, a balance between the scientific and technical and the more aggressive language of activism. Its magazines can be purchased both in print and as a digital download, making it easy to get your IFLA fix, with all the back issues still available digitally. Its latest issue takes a deeper dive into the climate crisis and how it is affecting different societies around the world in addition to offering plausible and realistic solutions to environmental activism.
Find it at @itsfreezinginla
Created for those within the vegan community, Bright Zine’s ethos is to address ethical living through opinion pieces and articles covering a range of topics from sustainability and zero-waste living to feminism and body positivity. The physicality of the magazine aims to encourage us to step away from screens, phones and laptops and instead engage in print material. Previous issues have covered vegan eats in New York, diversity within veganism, navigating alcohol within veganism and interviews with some of the biggest names within the community.
Find it at @brightzine
Hot Hot Hot
Focusing on photography, Hot Hot Hot magazine explores the topic of global warming and the environment through photographic essays. With each issue, the climate crisis is addressed with a degree of playfulness and creativity, portraying a multitude of viewpoints and personalities through word and image. The magazine draws on the philosophy of Timothy Morton, as a platform to raise further thinking.
Find it at @hot_hot_hot_magainze
More or Less
A fashion magazine with a difference, More or Less aims to highlight the realities of over-consumption and the fast fashion industry. In contrast to conventional fashion magazines, campaigns and editorial shoots, More or Less showcases garments with a secondhand or vintage background, taking inspiration from everyday wardrobes as opposed to designer and high street and keeping looks below a budget of £1,000.
Find it at @moreorlessmag
Atmos explores climate and culture, and gives a platform to creatives, writers and explorers who have dedicated their careers to encouraging positive change within the world. The previous two issues have focused conceptually on developments in neo-natural resources to our relationship with the planet. Stories are grounded in fact and innovation, with scientific theory being at its foundation.
Find it at @atmos