Sultry Italian film producer Livia Giuggioli snared her husband Colin Firth after meeting on a film set in 1996. He described it as “love at first sight – or lust”. Their latest venture, with her brother Nicola and their friend Ivo Coulson, is ECO – a green destination store for ordinary folk looking to (stylishly) improve their carbon footprint at home. Livia spills the eco-beans to mydeco.
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We must respect… the environment and limit wastage. There is no point becoming fascist about not using aeroplanes when you eat meat everyday and leave your computer on standby. ECO doesn’t have to be for hippies. It can be sensual and sexy.
I created the shop… to show people what they really can do for the environment. We don’t want to scare them into having to be a purist — you have to find a balance. There is a lot of confusion around so we try to deliver the message that being green is not complicated.
I’m inspired by… my brother Nicola. It was his idea to create a green hub where people could not only buy ecologically-sustainable products for their houses, but also feel comfortable asking lots of questions and learning.
Colin is… an essential part of the project. He’s one of those people who researches everything properly and will get obsessed with something like the Iraq war, then wake up in the middle of the night wanting to talk about it. We’re a great match because I’m the ballbreaker and he’s the brains.
Eco design can be sexy… and sensual. (Leading design journalist and author) Marcus Fairs will have a corner of the shop. Eco labels act as a guarantee for us. We visit every single manufacturer and build personal relationships with each of our suppliers.
I practise what I preach… and never leave the lights on. We live in a very consumeristic era and it’s time to give something back. Try not to over-spend and over-buy. The shop’s paper and stationery are recycled — even our printer uses energy made by a wind turbine.
Women should… resist the advertising. Don’t buy Vogue next month, and wear the shoes you bought three years ago.
My favourite green item is… my cool and funky shopping trolley which I’ve had for nine years; people stop me in the street to ask me where I bought it. Now I can say ‘you can find it at ECO’.
Going green need not be expensive… as it’s a moral issue rather than a budgetary one.
My top tip is… use white vinegar abundantly when you clean your house. It is better than anything else and contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t smell.
The ECO store is now open for business.
Everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio to Oliver Heath and David Cameron are re-vamping their homes to be greener. Follow their example with our low toxic decorating guide, be bamboozled by our buyers guide to bamboo or see our pick of the best organic cotton.
Read the hottest Celebrity news and get more eco-tips from the homes of Joanna Hauptman of Hyde House and mydeco board member Philippe Stark. Alternatively, if you just want to be nosey then take a sneak peek round Sienna Miller’s house, Elle Macpherson’s London pad or the beautiful boudoir Madonna’s created for her latest adoptee…
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