Mar 18, 2014

The Organic Fashion Utopia & interview with Manuela Minimarini

Dear readers, we have some exciting news from the world friendly fashion front! Manuela Minimarini, a recent graduate from Amsterdam Fashion Institute, has created a vegan fashion magazine titled T.O.F.U. and is hoping to publish it with the help of the fashion crowds through a crowdfunding platform We Make It. To get a little taste of T.O.F.U. (pun intended), we asked the golden hearted veganista some questions about her project and what lies beneath it:

1. Who are you in one sentence?
I am Manuela Ernst Minimarini, a vegan lifestyle lover who prays to unicorns and wants to make this world a fresher, healthier and more lovable one.

2. How did you become interested in vegan fashion and lifestyle?
I have been a vegan for 2 years now after having been a vegetarian before. I have had a big heart for animals ever since I can remember. While studying fashion, I figured I need to combine those two passions of mine to not only make myself happy, but also to change the world a little bit.

3. Where does the magazine's name T.O.F.U. come from?
T.O.F.U. became the name, because I wanted to make the vegan lifestyle more accessible and people just like to approach things they are familiar with - everyone knows what tofu is. Also, it is a funny fact that lots of meat eaters think that all non-meat eaters/vegans eat lots of tofu as a replacement for meat. I like the irony in the name, but T.O.F.U. is also an acronym of The Organic Fashion Utopia, which is what I want to create with this magazine. A new organic, plant based fashion world that opens up to you through the magazine.

4. In the era of apps, blogs and websites, we must ask the worn out question: why a printed magazine?
That is a very good question, but next to being an online era, this is actually also the golden age of new titles. People like magazines that are for niches. T.O.F.U. is one of those, because it is targeted to the vegan community, which is in fact growing a lot as veganism is becoming more and more trendy. This and the fact that there is no other printed magazine like T.O.F.U. combined with my personal passion for print feels like a very good reason to make a printed magazine.

5. What inspired you whilst making T.O.F.U.?

Might sound a bit odd...but Me, I and Myself inspired me. :) I was my own target group as well, as is everyone in the new vegan community that is growing all the time.

6. Close your eyes for a minute and picture a scene with someone reading T.O.F.U. What kind of a person she is and where and how is she reading the magazine?
I picture a fun woman, who wants to stay young at heart and always has a smile on her face. She is dressed in her own individual fashion-oriented way and is living the vegan lifestyle or aspires to live it.
She would read the magazine in a cafĂ© with a freshly juiced organic orange juice, at home on the couch with a cup of tea and a piece of raw chocolate. She would keep the magazine in her bag with all her fruits, ready to be read. T.O.F.U. is a magazine to enjoy over time, and each time you read it, you can discover something new.

7. What are the three best and the three worst things in trying to lead a sustainable vegan lifestyle?
The 3 best:
1. You feel wonderful with lots of energy.
2. The Karma is in balance - you give and you receive.
3. You lower your carbon footprint and help the environment

The 3 worst:
1. You can't close your eyes in front of the sometimes brutal reality anymore.
2. You might feel alone at times in the world that can be ignorant to all the pain that there is.
3. You are unfortunately still the minority...but this will change: veganism is the future!

8. What can T.O.F.U. give to
a) vegan fashionistas?

It will be your partner in crime and support you in your choices for cosmetics, fashion, food and animal love. Plus it gives you a way to connect with others.

b) someone who is not vegan?
It can inspire the non-vegan by showing how easy and fun the vegan lifestyle is by presenting the things in our lives in a trendy, fashion-oriented way.

9. Could you give a little sneak peek and share your favourite spread from T.O.F.U? Why is it your favourite?
It's difficult to choose my favourite spread, I love so many of fact, I love the whole magazine!
Amongst others, this one is very dear to me. It shows how easy it is to make your own fruity and plant based vegan cosmetics. I made the pictures and had a fun day with Jeannette van Raaij, who is also a big inspiration to me.

For more sneak peeks, check

10. Last but not least: could you recommend something to us?
I of course recommend supporting T.O.F.U. at We Make It (you can find it here)! By making a donation, you will also make sure that you will be able to read the magazine in spring. For the rest: I love the raw chocolate bars of Concious, mmm, and I am addicted to pink banana pudding that I eat almost every morning. Here's how to make it: put min. 5 bananas with frozen raspberries into a blender with some water, blend it and add some raw chocolate nibs, brazilian nuts and coconut flakes. It's pure heaven on the vegan earth :)! The book I read while eating this dream breakfast is "Angel Detox" by the fabulous Doreen Virtue and Robert Reeves. More secrets of mine in the hopefully 2nd issue of T.O.F.U. Magazine!

Find out more about T.O.F.U. here and show your support at We Make It! 
You can also follow the magazine on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.