Lyndsay from The Thread Journal recently met Angelika at a workshop and took the opportunity to find more about her passion for chemical-free cleaning and her relationship to space at home and at work…
Describe who you are and what you do?
I am a mother of four kids, one dog, one hamster and fish! I run a business called TINCTURE London which produces 100% natural home cleaning and lifestyle products. At heart, I am a passionate toxin-free campaigner and love to meditate everyday!
What led you on your path?
It was really the allergies of my children which led me on this path: my eldest son was suffering from severe asthma and hay fever and my eldest daughter had dermatological problems. Before starting TINCTURE I searched everywhere for products that did not exacerbate their conditions, I checked the ingredients of all our commonly used household products including shampoos, toothpastes as well as the cleaning and laundry products we were using. What I found was shocking and I thought there must be a better way.
Why is natural, non-toxic, sustainable cleaning important?
There has been a huge hype during the last 18 months around “cleaning” with influencers like Mrs Hinch attracting millions of followers. But, to my horror most cleaning products being used and discussed are all chemically driven; these not only have huge adverse effects on our environment (poisoning water and aquatic life), but furthermore have direct, toxic effects to our indoor air quality which is up to five times more polluted than the air directly outside! Outdoor pollution is a topic which most can relate to, the “invisible” indoor pollution on the other hand is a topic most people still do not quite understand and how it effects our health and wellbeing. There are many studies which show how detrimental the use of chemical based household products are to our respiratory and endocrine systems. Exposure to these products has been compared with smoking 20 cigarettes a day! A 30-year study found that using bleach based products increased the risk of chronic pulmonary respiratory (COPD) by nearly a third. COPD is a common, preventable respiratory disease, but the World Health Organisation predicts it will be the third leading cause of death by 2030.
What are your top tips for introducing natural household products? What are the top priorities?
The market is flooded with so called ECO products and which state that they are kind to YOU and the environment, but many are NOT as they still include ingredients that are damaging not only to our environment, but also our health, just one example is phenoxyethanol which is an antibacterial preservative found in many cosmetic products including toothpaste, baby wipes. It can be synthetic or natural (grapefruit). A study found exposure was linked to eczema, hives, skin inflammation and even anaphylaxis. The ingredient is approved for inclusion of up to 1% but the problem occurs when using multiple products daily due the accumulation.
So my top priorities would be:
Do they claim Natural? If yes, what is the percentage?
What is listed on the ingredients list? Make sure you check the ingredients labels of the products you are buying, even the small print and if in doubt do a quick search or take a look at our ECO TRUTHS on our Instagram site. I would personally avoid if they contain benzisothiazolinone, cloromethylisothiazolinone (CMIT), perfume, methylisothiazoline (MIT).
Finally, do they work and what have real customers said?
Where is home for you?
To be honest, anywhere where I can create a little sanctuary for my family and myself and which I can clean! I was brought up in many places around the world, so I was used to quite a nomadic life which meant settling, creating a nest and moving on. I am now based in London with my family, but my heart lies in Cornwall by the sea and a tiny village in the Austrian Alps.
What does home/homecoming mean to you?
Arriving to a safe place, away from the chaos and pollutants of modern life, surrounded by my family.
What is the first thing you do when you return home?
If it is coming home from a trip or a couple of days away, the first thing I do is open all the windows to allow the air to circulate. I love having fresh flowers and plants in the house so the next thing I do is to pop out and buy a beautiful bunch of flowers which I place in a vase in the entrance hall so that everyone coming and going can see them - I have asked my local corner shop to not use plastic wrap!
On a daily basis, I usually walk straight into the kitchen open the windows and do a quick tidy up and wipe down of all the surfaces…. With four children in the house you can imagine the chaos!
How do you unwind in your home?
I love to clean and to organise whilst listening to music, the mechanics of simple tasks really help to switch off the mind!
How would you describe your home and/or studio?
A light, vibrant, clean sanctuary where we feel safe and inspired to think out of the box!
Do you have a sacred space/favourite place in your home?
Yes, my tiny conservatory which I use as my office. This space is flooded with natural light, is full of plants and books and items I have collected and treasure….. Guess where all the kids tend to flock to after school? My office!
What makes a space sacred/special?
When you fill it with love or when a space sparks a feeling of happiness and wellbeing in you. Nature, art, treasured items, memories, light, plants and peaceful rituals (away from technology) such as reading.
Anything which provokes joy makes a space special and at times sacred.
How does the ethos of 'sacred space'/beautiful surroundings play a part in your work?
It is incredibly important. I believe your surroundings have a huge impact on your wellbeing and thought process!
What rituals do you carry out in your home?
I love to deep clean and de-clutter my home every couple of months as living in London the build-up of dust, dirt and pollen around the windows, table tops, lamps, picture frames and all those ‘little corners’ is huge, not to mention the build-up of unnecessary items which the kids bring home or grow out of... all of which gets recycled or taken to the charity shops. I love to water all my plants in the house and look after the herbs we grow around the house as well as placing seasonal flowers around the house wherever I can. I love to open the windows and let fresh air in!
What are your home aspirations?
To create a calm, happy environment where daily chaos can live next to order! With 4 kids and pets there is always a lot going on, but the key is to establish routines which allows the home to remain a steady, calming influence on family life.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
In a tiny Alpine village called Altaussee!