Meet Valentina Cardarelli, Founder of Manuba

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Tell us about your brand. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the future?

Sometimes, letting the instinct lead our actions is the first step towards realising our dreams.

This is how Manuba was born, from a deeply emotional moment and an undeniable attraction to precious materials. Riding this sensory wave, the first collection was created and love blossomed. Manuba is the embodiment of the creativity, design and expression typical of Italian craftsmanship.

What’s the most challenging part and how do you tackle that?
The most challenging part has been finding the right supplier for us since we needed someone who shared our values. It was a real challenge but with time and extensive research, we managed to build our network of suppliers.

What’s the most valuable advice you’ve received in building a sustainable business?
The most important advice I’ve received was not to forget that communication was (and always will be) key. Especially when you decide to set up a sustainable business. Without good communication, the customer will not be aware of all the effort required to create a sustainable product.

In your personal life, what do you do to be more eco-responsible?
When talking about sustainability, you have to think about all your habits. When it comes to fashion, I always buy with consciousness. I prefer taking my clothes from my mother or my grandmother’s attic (where I always find something new and terrific), buy them in a Vintage shop or select them from brands that share my values.

Furthermore, I’m vegetarian both because I want to respect any kind of living being and also because animal farms are one of the main causes of pollution. All together we can change the planet, but we must understand that everything starts from our lifestyle.

Which sustainable brands do you admire and why?
I’m fascinated by a lot of small rising brands at the moment. One of my favourite brands is Chitè for the way they tell the tale of their products.

In a world of fast fashion and overconsumption, what message would you like to put across about sustainability and its importance?
We don’t need all the things that we are buying and we need to start understanding that. The only way forward is to learn to understand what is necessary for us and where to buy it from. We can buy the same thing from two different brands but by choosing the sustainable one we can positively impact our planet.

How do you personally overcome the sometimes overwhelming feeling of striving for sustainable practices in an unsustainable system?
Unfortunately, we can’t change the world all at once but we can make sure that we are proud of ourselves for the road we have decided to take. Here’s hoping that other people will slowly do the same until there’s only one road to take – the sustainable one.


What do you do to disconnect from it all?
A year ago, I discovered the pleasure of running. Running is like meditation for me and it allows me to disconnect from everything. There’s just me, my breath and the landscape. I run in Hyde Park and the sunset is breathtaking!

What are some of your favourite sustainable, eco-friendly spots in the city where you live?

I moved to London a year ago and I’m still settling in because until recently everything was closed due to the pandemic. For the moment I discovered The Culpeper, a pub with a rooftop garden where they plant the products that they cook. It’s amazing. And if you’re into nails and are in London, you should check out STILL London. It’s a non-toxic nail studio that uses only cruelty-free, vegan and natural products.

Any advice to share for someone looking to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle?
Buy less and choose carefully who you’re giving your money to. With every purchase, you’re financing a way of operating.

Source: Manuba Instagram