Wednesday, June 18, 2008

'My Green Bookshelf' with Sophie Young, founder of g=9.8

Two weeks ago we started with a new series 'My Green Bookshelf', where we're taking a look at the reading habits of interesting people from the green world with special focus on their green reading.

As a small token of appreciation to our guest on the series, Eco-Libris will plant with its planting partners 50 new trees on behalf of each and every participant!

Today we are very excited to have with us a special guest from France: Sophie Young, the founder of g=9.8 (

g=9.8 is an organic lingerie and loungewear brand g=9.8 offers a unique combination of seductive ecology: naturally sensual, combined with the velvety touch of pine fiber. Yes, all the sexy items manufactured by g=9.8 are made from a fiber originating in the branches of white pine (the pine trees used to produce this material are grown specifically for this use and new ones are replanted to replace ones used for production). Production is made locally in France.

Sophie graduated in 1995 from the University of Architecture in Paris. Her work focused on the creation of a recycling site in the center of Paris, visited as a museum. In 2005, after several years working in architecture, she founded g=9.8 in order to create a line of underwear respectful of eco-principles, such as minimizing the water consumption in the industrial production, eco-packaging, waste recycling and eco-marketing.

Sophie, as you can see from her replies to our questionnaire below, is not just an innovative creator of sexy eco-friendly lingerie, but also a passionate reader.

When do you find the time to read? what are your favorite genres?

I read at night, every so often. Usually, I read a book I like in 3 or 4 times.

My choice varies and is eclectic. I like biographies. I gobble up good mangas, some are excellent history books (in particular the Gen series, by Keiji Nakazawa, a Hiroshima survivor who tells his story and agony). I read lots of books on world war II (books by Primo Levi, among others).

Nevertheless, my favourite book is '
84 Charing Cross Road' by Helene Hanff, a work that cannot be classified. I also liked 'Sex and the City' by Candace Bushnell ! I already read it two times.

How many books do you have in your library at home?

I cannot say, but I have a linear shelving of nearly 10 meters with lots of architecture books, and quite a lot of mangas. I lent the other books I like and thus they are no longer in my library.

Photo: A small part of Sophie's home library

What's your favorite green book?

Without hesitation, a book by Pierre Rabhi, 'Parole de Terre', but also 'Conscience et environnement', another book by the same author.

Who is your favorite green author?

Pierre Rabhi, but to be honest every history books are green references to me. They show how daily life was in the past and especially they tell us about the rhythm of life, which is, to me, the cornerstone of sustainable development.

What green books do you have in your library at home?

Pourquoi j’ai mangé mon père' by Roy Lewis, a few architecture books about nomadic settlement or green buildings for instance, such as the book written by the architect Glenn Murcutt.

Many mangas about the rhythm of life in the past, like for instance '
Seton' by Jiro taniguchi or 'La bicyclette rouge' by Kim Dong HWA, a Korean manga writer. Recently I liked 'Into the Wild' by Jon Krakauer.

Do you borrow books from friends? do you lend yours to others after you read them?

I lend the books I liked to others but they never come back to me, except the ones I only lend to my closest relatives. I buy or borrow books.

Are you registered to a library?

I am registered to a library but I only go to the children library near my house. Adult libraries have become impersonal media libraries, and I don’t really like to go there, I prefer a book I have heard about.

If you had to go to a deserted island, what 3 books would you take with you?

1. '84 Charing Cross Road' by Helene Hanff,
·2. a book I have not read yet but that I really want to discover. For example
'80 hommes pour changer le monde' by Mathieu Le roux and Sylvain Darnil.
3. and maybe
the biography of Nelson Mandela which I have not read yet (your previous interviewee really enjoyed it!)

What's your favorite bookstore?
All of them. There are two bookstores I really like, I always go in if I walk past them.

Entre les Lignes - 110 rue St Dominique 75007 PARIS
In the museum of the arts décoratifs ( fashion museum in the LOUVRE) in Paris -107, rue de Rivoli 75001 PARIS
Chantelivre (adults and children’s bookstore) - 13 r Sèvres 75006 PARIS 01 45 48 87 90

E-books - for or against?

E-books are not user-friendly neither in the desert, nor in a garden, and nor in the evening in one’s bed, so for now I do not need them.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!

* photos of Sophie Young and the g=9.8 lingerie are courtesy of Sophie Young.