We can use the time wisely, according to nature, in a regenerative way.
Young people all around the world are working to build a regenerative future. At 25, Vladimíra Maťašeová is one of those people. She wants to reinvigorate the linen industry in Slovakia through an online platform and workshops for people to learn the trade, find work, and sell their products.
Regenerative Futures: How are you feeling right now?
Vladimíra Maťašeová: Tired. I’ve had a lot of work during the past few days.
RF: What’s a secret your search history can tell us about you?
VM: No secrets here.
RF: What are you reading/learning about at the moment?
VM: Currently, I am reading the book Threads of Life. It’s a story about thread and how it’s connected to history. The book is written by textile artist and curator Clare Hunter. If you’re interested in textiles, it’s definitely something to read!
RF: Who is your favorite human and why?
VM: I have quite a few favorite people, but in the area of design, it’s definitely Neri Oxman—an innovative designer who combines design, architecture, and biology [to make] unexpected products. Just the research behind them is astonishing.
RF: Which key moment inspired you to start your project?
VM: The inspiration for the project was my great-grandmother, who processed flax next to our house in the last century. She spun and wove beautiful clothes from linen. I started Story of Linen because of her. I wanted to build on the relationship between us and clothes. [But the specific moment was when] I was sitting in my grandparents’ kitchen. My grandmother was drying dishes with an old linen towel my great-grandmother made 70 years ago. And we were still using it! That was the moment when I realized that I need to continue in the steps of my great-grandmother with the Story of Linen.
RF: In two years’ time, what would success with your project look like?
VM: I see Story of Linen as highly scalable. I want to grow flax on a bigger scale in Slovakia—and have enough of it to produce more textile products. I would also like to start providing workshops about linen. Everyone would try to process flax and make it linen, and it would be great to have [participants] produce some small final textile product by the end of the day. By seeing every step of the process, your relationship with clothes can change.
RF: If you could focus a large percentage of government funding on one industry or project for the next five to ten years, which would you choose and why?
VM: That’s a very hard question—there are so many projects to support. I would say the sector of innovation. Especially in Slovakia, there’s a need to support innovative organizations. We don’t have extra funding for projects like this. Innovation is a very broad area, but without new projects the future won’t be bright. It doesn’t matter whether it’s innovation in digital banking or farming.
RF: What is the best and worst thing about the education system in your country?
VM: The worst thing about education in Slovakia is that we lack high-quality teachers and class equipment. On the other hand, our educational system is free. Everyone can have an education.
RF: Do you have a message for anyone your age living in the year 2060?
VM: I hope that you aren’t using a car anymore! At least not a petrol car. I would also say it’s very important to know your past. You can learn a lot from the failures of your ancestors. You can even learn from our failures in 2020. Don’t make our mistakes again.
RF: What inspires or frightens you most about the future?
VM: My biggest inspirations are nature and books. Knowledge is massively inspiring for me. We can move the world with it. What frightens me most? Naivety. No change in the climate sector. A bipolar society. The power of social sites.
RF: Regeneration is…
VM: Closely related to flax and linen life. Flax can improve regeneration of the soil, you do not need to use chemicals and pesticides for the flax treatment. T soil can improve it’s properties for following years if the flax is planted in specific place.
In a metaphorical way, linen provides regeneration of the society. If we start to live life according to nature, we can live happier and with less stress. Look at the flax and linen, it is possible to grow flax just in the spring. You need to let the soil regenerate in the autumn and winter, for the next year of planting. During the time of rest, linen can be spun and woven. We can use the time wisely, according to nature, in a regenerative way.
To learn more about Regenerative List finalist Vladimíra Maťašeová, click here.