My name is Zoë, 24, I was born in Bangkok, Thailand, raised from the age of two in East Dulwich by Peckham Rye and, at the end of May, I launched my business making 100% plastic-free, harsh chemical-free, reusable, home-compostable period pads made from organic, unbleached and undyed cotton and blends of waste plant fibre fabrics and dyed with natural, plant-based dyes.
What do you most value about the area/street you live in?
The smoothness and incline of the actual physical street provided me with many years of excellent roller-blading terrain.
What’s the one thing you couldn’t do without?
My second-hand Peugeot bicycle with lever gears and red handlebars. We’re best of friends, she’s called Daisy.
Do you know your neighbours?
Yes, I feel very lucky to be able to say this, as in London, it is so often not the case. But, here on Upland, we have a little community that has formed over more than two decades through Christmas parties, Royal wedding picnics, lockdown socially-distanced front garden concerts, babysitting, cat feeding, onion-lending, plant-sharing… At Goodrich School we always used to have a carnival around the streets in summer which brought everyone together too. I recently got Covid and, first day into isolation, my next-door neighbours were hurling my favourite chocolate bar at me from the front gate!
What’s your favourite place for a night out?
Well, can’t say I’ve done this for a while but back in the pre-pandemic day, I could often be found until the early hours of the morning at a South London Soul Train night at Bussey Building.
What is your favourite place to eat?
This is a real tough one. I’m a MASSIVE foodie and have a lot of local faves. Nothing beats the legendary Mr Hassan’s Indian curries at Tandoori Nights, especially the staple Tadkha Dal, also got to love a weekend veggie fry-up or carrot cake with Earl Grey at the Blue Brick Café, an on-the-go roti wrap from the Cheese Block, a blow-your-socks off Som Tum from Kao Sarn, Patatas Bravas at Miss Tapas, masala beans on toast at Oru and a mushroom tagliatelle at the atmospheric Il Giardino… I could go on…
The best kept secret…
The cat pens in the carpark off Choumert Grove.
Where’s your favourite place to walk?
Either the Sexby Rose Garden in Peckham Rye Park or One Tree Hill right up to the bandstand. I watched the millennium come in from there, there’s an incredible view of London from up on top.
What is your favourite shop?
Locally, the tiny treasure: Melange Chocolate run by the lovely French Isabelle; you can find such beautiful combinations of flavoured chocolate bars and truffles or sit in for a warming mug of hot chocolate in winter. And there’s a cat. Also, the Fresh Flower Company and Chichirara Vintage shop. They all bring me a lot of joy. Heather at Chichirara has an incredible eye for unique pieces. When I was about four I attempted to sneak out her door in a long silk blue skirt I’d taken a liking to.
The book I’m reading at the moment..
I’m an incredibly slow reader so I do a mix of physical books and audio versions. I’m about halfway through listening to Emma Barnett’s “Period. It’s About Bloody Time,” which is absolutely bloody brilliant and mind-opening. It’s about tackling period shame, stigma and taboos. And I’m nearly finished reading the physical book of “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver. Also utterly fantastic in a very different way. I judge fiction on how vividly I can paint the scene in my mind’s eye and how long that image stays with me and Kingsolver’s descriptions are second-to-none. Almost as good as “The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy.
You can find Bloody Brilliant Pads/BB Pads on Instagram @bbpads and the website is bbpads.com.