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Popular culture is known for its peaks and troughs. And so whilst the leaders of the next big trends are perennially named the “it” thing, so few of these tastemaker’s intentions are pure or even genuine. But Jin Ahn of Conservatory Archives, the Hackney-based plant shop, is doing something especially green and we should all take note.
The positive effects of plant life are well documented, and with their connection to every living thing on Earth, their powers are far reaching. Forging a path in this green movement is Ahn, expressing her passion so precisely, it led to her creating her own plant shop, a living, breathing manifestation of her commitment to horticulture.
Jin’s recent collaborations with brands like COS and M&S have forged Conservatory Archives’ path as the unofficial Godfather of the green movement. A one-time clothing retailer in Seoul, Ahn moved to London via Essex, having studied horticulture. Her passion can be traced back to Essex and inspired by nature, she eventually found her feet in London’s east end. Drawn to what would become Conservatory Archives, she was in awe of the neighbourhood’s creative and open-minded locals. Jin chose to create her design aesthetic to reflect history, heritage and left many of the building’s interior and exterior features as she found them – all helping to create an east London aesthetic.
Perhaps one of Jin’s and Conservatory Archives’ most unique characteristics is that she takes the time to educate her audience. Encouraging them to learn about the best plants for their lifestyle as well as how to look after them and where to place them. And perhaps it was this trait that led her to work with such interesting and progressive individuals, through a partnership with students from the Royal College of Art.
As we discovered ourselves, it is tough to leave Jin’s shop without some new green, tall or small, friends. Her passion and energy is apparent at every turn in the store, and you’ll certainly feel outnumbered compared to the plant life. But the store’s spirit and creative vision, not unlike the nature of plant life is utterly alive, and growing.
For more information conservatoryarchives.co.uk