The Cabbages & Roses founder takes us on a guided tour around all that she loves and loathes online

Christina Strutt, a former editor at Vogue Living, founded her mail-order business, Cabbages & Roses, in 2000. Almost twenty years later, the clothing and interiors brand, famed for its signature delicate florals, has built a cult following across England, America and Japan. One of its admirers is none other than The Duchess of Cambridge, who chose to wear Cabbages & Roses when she graced Vogue’s hundredth anniversary issue.

Christina’s eco-conscious, slow-fashion ethos (everything is designed and made in Britain using sustainable materials) is distilled in her latest book, Green Housekeeping, where she demonstrates how to live sustainability on the home front via recipes and natural cleaning solutions. In addition to Cabbages and Roses’ online shop, she has two beautiful bricks and mortar shops in Midhurst, West Sussex, and Kilver Court, Shepton Mallet, Somerset.

Here she shares her Brexit-proofing online purchases, and why you’ll never, ever see her posting selfies.

Follow Christina on Instagram at @christina_strutt, or via @cabbages_and_roses, or @cabbagesandroses_shop.

My favourite website... Cabbages & Roses - Am I allowed to say that? The thing is, it really is my favourite website!

My favourite app... WhatsApp - I love the instant communication and that it is so much better than email for getting the attention of my children/family/friends. I never ignore a Whatsapp message.

My favourite blog... Man Repeller - Leandra Medine writes beautifully, is very funny and, although fashion is her business, she is irreverent about it in a clever un-self-important way.

My Internet hero... Kate Howells, my daughter and our MD at Cabbages & Roses. Over the last few years she has mastered each aspect of running a website, with all of its associated nightmares – some major, many minor – and she’s done it all with a mind-boggling brilliance.

My favourite podcast... Desert Island Discs - It has such a deliciously wide selection of interesting people, and goes back many years. I could listen to it forever. My ambition in life is to be important enough to be asked for my Desert Island Discs.

My most recent buy online... A chest freezer to prepare and stockpile for the imminent chaos that Brexit will bring. At the moment it contains two bags of apples – our crop this year was sparse! But I fully intend to stockpile seasonal vegetables from the garden and perhaps a bit of road-kill.



Last book you downloaded or read... Darkling by Laura Beatty - I have only read two per cent so far, but by all accounts it is a brilliant read.

Favourite tweeter... I don’t do Twitter as I got into such a muddle with passwords and then never quite completed joining. Not that I would have anything very interesting to tweet. That said, I am very amused by Donald Trump’s tweets.

Favourite Instagrammer... I adore @violet_dent - She is an interior stylist who posts delicious photographs of her work. Each one is full and absorbing, she’s a complete anti-minimalist with an excellent eye.

Social media allowed me to meet... Rachel Ashwell of Shabby Chic - She has become more of a little sister than a friend, and when she’s in England, we spend a great deal of time together.

The best digital advice I've been given... ‘Mama, let me do it for you.’.

My screensaver is... Pink.

My standout online memory... Launching Cabbages & Roses’ new website. Having put up with annoyingly small photographs and difficult-to-manage websites, when our new site was launched it was like a breath of fresh air. We were helped by a completely brilliant designer called Neo Khama who was, at the time, working from Botswana and is now based in Los Angeles. She has a beautiful aesthetic, is very calm and guided us through the complicated process with such graciousness and ease.

My pet online hate is... Is ‘online’ Instagram? If it is, then my absolute bête noire is the unashamedly narcissistic selfie. Especially when said selfies are taken on endless self-indulgent holidays saying nothing more than, ‘look at how rich and idle and beautiful I am. Look how I have 365 new outfits to post every day?’ Have they not heard of global warming? Disposable fashion?

My other pet online hate is passwords, endless passwords, which are all supposed to be different. And Google asking if I want to save passwords. How do I know that it is Google asking me, and not some international computer hacker trying to do some shopping at Ocado on my account?!

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My Web with Nikki Tibbles
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September 2019

Interview by Nancy Alsop