COCOON COOKS : Vegan Food and Design

Cocoon Cooks: Vegan food and Design

Rita Parente, aka Cocoon Cooks, writes about food, sharing her vegan recipes and promoting a more healthy and balanced lifestyle. Rita loves traveling and is the mother of a one-year-old called Simão.

She lived for some time in Lisbon and, after relocating back to the sun-soaked Portuguese south, is now living in Faro, her native Algarve capital.

"I have always been interested in food, and after a health problem in my family, I excluded meat and animal products from my diet. Then, my boyfriend André and I started the blog Cocoon Cooks, followed by our cookbook. From then, the vegan movement became interconnected with our jobs, as graphic designer (me) and photographer (André). We are now working with vegan brands and organizations.

Cocoon Cooks: Vegan food and Design

I'm inspired by many different things. Travelling informs our food and taste, but our main life inspiration is the work carried out by our' family' at Quinta das Águias natural sanctuary in Paredes de Coura (in the rain-soaked northern Portugal). They are a great example of ethics in dealing with animal welfare and our planet's natural resources. I'm a full-time graphic designer, and in my work, I'm inspired by all my activist colleagues worldwide.

Our generation is heading in the right way in what matters to healthy eating, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability. I'm reasonably optimistic. I see veganism as something that is here for good. 

Veganism goes beyond the plate. Being vegan dictates the way I consume and buy everything, from clothing to cosmetics or homewares. Nothing can be made using or tested in animals. I also try to use recycled materials that can be reused as many times as possible.

Cocoon Cooks: Vegan food and Design

I'm very interested in quality when buying something. I prefer to spend more on something made to last, but I admit that sometimes I slip into some fast fashion or less eco-friendly products, but I try to do the best I can.

The thing that amused me most when trying my first pair of iGUANEYE was the look. It looks just like the open shoe in Portugal we call 'Sabrina', but much more comfortable. A few years ago, I quit using that sort of uncomfortable shoe, but now I have iGUANEYE. The design of the shoe is fantastic, very unconventional. I like it to be different. You can see that in my hairstyles, tattoos, clothes. I will definitely use iGUANEYE with many different looks and outfits.