Here at Casa del White Stuff (our HQ), our spring theme ‘For the Love of Lo-fi’ has really taken off. We asked our fellow White Stuffers how they embrace lo-fi life. Read on to see what we found out…

Ivy and Lil have been working at White Stuff (as seamstresses) since the very beginning (1985). They’ve got some pretty interesting views on the whole lo-fi business…

What piece of technology are you most reliant on?
Lil:
Hmm. What piece of technology are we most reliant on, Ivy?
Ivy: We're most reliant on our sewing machines, aren't we? Because we do the alterations and people come and ask us for them.
Lil: Have you seen our sign outside the door?
Ivy: Go and take some photos!
Lil: You'll see a brass plate, it's not very clean though.
ED: it's a plate outside the door that says Technical Advisory Technicians...or TAT for short!*
Lil: We are technicians - we see a job and if it can be done, we'll do it!
How do you usually switch off from technology?
Ivy: We go home!
Lil: Well I do the housework, and we also have machines at home. When the family come round, they ask 'can you do this or that', and we do it - not so much now though.
What's your earliest lo-fi memory?
Lil: Well we used to play out in the streets. We remember the war, don't we, Ivy?
Ivy: We were in it! We used to go 'hopping' for our holidays, down in Kent, to pick hops.
When did you get a mobile phone?
Ivy: I haven't got one!
Lil: Well my son in law gave me his old one, but my fingers were too big and I couldn't do two hands at a time! So they bought me a bigger one. They bought it and stood it up for me on the stand. I haven't got a clue how you do it.

What was the last (non-work related) thing you made?
Ivy:
I make a lot of skirts and clothes.
Lil: But they have to be done as they were...
Ivy: ...years and years ago.
Lil: But I think the last time I did anything...was it for a wedding? Whose wedding, Helen's?
Ivy: That was a long time ago!
Lil: I must have done Ira's coat, it was all swags and tails. That's about the last thing I remember!
Ivy: We have machines at home, and when we get on them, we don't realize the time!
Lil: We have the same as these sewing machines at home, all with overlockers and things!

Could you go technology-free for 24hrs?
Ivy:
How do you mean?
Lil: We're technicians, we should know this!
Ivy: Well I suppose we could, because we did it when we were kids.
Lil: We never had any of it, the phone or anything. The wireless we had was two wires and you weren't allowed to touch it, were you? 'Don't you dare touch that'!

If you did go technology free, what would you miss the most?
Lil:
Well me, I read the newspaper. Or I go to bed. And when you've got kids, you've got them to deal with!
Ivy: We'd miss the kids if we didn't have them around 24hours.
Lil: They're better at technology than us. They can do these computers, phones and all that. We haven't got a clue!
Ivy: We touch the wrong button and get into trouble. The best thing we're on is the sewing machine. This is our machine.
Lil: We'd miss that, because we're always doing something on it.
Lo-fi rating: 1/5 (sorry girls!)


Ivy Milazzi, Customer Services Manager



How do you switch off from technology?
Let me preface this by saying that I think we live in an era where we're too dependent on technology; social media and our phones especially. I think it's incredibly difficult nowadays to switch off and that's starting to affect how we communicate with each other, with our families, with our friends, with our customers, with everyone. In many cases we might find it easier to drop someone an email than travelling to see them or writing them a letter which would be a lot more personal and much nicer.
When I'm tired of technology, I like to go for a long walk and maybe pick up a cup of coffee. I'm lucky enough to live by a river, so I'll walk along the bank if the weather is nice or I might go to Richmond Park. I also tend to pamper myself: give myself a face or hair-mask, have a nice glass of wine or some bubbles, and just relax!
 
Do you think you could go tech-free for 24 hours?
Yes. I could - and I have! For about 3 days I had no internet at home, and my phone was broken...I think I read a lot more books!
 
What item of technology did you miss the most during that time?
I'd have to say my phone because I have so many friends and family that live abroad. That makes it an essential piece of technology for me to be able to communicate with them quickly. Obviously I could write them a letter, but it might take a long while to get there!

Lo-fi rating: 4/5 (it’s good to talk)

Marcel Byfield, Customer Services



How do you switch off from technology?
I sleep! Everyone who knows me knows I love a good sleep. The longest I've slept is for about 24 hours! Another thing is just talking to people, I'm a talkative person. I also like playing sports and going to the gym - keeping active is essential for me.
 
Do you think you could go tech-free for 24 hours?
I think I could, but it would be hard because we live in such a technological world. It’s literally everywhere around us. Find me a room where there's no technology and I'll definitely be able to do it! I think I could definitely do half a day, but I don't know about a whole 24 hours. Twelve hours and I'll be alright though!
If you did go 24hrs tech-free, what item of technology would you miss the most?
My computer. It was the first thing that I ever spent a lot of money on...and it was MY money, not a student loan or anything. And ever since then, I've always been on it, every day. I'm on it more than my phone!
 
Lo-fi rating: 3/5 (When in doubt, snooze)




Dean Woods, IT Analyst and White Stuff Pub Landlord

How do you switch off from technology?
I don’t, Technology is what I live and breathe, I think the only time I am tech free is when I put the kids to bed and read them a bedtime story, even then I have been known to use an iPad!
 
Do you think you could go tech-free for 24 hours?
I could but would struggle in this connected world, I am so used to checking Facebook, Twitter etc. that it has become second nature to me.
 
If you tried going 24 hours tech-free, which gadget or piece of electrical equipment do you think you’d miss most and why?
It would be my phone without a doubt, I use it all the time although very rarely make or receive calls on it, it’s all about the internet, I also commute 2 hours each way into Casa del White Stuff each day and tend to catch up with TV shows and things like that.

Lo-fi rating: 1/5 (goes with the territory)

Martha Benard, Customer Services



How do you switch off from technology?
I deliberately plug into or rediscover my hobbies, such as reading, knitting, having meaningful conversations, the lost art of writing. That's how I feel that I disconnect from the world of technology.

Do you think you could go tech-free for 24 hours?
I believe I would be able to detox from technology for 24 hours, although it would be really hard because every single person I know lives and breathes technology. They live on the web, Twitter, Facebook, you name it. But I can be quite disciplined, despite most of my life being connected to technology.

If you did go tech-free for 24hrs, what would you miss the most?
The piece of tech that I would miss the most would be my Blackberry, because most of my life is connected with it. I would feel like I was missing out on updates from my friends and family, like I just chopped off my arm! Everything I need is pretty much on my BlackBerry and it keeps me connected to the outside world. It's like an extended part of my life, it's my baby!

Lo-fi rating: 4.5/5 (good work, but the smartphone reliance is notable)