“How much plastic did we find? Lots. And we’re still finding it every day.”
Name: Daphne Tieleman
Place of birth: Athens, Greece
Do: Boutique Owner at Jul’s. Fashion Designer
How did you begin making clothes?
I used to have a tattoo/music/clothes/shoe shop in Calle Virgin, one of the famous streets in Ibiza old town. The street was a real spectrum of exciting people, full of shops, restaurants, Gypsies, gays and drag artists. I started making clothes for some of the drag artist shows on the street. In one of the shows they used a kind of dish towel to make dresses with holes cut into the fabric. I loved it and decided to buy these dish towels myself. I started to play with different ideas and designs. This was in 1994. By 1996 it became such a success that they invited me to Spanish Vogue for an interview!
How has your creativity developed?
I have always been creative, I really enjoy making things but I didn’t always have the belief in myself or my creations. Little by little this has changed and I feel more confident now. I also have a husband who always supported me with what I was doing which helps a lot!
Tell us about your journey to life in Ibiza
In 1987 I was getting into Dutch nightlife in Amsterdam at a club called the Roxy, there were two people working there who had spent their summers in Ibiza. One was a doorman, the other a go-go dancer. They kept telling me I had to go but I was really enjoying my time in Amsterdam. Then I met a couple who had their second home in Ibiza, they invited me there and I went for 2 weeks. That was 32 years ago and I’m still here.
You began a campaign cleaning plastic from the sea, how did that start?
I love the sea, I can stay for hours on or near the water. Spending so much time on the water, one day I was out near Es Vedra and saw so much plastic that I started picking it up and bringing it home. I wanted to try to find out where it had come from. I made a lot of noise on facebook and people started sharing what I’d found. After lots of outings finding more and more rubbish and lots of facebook posts, the work became so well known that a journalist contacted me for an interview. This article and all the pictures were then shared so much that the Ministerio de medio ambiente from Madrid began an investigation. Thankfully this triggered lots of awareness of the plastic situation in Ibiza and beach cleanings supported by the government. How much plastic did we find? Lots. And we’re still finding it every day.
Where is your magical place in Ibiza?
Definitely Sa Caleta at the boathouses where we met for this interview. This place is magic for me, I feel very at home there. Portixol, a little bay near Portinatx, is another favourite. It’s a long walk down and up to get there, but arriving by boat is amazing. It’s like a little hobbit village, I love it. But I think all of Ibiza is my favourite place; wherever you go on this island, you always find an amazing spot!
What’s your favourite memory of this 2020 so far?
When we could finally go out after the lockdown. My first instinct was to go to the beach and I discovered how much I like paddle surf!! I loved the month of June, having Ibiza for us island-people with empty beaches, no big boats and jet skis spinning around and no airplanes flying over. Everything was so peaceful. One morning I took my paddleboard out really far and then I realized the only sound was me rowing. I stopped to sit down and made a video of the silence. I think that is my best memory, it was very very special.
How would your friends describe you?
Strong and crazy. Those who know me very well might say I’m sweet and funny. Always with a good temperament. Actually you should ask them, they may say something else!
Do you think you will always live in Ibiza?
I think my base will always be in Ibiza because I am lucky and have my own house and don’t have to pay this ridiculous rent they ask here on the island. It’s also very important for me to leave the island sometimes. Ibiza is a bubble and I need to go away to get different air. I would love to spend half my time between Ibiza and Crete. I think Ibiza will be my home always, but never say never.