Jump for plant-based joy: It's So Vegan
By ANTHEA ANKA
For Roxy Pope and Ben Pook, founders of online vegan recipe channel So Vegan, the eager journey into a plant-based lifestyle has earned them a devoted combined following of a million fans on social media. “To be honest, I’m surprised by how far we’ve come,” says Roxy. “Three years ago, I didn’t even know what vegan meant.”
When they set out a few years ago to live a more sustainable life with a gentler impact on the planet, the South London couple realised that the first thing they could change was how they ate.
The idea to spread their message was born when Ben came across short cooking videos on social media, taking note that none of them were vegan. “It kind of just clicked,” Ben says. “We knew that making short videos with great recipes was the best way to encourage people to become vegan in an accessible and fun way.”
Their ethos is simple and realistic: becoming vegan is not something that happens overnight. “The aim of So Vegan is to make people’s favourite meals, using stuff you may already have in your cupboard, but to do it in a more creative way,” says Ben.
Many of their followers attest to the ease of their recipes, not to mention that it ‘tastes like proper food.’ “We really wanted to dispel any misconceptions about vegan food,” points out Roxy. “It’s nutritious, fills you up and you’re doing something beneficial for the planet.”
The channels - website, Instagram, Facebook - are a riot of bright colour and pretty plates of food; Roxy and Ben, themselves provide warm, lively voices across the platforms. Their flat is now a fully equipped recipe-making, editing suite. “We definitely learned on the job,” says Roxy. “And, in our case, (lots of) practice made perfect!” Soon enough, they had honed their tasty recipes and cooking techniques, and their crafty 1-minute recipe videos were lighting up social media.
Not satisfied with resting on their laurels, they saw the bigger picture and are taking the project further. “We used to think veganism was solely related to food, as many do,” says Roxy. “But it’s much more of a way of life that we hope to soon reflect in our video content; be it vegan beauty products, clothing or healthy living tips.”
Equally passionate about sustainable fashion, the couple recently launched their Plant Revolution T-shirts (50% of proceeds go to charity); a recent Instagram post of Ben wearing the couple’s latest homemade chocolate and cocoa exfoliator heralds the imminent launch of Ben's Vegan Beauty School.
"Our main goal has always been to reduce our footprint and live a more sustainable life in every way possible," says Roxy. A simple quest looks set to turn into a global endeavour.