On a newsstand, a new magazine called Atmos sits next to art and fashion magazines. Like the others, it covers culture. But the magazine also focuses explicitly on climate change.
“We chose to explore climate and culture because in order for us to have an impact on our changing climate, it has to start with people,” says editor-in-chief William Defebaugh. The magazine’s founder, Jake Sargent, previously ran a fashion brand but realized that he wanted to do work that better aligned with his values. Sargent cofounded a venture fund that invests in sustainable consumer product companies, but wanted to also invest in media as a way to shift culture.
The inaugural issue–book-size, at 228 pages–looks at current challenges through photography, interviews with artists such as Anonhi and Yoko Ono, and trips to rural India and the island of Kiribati to see how communities are adapting to climate change. It explores a range of solutions of the kind that Fast Company also covers, including “clean” lab-grown meat, mushroom-grown leather, vertical farms, and robots that pollinate crops or plant trees. A poet writes about tasting Soylent; photos from Ryan McGinley point to the fallacy that humans consider themselves separate from nature. A fashion editorial includes clothing made from biosynthetic materials.
Atmos will be published twice a year; each issue will feature the same thoughtful approach to subject matter and artist collaboration. “We really wanted to create a platform where we could tell stories about the environment through an art and design lens, and actually take the space to tell them in depth,” says Defebaugh. Atmos aims to inspire leaders from the art and design world, in particular, to focus on the issue of climate change in a way that some may not have in the past.
“Everyone needs to have a voice on climate and the environment: It’s something that needs to be in our daily conversation and permeate throughout our culture,” says Sargent. “We want everyone to be collaborating on this and speaking about it.”