Welcome to my interview series, “A greener way of life”, in which I talk to fellow green lifestyle & beauty bloggers to find out more about how, on a day-to-day basis, they manage to lead a green lifestyle. From making more ethical shopping choices, ditching plastic, to growing their own veg, these uber-conscious bloggers can teach all of us a thing or two about making a positive contribution not only to our planet but also to those around us. They say that ‘grass is greener on the other side’ and in the case of these lifestyle bloggers, it probably is 🙂
This week, talking about her lifestyle choices is Rae from the Rae Ritchie blog.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog.
I’m a freelance writer and I mainly focus on mental health and lifestyle. I’m particularly interested in eco, ethical and sustainable fashion and beauty and love to feature brands that fall under this umbrella as much as possible. One of my favourite parts of my job is connecting with makers and creators, and being able to share them with my audience – I like to think of it as a bit of consumer matchmaking!
My lifestyle philosophy is that we need to take areas such as fashion and beauty both more seriously and less seriously. More so in that we need to consider the consequences of our consumption and take appropriate action, such as reducing waste and buying better. Just recently, I updated a blog post about top red lipsticks as I’d recommend a Nars product and I wanted to highlight that this brand is no longer cruelty free as it is starting to retail in China, where animal testing is compulsory for cosmetics. Less seriously in that there’s a lot of poe faced talk about fashion when really it’s a huge outlet for creativity, self-expression and play – let’s have more fun with what we wear!
What does a ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ lifestyle mean to you?
It means a concern for ethics and environment, and a dedication to make changes, however small, to improve your impact on people and the planet.
Why is it important to you?
Because it’s the right thing to do! All human life is of equal value, therefore why should a man, woman or child in another part of the world suffer in order to facilitate my lifestyle? Likewise, we need to respect the world we live in. The earth is not ours to own.
What everyday actions do you currently take to help you achieve that sort of lifestyle?
I’m mindful about what I consume and am always looking for ways to keep waste to a minimum and be careful about what I buy in the first place. I’m always chuntering that the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ mantra goes in that order for a reason! In particular, I have a fairly capsule wardrobe and limited range of toiletries and cosmetics, particularly given what I write about.
I try to buy in a way that offers the most bang for my buck, but not in terms of money – I mean investing in the smallest amount that will deliver the most reward, both in terms of satisfying my belief in ethical consumption and my desire to enjoy what I own. For example, this means buying one amazing lipstick that is cruelty free, preferably vegan and also good quality in a shade that I love – and then using it until I’m scraping a lipbrush around the bottom of the tube!
What other green initiatives would you like to implement in your household?
My partner and I drink a lot of sparkling water and want to reduce the amount of plastic bottles we get through. The obvious answer is to get a Soda Stream but they’re made in Israeli Occupied Territories so they’re a no-go, hence we’re racking our brains for another alternative.
What five top tips would you give to someone who wants to lead a more conscious, greener and zero-waste lifestyle?
- Swap shower gel for soap. This is my personal mission. I’m always going on about it! Cheaper, lasts longer, no plastic waste.
- Start using natural deodorants, whether creams or rock crystals. They last so much longer than standard deodorant – I had my previous one for years and only had to replace it because it smashed on the bathroom floor!
- Get to know your local charity shops. Find one or two that you like the most (sounds bizarre but they all vary, just as ‘regular’ shops do) then frequent them as regularly as you can. For good charity results, I’ve found that consistent visiting is the key, although that doesn’t mean you have to go in every day or even every week.
- Drink black coffee. The carbon footprint of a hot drink comes mainly from the milk not boiling the kettle. And be quick in saying ‘No milk thanks!’ when ordering so you don’t end up with a little pot that won’t get used.
- Invest in decent shoes. I still buy leather ones, which I know would horrify other ethical fashion writers, but I know one good pair will last for years. Buy well and look after them – clean them (even if just with a cloth) and keep them re-heeled and re-soled as necessary. Cheap pumps will destroy your feet and fall apart quickly.
How would you define your natural skincare/ beauty routine?
Basic but consistent. I think it’s important to not be oversold products whether they are natural or not. I do some writing on beauty and try to use natural beauty products as much as possible. I’m currently trying a couple of different brands – my reviews are coming soon!
Who do you look up for advice?
I don’t have one specific person but keep my eyes peeled for advice and recommendations whenever I’m reading about beauty (or even in unrelated content). That said, I was particularly pleased to see Sali Hughes dedicate one of her Guardian columns to ethical beauty recently – I love her writing!
What are your three natural skincare/ beauty must-haves?
- Most definitely a lush night cream. I’ve long enjoyed the ritual of slathering on a thick cream last thing before bed although have recently become enamoured with oils as well.
- A gentle face scrub. I don’t use one daily but when my skin starts to look and feel a bit bleurgh, I’ll just wash with one of these. Quicker than a mask but still effective!
- A multi-purpose balm to slick on lips, nails, wayward brows – even minor scrapes and burns. I’ve recently discovered Pure Potions Skin Salvation Moisturising Ointment and I’m a devotee. I think it even tops the original in this field, Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream. A little goes a long way and my lips feel like Angelina Jolie’s after a rub with this 🙂
Some fab advice from Rae – what will you take away from this interview?
If you’re a green lifestyle and/or beauty blogger and you’re interested in being featured in my interview series, then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org