Please share a little bit about who you are and what you do in your regular life?
I have always lived in Western Australia. I grew up in a little suburb about an hour south of Perth with one of the most beautiful beaches in the world on our doorstep. I have 8 siblings and growing up we made full use of the beautiful nature around us with regular visits to the beach and camping trips off the beaten track and across the country. My parents met on an Aboriginal Mission and my mother still volunteers helping those less fortunate including refugees and those in poverty. My parents raised us to value all races and cultures and equality for all people.
I always had an interest in fashion and making clothes. Among my 6 brothers, I was lucky enough to have an older sister to look up to and borrow beautiful clothes from, and a younger sister to play dress ups and have 'photo shoots' with. My mother taught me the basics of sewing in the back shed, and I loved studied Sewing in Home Economics for a few years at high school. I still do weekly sewing lessons and love the sense of satisfaction and achievement of making my own clothes.
Physiotherapy is my current day job; I love working with and helping people. Travel is one of my favourite hobbies; I have been through South East Asia, Japan and Europe, and have more places on my list to tick off. I still love camping and the beach, and appreciating good food is another favourite pastime of mine.
At what point did you begin to learn about the issue of sustainability in every area of daily life?
I was always raised to live sustainably and conscious of the environment. Growing up, we always had a compost bin, recycled, avoided waste, and reused plastic containers and bags. I often wore hand-me downs and we had second hand furniture in the house. I always enjoyed op-shopping ever since I was earning pocket money from my casual job as a teenager.
Things simply evolved from there as I got older, once you know about what impact you have on the environment, you can't 'un-know' it. I have always been interested in science- studying it at high school and university, so I have an appreciation for the facts and evidence behind climate change and what is happening to our environment.
I met my partner, Craig 4.5 years ago. His family is very environmentally aware and love the ocean and animals. A film maker by day, he is currently developing a documentary on sustainable living and climate change. We have always supported each other in being sustainable in every area of our daily life, and learnt a lot together.
Have you embraced any changes that help you personally leave a smaller ecological footprint?
I buy pre-loved and second hand furniture, homewares, and clothes and wear clothes for a long time, rather than throwing things out and changing my wardrobe very season. I take reusable bags to the supermarket and try to buy from the local, organic farmers market when we can. We try to buy food that is in season, local, and animal products that have been produced ethically/organically. I have changed my diet to include more vegetarian and vegan meals. We reuse plastic containers and recycle most of our waste. My partner Craig has been amazing in looking after our compost, worm farm, and growing food for us at home. I only use natural beauty products that are not tested on animals and contain no chemicals. Most of our cleaning products are natural and eco-friendly too. I hold onto items that I can re-use for crafting and gifting to further reduce waste and consumerism. In sewing class I alter and mend items to help extend their life.
How did you meet Zuhal and what led you to become involved with EFWA 2017?
As mentioned before I always loved fashion but didn't like the idea of the sweat shops it was usually produced in, or the large amounts of pollution it causes. Discovering Eco-Fashion helped me to combine my values with my passion. After I changed from full-time to part-time work, I decided to continue to do more with my passion and interest for fashion. When I read about Zuhal Kuvan-Mills and what she was doing with Green Embassy and Eco Fashion Week Australia, I was so excited to take the opportunity to volunteer and learn more about the industry, as well as support such an amazing and important event. I simply sent her an email, she invited me around for tea, and the rest is history!
What was it about EFWA's mission that drew you to offer your talents in support of this international event?
I loved that Zuhal was based in Perth and wanted to offer an alternative to fast fashion and typical Fashion Weeks. I loved the inclusive nature of EFWA- everyone is welcome to join the family and make the world a better place through their love of fashion. Zuhal's impressive international resume as a haute couture fashion designer was so inspiring so the opportunity to work with her on an event of this calibre was too good to pass up.
As a part of the EFWA 2017 team, what role or roles will you be filling?
I am currently filling the roles of Public Communications, Administration, and Volunteer Manager.
Any last words or a favourite quote on sustainability?
Passionate scientist and environmentalist Erin Clitheroe recently told me about this one and I loved it: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.” ― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax.