Please share a little bit about who you are and what you do in your regular life?
Hi, my name is Rachel. I am from Ireland but have lived in Australia for over 8 years and became a citizen of this gorgeous land 2 years ago.
Back in Europe I studied as a Beauty Therapist with the French body C.I.D.E.S.C.O and after receiving my Diploma, went on to study Image & Design with the London College of Fashion. I'm a free spirited, creative soul who wants to make the world a happier and more beautiful place.
I love connecting with people, making people feel good about themselves and being outdoors. I paint, play music, love self development and the psychology of people and nature. It's a truly fascinating world we live in and i want to experience all life has to show me.
At what point did you begin to learn about the issue of sustainability in every area of daily life?
I was raised with an huge awareness of the environment and our impact on it.
Growing up in a Celtic culture, we are very connected to the Land. My Grandparents were always taking me for walks in Nature explaining plants and animals to me and showing me the wonders of Mother Earth.There is a natural interconnectedness between Man and Nature and like all relationships or things we connect with we want to protect, Love, Nurture and be kind to it. Nature can survive without humans but humans cant survive without Nature.
For as long as I can remember in our household we reused and recycled. My grandad was an Antique collector and would buy shabby items and bring them back to life which has always drawn me to buying old and upcycling or reusing.
My Aunt and Mother are the worlds greatest thrift shoppers and you've not seen better dressed women, so for me, buying new and consuming weren't natural practices.
- I enjoy the hunt and finding the treasure!
- I am very conscious of my footprint on the world.
- I became Vegetarian at 16 because of the impact animal agriculture was having on our planet and didn't want to contribute to that.
Have you embraced any changes that help you personally leave a smaller ecological footprint?
I shop wisely and where possible don't buy or use single use plastic. Household items and products are non-toxic so they don't end up damaging our oceans, as we know the GBR needs all the love and protection she can get at the moment. Ireland banned the plastic bag in 2002 so reusuable/lifebags have been my norm for a very long time. Its so exciting that Australia is catching up. As plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental issues our planet is facing right now.
I also volunteer for Tangaroa Blue Foundation, an Australian-wide not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris, 75% of what is collected on our beaches is plastic.
In 2014 I opened Port Douglas' first Chemical Free and Cruelty Free Beauty salon. The beauty industry was always a double edged sword for me, I love what I do but I hated using toxic products on clients knowing the effects it was having on their health and also to our envoirment. By being completely chemical free and cruelty free I am able to love what I do while having a clear conscience.
My partner and I grow as much food as possible and are lucky to have a variety of beautiful tropcial fruits trees on our property, as well as lots of veggies and grow gourment mushrooms. We compost all household food waste.
How did you meet Zuhal and what led you to become involved with EFWA 2017?
Zuhal found me and we hit it off straight away. Two women with a passion for fashion, environment and sustainability it was a match made in Heaven. She is incredible and I am so glad that we connected. What Zuhal is doing and the awareness she brings to the Eco fashion world is incredible.
Hats off to Zuhal, I'm beyond happy that she has invited me along for the ride.
What was it about EFWA's mission that drew you to offer your talents in support of this international event?
For me EFWA embodies who I am - Fashion, Beauty and our Environment, all my passions rolled into one awesome event.
I am so pleased to be a part of this epic adventure and spread awareness to the masses regarding the impact fast fashion has on our planet. I'll tell you right now that $10 garment is not a bargain. We need choose well and buy less. In Australia alone, more than 500,000 tonnes of textiles and leather end up in landfill each year.
Invest in well made pieces you love and will treasure for years to come. Find your style and stop following trends. Im so excited to meet with the designers at this years EFW, I just love what they are creating and how innovative the designs are, it's a really exciting time for the fashion industry, huge changes are occuring. Major fashion houses are reassessing their own production and envoironmental impact, banning fur and becoming more conscious. It's fantastic!
As a part of the EFWA 2017 team, what role or roles will you be filling?
This year i am EFWA Make-Up Director. I will be managing a team of 15 make up artists to bring each designers look to life.
Any last words or a favourite quote on sustainability?
"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." - JANE GOODALL