Aurelia is the writer & vintage curator at Wander and About. She loves yoga, vintage fashion and ethical brands (especially Australian), the ocean and the sharks and collects vinyl from the 70s and 80s. Our founder, Laia Rodon was joined with her to talk about environmental issues, new practises, and more!
LR - Hi Aurelia, What drives you to live a sustainable life? What are the environmental issues that concern you the most?
AA - Hi Laia! There are quite a few reasons but the one that resonates the most is common sense. Today, because of the way our societies are built and operate, sustainable is seen as something outstanding; but when you pause and come to think about it, aiming at living a sustainable life is THE thing. When you observe nature, there is no waste, everything has a purpose and is being reused, recycle; the sustainable life is to me an extension of that.
The health of our oceans and the “concept” of overproduction/overconsumption,
particularly in fashion, are two environmental issues that concern me the most.
LR - Do you have any personal life hacks for getting through the day in the most sustainable way possible?
AA - Trying to anticipate things a little bit is a must.
If I know that I will be out of the house for a long period of time, I will fill and bring with me my reusable bottle of water. If I know that I will need to stop at the grocery store, I bring my tote bag. I also almost always pay in cash. Seeing the actual money prevents me from buying more than I need. Little things like that. They are easy to implement and can quickly become habits and on the long run, the impact is not insignificant.
LR - What are you listening to, watching, reading?
AA - I love books and reading different types of material. I like to have a larger scope on things, and do not stick to one type of literature. By doing so, it enables me to grasp how much everything we do is in the end intertwined with the environment; how we can have an impact on those far away from us and perpetuate economical discriminations. Even when we think “we are doing the right stuff”, like recycling or eating our veggies. It enables me to fully understand how much of a privilege it is to be able to have the time to get involved into sustainability and environmental issues. My interests can range from books talking about racial issues, to identity, politics, arts or spirituality. Lately I read “What a time to be alone” by Chidera Eggerue, “We have been harmonized: Life in China’s surveillance state” by Kai Strittmatter and “You are amazing” by Sonia + Sabrina Choquette.
I regularly listen to the free speech podcast Triggernometry, and ah… I love music. Jamaican Reggae, 90’s hip-hop, Odesza and Fleetwood Mac.
LR - What do you think that is the role as a customer in front of buy ethic and vintage sustainable brands?
AA - To me the customer has a role to play but not everything should be laid upon him. Our role is to do our best when we have the privilege to do so. Choosing vintage and ethical fashion over fast-fashion, yes. But we have to remember that due to style or size not everyone can turn to brands like that.
Buying fast-fashion doesn’t make you a bad person; I have the feeling that lately
some people were conveying this mood. Nevertheless, the consumer role is to make sure not to over consume (and this includes ethical fashion); this is where I do believe we have a big role to play, and is our main responsibility. Having less.
LR - Could you please recommend us your top 4 vintage ethical and eco-friendly brands?
AA - Wander and About (my online vintage shop), Saint-Ouen Flea Market in Paris, for vintage goods. Na Nin and Djerf Avenue, for ethical garments.
LR - What is making you feel optimistic at this time?
AA - Well, the people! I see more and more people questioning the way they live, the way they do things, the food they eat… and this give me hope. It’s not about being perfect but rather stop being on auto-pilot. With quarantines due to the pandemic, more and more folks are redefining what’s important and nature seems to be one of them. And in the end, you protect what you love. The fact that big corporate companies are giving in sustainability shows that they know where the interests of a growing number of people are. I do believe that most of the time it’s performative sustainability though, but yet it shows them where they should lean towards.
LR - Finally, what does sustainability mean to you?
AA - It means harmony and respect. Respecting and enjoying what our planet has to offer us on a cyclical period. Giving her love, respect and attention back in return.
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