Tag: interview

WHAT DOES SUSTAINABLE FASHION MEAN ANYWAY? DUTCH TV PRESENTER MILOUSKA MEULENS SHARES HER JOURNEY

Since becoming a mother, pursuing an ethical and sustainable life has been a high priority for Dutch TV and radio presenter Milouska Meulens (43).  Below, Milouska reflects on her sustainability journey and offers sound, practice advice for others. Lucy von Sturmer reports. 

An Awakening

Like many young women, sustainability wasn’t always the driving force behind Milouska’s purchasing decisions.

“When I went shopping in my early 20s, I only wanted to look good, and when I ordered something to eat, I didn’t think too much about where the ingredients came from.”

However all of this changed when she became pregnant.

“It’s a cliche, but I suddenly had this instinct to do whatever I could to protect the planet. I had this immediate feeling that I didn’t want to put any more pollution into the world.”

Small Steps – Buy Less & Start Swapping!

One of the simple ways Milouska and her partner Joris Marseille, (also a news presenter, and yes – they did meet on the job), have worked to become more sustainable is through simply consuming less and eating vegetarian.

“I feel fortunate because within my circle of friends, we share and exchange baby clothes and other things. It’s a nice experience, and because the children are all of various ages, we almost completely avoid having to buy new things. ”

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Sustainability – What does it mean?

For Milouska, sustainability isn’t just about individual actions such as using less plastic or reducing her carbon dioxide consumption. It’s bigger than that.

“Sustainability is about reaching out and connecting with one another, and also with nature. It’s about having an awareness that when we destroy the environment, we destroy ourselves.”

Ditching the High Street

If it were up to her, she might just wear her favourite sweater each day while presenting in her current role on “Early Birds”, a Dutch TV show dedicated to exploring themes around animal welfare and the environment in The Netherlands.

However, her stylist Chananja de Kok, has different ideas. Last year, when Milouska expressed her interest in only wearing sustainable clothing, the two of them embarked on a journey to find attractive, yet sustainable clothing brands.

“I knew exactly which fast fashion stores I wanted to avoid, and the “no” list was long, but we soon realised our “yes” list was empty.”

After some initial research, they found a few brands which promised safer materials and working conditions for those who made them, but Milouska couldn’t identify with the look. “It was too “outdoorsy.”

“I didn’t always want to look like I was on the verge of climbing a mountain, so it was a relief when my stylist found sustainable fashion stores like Charlie + Mary.

milouska-meulens-family

Milouska wears her Hoodlamb parka in this cosy family picture. It’s made of hemp and has a sustainable fake fur lining!

Sustainable Fashion – An Urgent Issue

Today, fast fashion is widely recognised as the second most polluting industry in the world, and almost every month horrific events unfold such as the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in 2013 and the death of over 1000 workers, or child refugees being discovered on the supply chain.

Pursuing sustainability in fashion has never been more urgent, and Milouska believes we can no longer afford to keep our head in the sand.

“My generation was really able to say “we didn’t know” – because we didn’t. But we do now! Today, I refuse to wear things that I know were made by others in oppressive or dangerous situations. And I struggle to understand how we can ignore this.

Milouska believes that fashion is not only about how good something makes you look, but how good something makes you feel.

“And this is not only about your appearance, but who you are in the world too.”

 
Further Reading:

THE LADY BEHIND THE LABEL ‘PEOPLE TREE’

People Tree’s Founder Safia Minney is widely regarded as a leader in the Fair Trade movement. We asked her why she started the brand, how People Tree makes decisions about production, and more. Read on and meet this inspiring lady!

INTERVIEW WITH THE MEN BEHIND WUNDERWERK – MEET TIM AND HEIKO

Wunderwerk is a fashion label that appeals to fashion-oriented women and men who consciously combine fashion and sustainability. The label stands for the interaction of fashionable design, comfortable fit and high quality sustainable manufacture throughout the entire production and supply chain. Wunderwerk was founded in 2012 and has its headquarters in Dusseldorf Germany. In a short interview we asked  founders Tim and Heiko why they started working together, what inspires them and how they see the future of their awesome fashion label.

CARLIEN HELMINK, CO-OWNER OF STUDIO JUX. ALWAYS ASK WHY, HOW, WHERE. BE HONEST.BE CONSCIOUS. A SHORT FILM SERIES.

This short film is the third of the blog and short film series „Always ask why, how, where. Be honest. Be conscious.“ about eco-fashion. Carlien Helmink, co-owner of studio JUX, is interviewed at sustainable fashion and lifestyle tradeshow MINT (Amsterdam). The fair fashion manager talks about why she started to produce sustainable fashion, how and where the collections of studio JUX are made and the relationship with their customers.

SAFIA MINNEY, CEO AND FOUNDER OF PEOPLE TREE. ALWAYS ASK WHY, HOW, WHERE. BE HONEST. BE CONSCIOUS. A SHORT FILM SERIES

Safia Minney, CEO & founder of People Tree. Part 2 of: Always ask why, how, where. Be honest. Be conscious. A short film series from Marieke Eyskoot on Vimeo.

This short film is the second of the blog and short film series „Always ask why, how, where. Be honest. Be conscious.“ about eco-fashion. Safia Minney, CEO and founder of fair fashion label People Tree, is interviewed at sustainable fashion and lifestyle tradeshow MINT (Amsterdam). The fair fashion pioneer talks about why she started to produce sustainable fashion in the nineties, how and where People Tree collections are made and the relationship with their customers.