Last month, the second edition of Green Fashion Week went live in Milan, Italy. In the light of the event, we discussed green living tips, climate change and the future of fashion with its founder Daniela Christiansson, also a model and ambassador of green lifestyle and beauty at www.greenmodelme.com...
Daniela, how did you grow interested in a more conscious, ethical lifestyle?
Being Swedish and growing up in Switzerland, I've always led a rather conscious lifestyle — as both countries take care of the environment and are healthy, it has been quite naturally a part of me. Likewise, I have always wanted to have a blog and 6 years ago I challenged my father telling him that I will set up a blog as guidance to sustainable lifestyle to influence people to change their habits and encourage them to believe that together we can cause less harm to Earth. Climate change is real and we have all the resources to fight it, we just all need to gradually change our consumption and lifestyle habits. I hope to influence as many people as possible with GreenModelMe, my team and partners.
What are your key lifestyle tips for adapting a more mindful approach to living in this speedy world?
Learn to disconnect and come back to the joy of small and simple things. Our society is just pushing us to buy and consume more things, which we ultimately do not need. We are a generation that is stressed, addicted to speed, constantly rushing and many individuals lose themselves by living through a virtual world or through someone else's ideals. Also, my father always tells me to slow down. We tend to do too many things all at once because nowadays we have the possibility to work and stay connected almost everywhere we are, which makes all of us never actually having a break in the end. It is an ambitious way and probably one of the best ways to succeed, but not for our own good.
Therefore, I suggest to switch off as often as possible and live in the present. Take some air, relax, do some sport, read, cook healthy and organic food and if possible, do it in a community to share and cherish those moments. Like in the old days.
I am travelling often, which makes me work on my computer or phone most of the time. It is a good opportunity, but I also oblige myself to take a break and look outside the window, sleep or listen to music, when I am alone. I think it is important to share and communicate as often as possible and be less connected in virtual worlds, because these are the opportunities — in real life — where you can create the best memories, which contribute to our happiness and health.
I would say the best approach is to enjoy the present and the simple things with what we have and not constantly keep looking for more. We can as well create a lot of different things with what we already have by reusing or mixing them, for example. We just need a little bit of creativity.
Consume less of everything (food, clothes, everyday products). Be creative and learn to reuse! Additionally, replace many products with better quality and eco-friendly alternatives. You can get a lot of tips from GreenModelMe — on improving your health, finances and the environment.
What are the visible benefits of leading a more conscious lifestyle? How do you preserve a balance and cope with stress?
As said above, I try to disconnect, enjoy the little moments, do some sport and relax, which definitely gives me more power short-term — a better mood, a better concentration and freshness (which is very important in my modelling career, to be relaxed and look fresh). As for the long run, it definitely contributes to my health, self-esteem and happiness.
“Learn to disconnect and come back to the joy of small and simple things.”
You are the founder of Green Fashion Week hosted in Milan last month. What do your role and this experience mean to you?
I came to this idea with my manager, the owner of Major Models Milan, Guido Dolci, after attending COP21.
I was invited to COP21 by the UNFCCC to make their promotional video of the Climate Neutral Now Campaign in which I am a champion with my boyfriend, and where I was invited by the UEFA to assist at the SIIS (sustainable innovation in sport).
Everyone loved my idea of GFW and consequently a team was directly created to make it happen as soon as possible. The first edition took place four months later in April 2016 in Abu Dhabi, which was a beautiful success. We called it the Abu Dhabi Fashion Sustainability Experience involving Major Models and my partners of the UN to make a zero emission event.
I am involved with various eco-friendly brands and I develop projects with companies to make the event as green as possible. Furthermore, knowing what I talk about, I represent and promote the Green Fashion Week, that is in addition to presenting it and modelling for it during the event. This project is very precious to me, I always call it my baby and I really hope to make sustainable fashion the new trend — more visible and approachable.
“We tend to do too many things all at once because nowadays we have the possibility to work and stay connected almost everywhere we are, which makes all of us never actually having a break in the end.”
You always seem to look so effortlessly flawless. What are the beauty tips you religiously follow?
1. Drink a lot of water
2. Eat clean whenever possible
Pretty natural, right?
Who is your 'green lifestyle' or 'green fashion' muse?
I don't have one in particular because I find that many people are an inspiration to me. The people working in the business, such as companies or designers, are the best coaches, as they have all the knowledge in the world. I love to learn in that way and I always keep myself updated with the latest news. I read articles and blogs as well, because I like to see different opinions and ideas. I also watch documentaries when I have time.
What are your latest go-to eco beauty products you would recommend?
Thank you for asking me the latest because there are so many great ones! I am a fan of Moroccan Natural, which is an organic skincare brand. I love their Cactus Oil. I find Dr. Hauschka very good because it is a complete organic cosmetic brand with both skincare and make-up products. Their philosophy is very much concentrating on what is best for the environment and the human's health. 100% pure lipsticks are very good and I am of fan of Kure Bazaar nail polish. They cure your nails as well.
What fascinates and inspires you the most about eco fashion? How to still look stylish with consuming less?
The story behind the clothes. Knowing how the garment has been made and learning about its components interests me the most, and the creativity, skills and innovation behind the garment always fascinate me. I love when the designers tell me about their values, the story of the garment and the materials they are using. We can do so many things with natural products and consume less, if we just change the production process and materials.
I have always used the same clothes several times and created different looks by just changing the accessories, which makes it easy to style a look. I don’t see the point in buying one garment knowing that I will only use it once. I usually shop what I like and therefore, it is sad to use an item only once, no? I see that as a waste of money and resources…
“We can do so many things with natural products and consume less, if we just change the production process and materials.”
There are so many amazing eco-friendly brands out there. People often think that they are not beautiful, or look too basic, but they are completely wrong! This is one of the goals of the GFW — making people aware of the amazing conscious designers and spread the message of the issues to do with fast fashion and climate change. I always love to discover new eco brands — I have a list and I’ve almost lost track of it already, because the numbers are just growing. I love it!