Marieke Eyskoot is a woman of many talents: a sought-after speaker, presenter, sustainability consultant and now the author of This is a Good Guide, an inspiring guide for a sustainable lifestyle. With sections on fashion, beauty, food, work, leisure, and more, the book is filled with valuable tips and information to those of us who aspire to lead a more conscious life, while Marieke spices up the paragraphs with her personal stories and insights. The autumn read Savant warmly recommends!
Words: Meri Frig
Marieke, can you tell us about your new book?
This is a Good Guide for a sustainable lifestyle was launched at the end of May in Europe (in the U.S., Canada and Australia, a few months later). It is meant for everyone who would like to lead a conscious life, but does not know how, or does not have the money or time for it.
It was important for me to show that stylish and sustainable go very well together: people sometimes think that if you live ethically, you can't do, have or experience much anymore. The opposite is true: you get to discover, taste, wear and use the most innovative brands, new stores you didn't know existed (when you keep going on your familiar path), enjoy different food and ingredients, hear inspiring stories, and much more. A new more conscious lifestyle opens up new doors, instead of closing them. And as it's all about quality over quantity, it often revolves around timeless style, modern living and contemporary design.
How does it perhaps help to decode the myth that conscious living is way too complicated and requires a lot of effort to be 'flawless' in our day-to-day lives and choices we make?
Also, it was important for me to emphasise that it's about good, not perfect: about smart choices, doing what you can and what suits you. You don't have to be a perfect person. I believe this kind of thinking will only get in your way, and that is a shame – there are a lot of things you can do. This is why the book is called This is a Good Guide. The book includes addresses, brands, facts, do's and don'ts, tips, places, destinations, and inspiring interviews of the likes of Livia Firth, Green Kitchen Stories, Andrew Morgan and Katharine Hamnett.
Livia Firth, Green Kitchen Stories, Andrew Morgan and Katharine Hamnett, you said?
Livia Firth is the founder and creative director of Eco Age and the woman behind the Green Carpet Challenge. She is the partner of Colin Firth, the actor. She wanted to use their influence to challenge the fashion industry, with ethical red carpet outfits, and has gained the support of many influential stars. Andrew Morgan is the internationally recognised director behind the documentary The True Cost, for example, and the Green Kitchen Stories is a very popular health food blog. Katharine Hamnett is a fashion designer from UK – she invented the slogan T-shirt. Already since the 1980s, she has wanted to change the fashion industry – she is truly a campaigner and a fighter for change. There are a lot of interviews of inspiring people, these are just a few names you might recognise.
"It was important for me to emphasise that it's about good, not perfect: about smart choices, doing what you can and what suits you. You don't have to be a perfect person."
Why did you decide to publish an international edition of the book?
The book was first published in Dutch, and I was really honoured to receive quite a few enthusiastic responses. I also started getting requests for an international edition, and people saying, 'Hey, we need such a book too, it doesn't exist anywhere!'. So, I rewrote the text, and included global brands, addresses, tips and much more, from regions such as America, Australia, Canada Germany, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. I've worked in these subjects for over fifteen years, and everywhere I go, all meetings or parties, I tend to get the same questions: 'What can I do?', Where do I buy it?', 'What do I look out for?'.
Because many people would like to live a bit more sustainably, but just don't know exactly how or where to start. So, I'm trying to answer as many questions as possible, and to make it easier, more accessible and attractive for everyone. There isn't anything much better than doing good and feeling good at the same time. So, hopefully lots of people can experience that, too, and together we make real change.