Real Talk:  Volume. 3 - ‘Sustainable living’

We're SO excited to Welcome you back for volume three of our very first IGTV series 'Real Talk', showcasing everything from skincare to vulva casting...

In last months edition we spoke with the magical beauty brand 'Upcricle', where they disclosed their seemingly limitless approach to skincare. For volume three we interviewed someone very close to our hearts, Izzy Manuel

Izzy discusses the invaluable topic of sustainable living and bravely delves into the connection between her heritage and own personal journey into a more sustainable relationship with the fashion world.

Why sustainable fashion matters? 

Q: Hey Izzy, we're super excited to have the opportunity to speak with you today! To begin with, could you share with us a little about when your journey with sustainable fashion began and what sparked your initial interest?

So my initial journey into sustainable fashion started when i was at uni. I used to go to the shopping centre a lot when i was a teenager which is obviously not sustainable. But, when i got to uni I realised I really couldn't afford to go shopping every weekend and spend all of my money at Topshop and Zara anymore - So, i started to buy second hand. From there I started to research more into sustainable fashion and it's importance!

Q2: You’ve previously written about growing up mixed race, in the predominantly white area of Bath - how was your experience with this?

I grew up in a very much white dominated area and I come from a mixed race background, being half Chinese and Indian. I actually really struggled with it at school because I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb. I used to dress very differently and have a different personality to a lot of the other kids at school and I feel like being mixed race made me stand out even more. I felt like I never really fitted into the society I was brought up in. Only recently have i started to become more comfortable with my race, heritage and background - i think that came from starting uni and suddenly being around a bigger mix of people. 

Q3: Your heritage is half Indian, half Chinese. As two of the most exploited countries in the world when it comes to the welfare of garment workers, would you say this played a prominent role in your journey into sustainability?

Being half Indian and half Chinese has definitely made my journey into sustainable fashion a little more interesting. Of course a lot of garments are made in china, India, Bangladesh and other areas of the far east. It's kind of a juxtaposition because there's a part of me that feels ashamed that my family comes from a background like that. But then the other part of me really wants to push sustainable fashion and make sure people that share my heritage are able to work and enjoy work. I want them to be offered a working environment that makes them feel happy and safe, as well as being treated fairly and having another money to feed themselves and their families.

Q4: Who are your biggest influences in life and fashion?

One of my biggest influences in life is definitely Grace Beverley, she is just an incredible woman - she started her business whilst she was at Oxford uni and is now a multimillionaire who owns three businesses. I feel like as a young woman who wants to be an entrepreneur and business owner this is like the most inspiring person around on social media at the moment.

Q5: You regularly check in with your instagram audience asking how they are - how do you prioritise your own mental health and what role does it play in your day to day?

Mental health is a massive thing for me, I really struggled whilst I was at uni. I considered dropping out or deferring, i even got told to move off of my masters because of it. In terms of my day to day life, mental health of course plays a massive role. So, if I'm having a bad day mentally I do take that into account with my working life. For example, I allow myself breaks or time off. I know I'm very fortunate to work for myself so that I'm able to do that. But I just think a great reminder for everyone is that you can't work at your best unless you're feeling great. It's so important to take a step back, have a break, a nap, half a day off or whatever you need to do to ease your mind.

Q7: Quick fire round! Could you name a few of your fave sustainable brands!

Obviously ilk + Ernie, Blonde gone rogue, Lucy and yak, Full of love, Northern picnic, Grey milk


How to live a more sustainable lifestyle?

If Izzy has inspired you to shift your habits towards a more sustainable lifestyle, then tune into the full IGTV episode here.