Keira Mason - @keiramary_
Keira is someone I connected with on social media over a year ago and now find myself having multiple hour long calls with. Openness on social media isn't always easy to find, but with Keira it's a core part of her presence online. Personally, I've always been a type A, 20-tabs-open-at-all-times kinda of person, but it was through Keira's education both as a friend, and with her presence online that I've learnt the importance of slowing down, taking things as they come, and enjoying the ride we are on.
Earlier this year Keira and her husband Jared packed up their life in Australia and moved to Bali to follow their dreams and start their own businesses. Keira talks about slow and sustainable living and spends her time creating incredible content for conscious brands. On top of this, she also creates the most beautiful whole-food recipes over at Honest food for friends.
Keira is someone I am incredibly grateful to have in my life, and I'm so excited for her to be in yours.
MOVERS & SHAKERS:
An interview with Keira Mason about sustainability, ethical fashion, slow living and moving countries to chase your dreams.
How do you define slow living? What does this look like for you?
Slow living for me is all about self-consciousness, patience and environmental awareness. I used to live a lifestyle that was essentially unsustainable. I was so busy that I was never able to be present, process my frustrations, or even celebrate a win. Always just 'onto the next thing' and 'ticking boxes', most of the time at the expense of my body or the environment. I have now learned to listen and trust my body and mind. I listen to what I need, when to slow down, when to create, or when to kick goals rather than living to a mindless schedule and unattainable expectations.
Slow living has really changed the way my husband and I live our life. We source products and produce locally, and cook at home rather than quick and 'easy' options. We take time off social media to connect in our relationships. We make time to understand how things are made, and their social and environmental impacts. We focus on what we need in our lives rather than what we want or what is expected of us.
How did you first come across ethical fashion?
I was a classic fast fashion girl only a few years ago. I generally over consumed and was unaware of the waste implications and social impacts of my shopping habits.
After journeying through a little self discovery, it turned out my reckless spending and giant wardrobe were a cover for a deeper personal issue of anxiety and lack of self confidence, brought about through the social pressures of fast fashion. Clothing had become a shield for me; a way of ensuring my acceptance and status. Being admired for the way that I dressed had somehow become my identity.
I was frustrated over a social culture that had exploited my young-adult insecurities and decided to take a stand. I started by getting rid of two thirds of my wardrobe, and having conversations with the women around me about how I felt. I wondered how many more young females were going through the same thing I was. This was when I discovered the world of slow, ethical and sustainable fashion. An industry that is driven by honesty (not profits) and empowerment (not exploitation). I now love sharing this story with other women in hopes to keep the conversation going and to spread the message of empowerment.
What are some of your favourite conscious brands?
There are so many incredible people creating beautiful conscious labels right now, which makes my heart incredibly happy. My favourites would have to be the ones I wear the most and that reflect my relaxed, minimal style; Zingara, Yoli & Otis, The Wylde and St Agni.
What or who inspires you to do what you do on a daily basis?
The idea that I have the opportunity to stir and evoke change every day.
I want the choices I make in life to empower, encourage and enable and I want to be part of a movement that stands up for human rights, our environment and genuine connection.
Best piece of advice you have ever received? 'Don't compare your journey to those around you. Go at your own pace and in your own direction. You will eventually find yourself somewhere magic.'
Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?
This is such an appropriate question right now! Three months ago we moved to Bali and we are STILL trying to understand our morning routine. We had such a tight schedule at home which meant routine was everything. Now that we are working for ourselves, in a new country, with new responsibilities and new goals, we are very slowly coming to understand what that looks like for us. It's all about patience.
For the past few weeks my mornings have looked a little something like this - I wake up to soft music, drink a glass of apple cider vinegar and water, head to the gym or a walk on the beach, meditate, sauna (where Jared and I get to spend some time together) then get to work!
How do you define success?
I think Winston Churchill nailed it when he said, "Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm." I think any time you have honoured your values, worked hard (to your own means) and learned in the experience, you can encounter success.
One book everyone should read? Why?
I have been really terrible with reading books lately (something I am determined to change!) so I'm going to counter with a podcast. 'Wellness Women Radio' is something I recommend to EVERY woman to listen to. It is all about women's health, including a lot of subjects that are generally taboo. The presenters Andrea and Ashley have created such a beautiful and positive environment to teach women about all aspects of health.
One documentary everyone should watch? Why?
This was one of those life changing documentaries for me. An environmental photographer, James Balog, launched an exposition called 'The Extreme Ice Survey' in which he set up time-lapse cameras all around the Antarctic to capture and record the disappearing glaciers. It is an incredibly relevant and educational documentary with astounding imagery.
For those reading this interview who are inspired to make a change in their own world and slow down, what do you recommend they begin with? Where should they start?
Three things come to mind when I think about the start of my journey into slow living:
1. Begin with acknowledging why you have come to the decision to create change in your life. Think about what has brought you to this point. I found this really helped me not to fall back into old habits.
2. Learning to say 'no' is going to help you a lot. Part of slowing down is about self-care and making decisions about what needs to be done now, and what can be done later (or never). I found communicating and managing the expectations of those around me really helpful for this. For example, you might have a conversation with your workplace to let them know you won't be checking email after 7pm on work-days, or letting your partner or kids know that you will be having 10 minutes of alone time each morning to mediate.
3. Meditate. This is a great practice that allows me to get to know my body and mind. Even if it takes you a while to 'get into it', it is still great to spend 10 minutes in silence. Any time spent on yourself is time well spent.
Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think we should all know about?
Hayley and Casey Malone are two sisters from WA who are just about to launch their online conscious clothing store Community Concept Store. They will be stocking a bunch of gorgeous clothing and accessory labels who all have one thing at heart, fashion with a conscious. I know the girls also have big plans for CCS in the future and I'm excited to see where this takes them! People should definitely check them out!