Rachel Elms - @sustainablysimple
Rachel is the beautiful mastermind behind Sustainably Simple, a blog that sets out to achieve just that -make Sustainable living, simple. I’m consistently uncovering awesome brands doing epic things thanks to this Mover and Shaker, along with content that you just don’t see on any other blog.
Rachel believes that by each of us incorporating a small change into our own lives, and educating ourselves on the pressing issues of modern society that the ripple effect is a lot bigger than we could ever imagine and I couldn’t agree more. I’m feeling pretty damn grateful that she sat down and shared her story about how she became aware of sustainability and ethical fashion, along with some pretty important pieces of advice to take away.
What made you start Sustainably Simple?
For as long as I can remember I have been interested in sustainability – put simply, it is a way of living that makes sense for both people and the planet. But I came to realise that there was no point in having this interest if I was to do nothing with it. Then a friend suggested that I start a blog and the rest is history! I really do hope that Sustainably Simple makes a difference – I hope that it encourages people to make more conscious decisions in their day-to-day lives.
How did you first come across ethical fashion?
I’ve always known it existed but it wasn’t until I started my blog that I realised just how many people are passionate about sustainable living. There are so many great bloggers and brands out there spreading the message of conscious consumerism – I am very happy to have found such an inspiring group of people. Together I really do believe we can make a difference!
What has been the most challenging part since you began embracing this type of lifestyle?
In all honesty, living a sustainable lifestyle isn’t easy! I think the hardest part is having to research and challenge brands that claim to be ‘sustainable’ – greenwashing is a huge problem. But that being said I really do believe that it is the smallest things that make a difference. Each one of us has the potential (and should use that potential) to live more sustainably than the way they live now. It’s about progress and every small step really does count.
What or who inspires you to do what you do on a daily basis?
The prospect of a society in which sustainable lifestyles, brands and businesses are the norm inspires me everyday. Sometimes there is so much negativity in the world I just want to cut through that and say ‘you can make a difference, you can make a positive impact’. And it’s true! I honestly believe that we can all contribute to a more sustainable society. You don’t need to change the whole world, just your world – buy fair trade where possible, stop using single use plastic, eat less meat … honestly it’s easy!
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
Before I started Sustainably Simple, one of my best friends said to me ‘each person is gifted with a unique set of passions and talents – to ignore that is a waste.’ It really made me stop and think about what I loved doing and what I was good at doing. Ultimately, it encouraged me to start my blog!
Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?
Yes! In the weekdays I have to wake up at 6:30am to get to work in time but this is hard for me because I am not a morning person! I start each day with a cup of tea and a big bowl of cereal that always keeps me going until lunchtime. My commute is an hour and a half so I try to make it productive by catching up on emails and researching new brands to write about for the blog.
How do you define success?
I think that the idea of success is deeply unique to each person – for me it’s to influence as many people as possible to live more sustainably. I don’t think you ever achieve ‘success’ though – people will always want more.
What’s one piece of advice that you would give to others starting out?
Just go for it! Don’t doubt yourself or your ability to make a difference. Everyone has a voice that deserves to be heard.
One book everyone should read? Why?
The Alchemist. It was this book that made me realise my passion for sustainability. Honestly, it changed my life!
Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think we should all know about?
Ah I come across so many inspiring brands and influencers, it’s hard to single anyone out but I really love Positive Luxury – they assess luxury brands’ commitment to sustainability and, if successful, award them a butterfly mark.