Interviewed by Cherie Birkner
“Neither animals nor the environment or people should be harmed or suffer for the lifestyle choices of others.”
Looking back with seven years of experience I would say: I must have been crazy. I constantly had to explain myself. ‘What is a blog and what does vegan mean’ were only some of the questions I answered almost on a daily basis. But in all seriousness, back then starting Veggie Love felt important, right and unavoidable. When I made all these lifestyle changes (that seemed dramatic to my friends) and did a ton of research for organic beauty products, fair fashion labels and vegan restaurants, my friends started to ask a lot of questions. I was always the one who knew the latest and greatest brands, products and locations, so I just continued sharing my findings in a more public way.
In addition, there were two other significant reasons for creating Veggie Love. In 2010 no one talked about veganism as a sustainable lifestyle and I wanted to change that. And I could not find any German speaking resources showcasing vegan and sustainable fashion or beauty products, so I started what I was looking for.
To this day my biggest motivation is the joy of sharing my excitement for a vegan and sustainable lifestyle, telling the stories of the makers behind brands and founders of companies and showing my readers that all this is pretty cool.
Why are you vegan?
Environmental issues and saving the earth were huge topics in my family when I was growing up. So when I started to remember my roots during a certain stressful time in my work life, I began make more and more changes towards a sustainable lifestyle. Shortly after, I read about vegan lifestyle in a book called ‘skinny bitch’. I already knew the book was not about being skinny or a bitch (but living a healthy lifestyle) and I was desperate to find a work-life-balance. What I did not expect was to read about veganism and the positive impact it has on the environment.
And so I decided within the few hours of reading the book that living a sustainable lifestyle also meant living vegan. I became a vegetarian overnight in high school, so making quick lifestyle changes was not new to me.
When diving deeper into the topic, more reasons for becoming vegan became apparent: ethical reasons, health reasons and most important: compassion. Neither animals nor the environment or people should be harmed or suffer for the lifestyle choices of others.
Veggie Love offers a large spectrum of topics, reaching from food over fashion to travel, which are you the most passionate about?
All of them, honestly. I could not imagine choosing just one of them as main topic for my blog or my work in general. I have always loved fashion and fashion magazines as well as nice beauty products. I love to eat good food and spend time in nice places.
For me it’s all about curating the ‘crème de la crème” of fair fashion, clean beauty and conscious travel to show that there is no lack in options when it comes to leading a good life. I want to introduce a different kind of luxury to my readers and give them inspiration and guidance for making mindful choices.
What tips can you give to a newbie who is interested in gradually changing their lifestyle to become more sustainable? Where is a good place to start?
There is this great quote from Vivienne Westwood: “Buy less, choose well, make it last.” Take a look at your closet and at all the things you already own. If you want to buy something new, then choose garments that will last a long time and select timeless pieces that you will love forever. Quality is always better than quantity.
This also applies to other areas in life, of course. Also letting go of animal products (in food, cosmetics and fashion) is a huge step towards more sustainability.
You mentioned receiving great feedback from your first readers who were thankful that someone was 'finally' making veganism more accessible. Now that there are more and more blogs touching this topic, do you think newcomers still stand a chance in becoming a successful blogger? What is important to consider when starting a sustainable blog?
Of course, newcomers still stand a chance and it is great to see that nowadays more and more content creators focus on sustainable topics. In my opinion, the most important part of starting a blog is being passionate about the topic(s) you write about. Otherwise you might be bored very soon.
You had a very 'conscious' up-bring with a father who devoted himself to making a difference in sustainable matters as an environmental activist, and a mother who inherited the love for cooking and organic beauty products from her mother, did you have a time in your youth where you rebelled against their values?
Actually when it came to sustainable values I was really on the same page as my family. Generally however, I was known more as a rebellious character, questioning the education system where learning everything by heart was always rewarded in school and thinking outside the box was never encouraged.
I like to know the reason behind things, and see many areas in which there could be more thought given to, like our education system or, to stay on topic, how the big players in the garment industry are producing clothing – these are things that need to be questioned and not taken as the normal way of working.
Any important facts you would like to share?
Instead of sharing serious facts about animal consumption, the fashion industry or climate change, I will say this: compassion will always be in fashion. Caring for others and our planet is just common sense and should not be the exception.
Who are your 'idols' / people you admire?
I really admire women who are pioneers and dare society with their way of thinking, their ideas and beliefs as well as their way of living. Coco Chanel was such a woman or Diana Vreeland, they were both trailblazers and years ahead of their time.
And let’s not forget: With Sustainable Fashion Matterz you create a community of people who are very inspiring and are all idols in their own right.
--->> VISIT HER BLOG <<---