green crush: meet klara of just easy nice

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meet klara | just nice easy

location | germany

eco voyage's green crush series showcases green living advocates who are committed to mindful lifestyles and dedicated to protecting both the environment + all those who inhabit planet earth.  today, we meet the creative + daring blogger with the jane birkin locks + a passion for animal activism. this is klara from just easy nice, an animal rights activist + sustainable fashion maven who shows us that vegan style is limitless.

live

ev: what is one small action you might encourage others to take to live a more compassionate, cruelty-free lifestyle?

klara: Love and respect yourself so that you can love and respect others. And let every single choice you make come from a place of deep respect for the lives of all living beings. You lose nothing in the process––meanwhile they gain everything.

love

ev: tell us one-three personal qualities about yourself that you would never change?

klara: I’m glad I’ve always loved myself, which is why I’m deeply empathetic and protective of others’ lives, justice, and freedom. I’m lucky I’ve always been an independent thinker, and one who’s had clarity, consciousness, and self-awareness from a young age––because of that, my beliefs and values have remained consistent from the time I was very young. I’m also glad that I’m silly, and love to have fun. Simply put, I wouldn’t change that I’m empathetic, clear-minded, and fun-loving.

learn

ev: how and why did you decide to go vegan and to pursue a green lifestyle? are there books/movies which you might recommend to others who are interested in learning more about the issues of animal rights and sustainability?

As a fashion-conscious person, I realized how easy it was for me to maintain all of my style preferences while being vegan, and I decided that might be something worth sharing with others.

klara: Being vegetarian at an early age wasn’t a decision I made, it was more like a realization. After that, I instinctively went food-vegan, without outside influence or prompting. It was logical, and I didn’t think ingesting another animal’s milk meant for her babies made any sense at all. The first animal rights organization I supported financially was the American Society for the Prevention of the Cruelty to Animals, because I adored pit bulls so much (still do) after spending time with one, and I was horrified at the way they were often being abused. After that, I didn’t feel like it was enough for me to simply not support animal cruelty through my consumer choices; with the amount of suffering that was going on in factory farms and in all forms of animal agriculture [widely disseminated videos show the inner workings of factory farms today**warning: graphic content], I realized I had to speak for all the sweet animals trapped inside cruel human-derived systems. That’s when I really became an activist. After that, I went full ‘fashion-vegan’, in 2012.

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I started blogging about vegan fashion to show how easy it was for me, and hopefully to inspire others.

The sight and smell of animal leather and idea of wool was making me feel ill; I couldn’t support that cruel industry anymore. At that point, I had canceled all of my fashion magazine subscriptions because the sight of fur on their pages literally sent chills up and down my spine. I started blogging about vegan fashion to show how easy it was for me, and hopefully to inspire others. Then I created Just Easy Nice. My passion for vegan fashion and style is why I continue to talk about it. For those who want to go vegan, I’ve always recommended Cowspiracy. I supported Cowspiracy as a Kickstarter project, and by now, it has had an enormous global impact on people, businesses––even policy. It should be required viewing for anyone living on this planet, and it’s been an incredibly effective and crucial part of the vegan movement.

work it 

ev: you create weekly content for your website and for social media; it takes a lot of time + dedication to sustain your own blog. what motivates you to do so? 

klara: Sometimes, I feel like there’s too much content everywhere. This is an era of content overload, and it starts to feel like a lot of noise. I don’t want to add more noise to our day-to-day world. But I always go back to wanting to be one more voice for the animals, and I hope what I add to the conversation can feel like music instead of noise.

wear it

ev: describe your favorite outfit from head to toe including any favorite vegan fashion brands.

klara: My favorite outfit is a button-down blouse I’ve had for years worn with my off-white flared jean trousers, and my ‘Beatle-esque’ Ana EcoStone heel boots by Bourgoise Boheme. That outfit captures my style. Whatever the season, I love wearing flared jeans/trousers with a button down or a T-shirt.

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into the calm

ev: what do you do to decompress when you're feeling a little stressed?

klara: I love listening to feel-good music––i.e., soft rock and easy listening songs from the 1970s. Listening to Steely Dan always makes me smile. More than anything, I love hanging out with my tabby twin kitty girls and my husband, my three best friends. We have a lot of fun hanging out together. Watching silly movies, or soaps (like the Dynasty reboot:)) is also a favorite way to relax and unwind.

get happy

We should each take the very best care of our own vessels that we possibly can. We are stewards of these vessels––just as we are here to care for our loved ones, all other living beings, the planet. Taking good care of our selves is an ideal start.

ev: share four things that make you really happy.

klara: My husband and the twin kitty girls, coffee, blue skies, and karaoke.

it's a bird, it's a plane, it's a superhero

ev: if you could invite three people to a private dinner party, who would they be?

klara: I’d love to invite [French film director] Eric Rohmer, [American musician, photographer + animal rights activist] Linda McCartney, and [English actor, Sir Bond] Roger Moore. **Side note from editor: I would really like to be at this dinner. 

ev: if you had one superpower, what would it be?

klara: My one superpower would be to make every single person in the world nice. That’s the most impressive power I can imagine.

a beautiful mind

ev: how do you define beauty? 

klara: Beauty comes from taking care of ourselves––our bodies, our minds, our spirits. We should each take the very best care of our own vessels that we possibly can. We are stewards of these vessels––just as we are here to care for our loved ones, all other living beings, the planet. Taking good care of our selves is an ideal start. We have to do what we can, whatever the situation. Stephen Hawking took the best care of his mind and spirit, and look how long his body was maintained because of that self-care. And that’s beautiful. The more one takes care of oneself, the more one can have a positive and beautiful impact on others. The cruelest people are those who do not take care of their own inner needs. True beauty comes from deep, inner self-care. Some people do that instinctively. I wish others could learn to do that.

say anything

ev: do you have a favorite quote or motto that inspires you?

klara: My motto for the past several years has been Animals are not fabric and Please have respect for all species. My lifelong motto is have fun and enjoy yourself without hurting anyone else in the process.

images c/o just easy nice

find klara here: website | instagram | facebook | twitter

green crush: meet clara of the vashion blogg

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meet clara | the vashion blogg

location | sweden

eco voyage's green crush series showcases green living advocates who are committed to mindful lifestyles and dedicated to protecting both the environment + all those who inhabit planet earth.  today, in our first installment, we meet the intrepid + beautiful blogger with the platinum blonde bob + a heart of gold. this is clara from the vashion blogg, a passionate animal rights activist + slow fashion connoisseur who hails from sweden.  

live

ev: what is one small action you might encourage others to take to live a more compassionate, cruelty-free lifestyle?

clara: I find that the best way to get started and changing ones life towards a more compassionate one, is as simple as this: In every given moment, ask yourself, "What is the most compassionate and mindful choice I can make, right now?". Personally I am more strict and always refrain completely from animal products. But if that feels too hard, start by making the most friendly choice you can, be it [a vegan or vegetarian meal] at a restaurant or [eschewing animal products like leather, down or silk] when shopping for clothes.

learn

ev: how and why did you decide to go vegan and to pursue a green lifestyle? are there books/movies which you might recommend to others who are interested in learning more about the issues of animal rights and sustainability?

I am brave in the way that I don’t let my fears control me, and I speak up when I feel that something is wrong. I choose to believe that I am capable and deserve to be happy.

clara: I´ve always loved animals. The process started about 4 years ago when I stumbled over some information about the animal industry. Slowly I started to realize that I was taking part in the horrible abuse and killing of feeling individuals, as well as the destruction of the planet and my own body. I started to eat less meat, and then decided over night that I would try the vegan lifestyle. This was 3 years ago and I have never looked back since. I´d recommend anyone who wants to know more to start following their local (and international) animal rights organisations like Djurens Ratt and Djurrattsalliansen. The book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy is a great read. Movies like Cowspiracy, Earthlings, What the Health and Forks Over Knives are super-inspiring and informatve, too.

love

ev: tell us one-three personal qualities about yourself that you would never change?

clara: I am brave in the way that I don´t let my fears control me, and I speak up when I feel that something is wrong. This can sometimes put me in challenging situations, but it is worth it. We cannot afford to live our lives in silence and submission. I also believe in myself and my own worth. Doubt can really get in the way between us and the things we want and need, and so I choose to believe that I am capable and deserve to be happy. This has been a game changer for me.

get happy

ev: share four things that make you really happy.

clara: Sunshine and warm weather. Being around animals. Connecting with nature. Deep and meaningful connections with other humans.

into the calm

ev: what do you do to decompress when you're feeling a little stressed?

clara: I tell myself that everything will be okay, that this too will pass. I also try to pinpoint what exactly is stressing me out, and decide whether or not it something I can control. I also remind myself that my thoughts are just thoughts, they are not reality, they are not the truth. I also make sure to meditate more.

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work it 

ev: in addition to blogging, you work full time. you create weekly content for your website and daily content for social media! it takes a lot of time + dedication to sustain your own blog. what motivates you to do so? 

clara: That I´m not doing this for myself - I´m doing it for the animals. I think that if it was merely an ego-trip, I would not be as dedicated. Every time I doubt the work that I do, or feel like just giving up, I remind myself that it has a bigger purpose. This gives me the energy to keep on hustling.

wear it

ev: describe your favorite outfit from head to toe including any favorite vegan fashion brands. what is one thing you never leave the house without? 
 

clara: This was a tricky question! I´m really in to the business chic look, so it would have to be somethig like this. A light blouse - I love my new black and white striped one, in recycled polyester, from Jan n´ June. [I like] dressed up pants or high waist jeans. I have a pair of beige pants in silky modal from Noumenon that are just amazing to wear at the office. Shoes with a heel, something that makes a statement. I just invested in a pair of red pumps from Matt and Nat that I absolutely adore. A chic bag that fits all my stuff - I have a nude colored bag from Marypoint that is a favourite of mine. I usually add a simple makeup with mascara, bronzer and lipstick. I´d never leave home without something that makes me feel chic. It can be a material, a specific clothing item, or makeup - I just find that my days are much more fun if I enjoy my appearance.

it's a bird, it's a plane, it's a superhero

ev: which person/s do you most admire and why?

clara: All amazing vegan entrepreneurs who show such bravery and dedication in a tough market. People running animal sanctuaries, that is such an act of pure love. [For a list of animal sanctuaries around the world to support or visit, click here.]

say anything

ev: do you have a favorite quote or motto that keeps you going?

clara: I love the quotes "Be the change you want to see in the world," and "Vote with your money!"

images c/o the vashion blogg

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find clara here: website | instagram | facebook | twitter

green crush: meet yenny of eco chic beauty

yenny dang is known as an upbeat, approachable + authentic critic of organic skincare + beauty products. she is to the world of natural + nontoxic beauty what roger ebert + gene siskel were to the world of film critique. 

over 4 years ago i decided to make the switch to clean beauty products. i walked confidently into a corner pharmacy in america, determined to pluck a healthy alternative off the shelves. no petrochemicals or phthalates for me, thank you. these ingredients may be good enough for vinyl flooring + building materials, but they are not good enough for our faces + bodies. i found a lotion with the letters "organic" scrawled across the top of the bottle in bold letters. i paid + went home with product in hand only to find out that there wasn't a single organic or natural ingredient inside. 

this life lesson is called reading the labels.

i scratched my head. this wasn't as easy as i thought it was going to be. fast forward to 2015; i have finally amassed an array of truly organic + cruelty-free products. but there are experts that exist in our universe: people with knowledge. people with moisturizing lip glosses in their purses that taste like fresh fruit salads + remarkably effective lotions lying resplendent across their nightstands. 

these experts devote their time + energy to spraying, slathering + soaking in myriad green products, then they reveal the results. do you know who benefits? you + i do, my friends.

where are all these experts you may ask? well, right this way. 

yenny caught the attention of the ig community with her pithy posts delivering the things skincare, hair care + beauty. she gives her honest opinion about everything from label design to the efficacy of each product she reviews. she is warm, genuine + so easy to talk to. 

i had the opportunity to ask yenny a few questions about what exactly drives her passion for the perfect green product + what makes this beauty happy. dive in to learn about the one product she thinks every eco girl should own, who she admires most + what book she believe is the "green beauty bible". this is yenny:

f+d: what is one small action you might encourage others to take to live a more sustainable lifestyle {beyond recycling}?

yd: i would encourage people to think for a minute about how every purchase, decision or action they make affects the environment, animals or people.

f+d: what is your favorite eco online retailer or brick + mortar shop? 

yd: ahh, i can only choose one? ;) i love beau.tea.bar and the detox market for both their online retail stores and their brick and mortar shops. i also love follain and cap beauty for their brick and mortar stores. as for the online retailers, integrity botanicalseco diva beauty and safe + chic are great! 

f+d: was there a book/movie/aha! moment which put you on the path to clean beauty/green living? 

yd: yes! no more dirty looks! it's like the green beauty bible!

f+d: what is one personal quality about yourself that you would never change? 

yd: i would have to say my loyalty and my big-heart. i am fiercely loyal, and i genuinely care about people, animals, and the environment. i try to help out wherever, whenever, as much as i can. i'd very much rather give than receive - i'm a huge giver! seeing a smile on someone's face, making someone's day, or doing something impactful in a positive way, means the world to me.

f+d: share four things that make you really happy. 

yd: only 4? lol. i would have to say: my furbabies {i have 2 little chihuahuas}, sunny/beachy weather {that vitamin d though!}, travelling, green beauty, good food, good music, my family and friends... i could go on and on. :)

f+d: it takes a lot of time + dedication to post regularly + create a community around that which inspires you. what motivates you to do so? 

yd: the sense of community and being able to share my passion with like-minded individuals. the admiration, inspiration and respect we have for one another is unreal. i've made so many great friendships through the green beauty + clean living community, some of whom are very close friends of mine now!

f+d: which person do you most admire and why?

yd: wow, this is a hard one, because i truly admire a lot of people, especially in green beauty. since i can't choose just one person, i'll tell you who i admire in the realm of sustainability. i would have to say elon musk and stella mccartney. elon is an innovative + creative genius; and stella makes these gorgeous pret-a-porter / runway-ready clothes. they are proof that you can make ethical, conscious, sustainable products that are both luxurious and good for the environment. conscious, eco-friendly, sustainable products don't always have to be boring or too "granola."

f+d: i'm so curious as to your fave beauty brands. what is one beauty product you would recommend that every woman should have in her purse or medicine cabinet?

yd: oh, this is too hard! there are SO many green beauty products that i absolutely love! but if i were to recommend one product, it would have to be may lindstrom's the problem solver. it was one of the first green beauty products i ever tried and it hasn't let me down since. if you've had a stressful day or have an important day coming up, this mask does wonders for your face and for your psyche! it really is like magic, it makes all of your problems go away! ;)

f+d: one last question, do you have a favorite quote or motto?

yd: do all things with love. :)

follow yenny's eco beauty adventures on instagram!

{header image + center image c/o jen jar photography// skincare imges c/o eco chic beauty // elon musk c/o nbc // artwork by ev}