Aequem talks sustainable lifestyle, food and fashion with Monika Poppy!
On the blog today we have an exciting interview with sustainable influencer and blogger - Monika Poppy. Today, we get to find out about her background in sustainability, top tips on how to live more sustainably on a budget and new discoveries she's loving at the moment!
How long have you been an advocate for sustainability? Was there a particular time in your life when you realised that sustainable living was the future?
I actually started in oil and gas management which is the total opposite of sustainability. It was there when I realised that I didn’t really like what was happening in the world. I did my graduate studies in sustainable development and I thought I wanted to work in energy. But I also started blogging at the same time because friends and family were asking me about what to do, how to be more sustainable? Stuck with it and here I am!
We love your style! What would you say to those who think sustainable clothing is boring and not stylish?
Well, five years ago (which feels like such a long time ago) when I first started, sustainable garments were giving us potato sack vibes! Not all… but a lot of them. But we’ve come so far and there are so many cool brands out there right now. If you follow people like me it will be easier to find all of these cool clothes!
What are your sustainable summer essentials?
Summer essentials for me is always good linen. Linen is a sustainable material, it will last you and it will keep you cool! Another summer essential is deodorant which is organic and naturally made, preferably in an aluminium tin. So they come in a little pot and what you can do is not just use them on your underarms, but also you can use them on your feet which is a tip for avoiding rubbing on your feet from summer shoes!
We can see that you share a lot of incredible vegan food and recipes on your social media, do you have a favourite dish or treat? Or perhaps a favourite restaurant?
For me, the best way to make a vegan dish out of a dish that is usually made with chicken or lamb is to stew. So anytime you make stew, you can use dairy free substitute like cream (there are so many types out there) and for the chicken or lamb you can use the meat free alternatives and it always tastes exactly the same! That would be my number one tip for food and I would say my favourite dish is having a stew or chicken soup with fake chicken.
What would be your top tip on how to make your wardrobe more sustainable on a budget?
Shop online on second hand platforms; Depop, Vestiere, Ebay are great places to find cool clothes that have probably only been worn once or twice. Also you are helping someone else that is selling their clothes and you’re giving the garments a second life... and its a lot cheaper!
Is there a sustainable brand you’ve discovered recently that you love?
Here in London there is a shop its called Retro Mania. It’s a vintage store with fair prices, there’s a lot of designer things in there - it’s a gold mine!
What is your opinion on fast fashion brands who have a ‘sustainable or conscious’ collection? Do you support this?
I've spoken to a lot of people that work in the business in consulting or manufacturing and a lot of the time they’re doing test trials. So they want to test their target audience (people that buy fast fashion, not sustainable fashion seekers) to see if they would prefer to buy the sustainable garments, even if they are slightly more pricey. A lot of the time, this is more of a testing period for these brands so if you buy these sustainably made clothes, they are going to make more of them and eventually their whole supply chain is going to be affected by it.
My alignment with Aequem is that I love their aesthetic and if you want to have things that are sustainable they can’t look super sustainable, they have to look normal. I’m a city girl, I live in London and for me aesthetic is number one, that’s what you see and its what you get. Thats what I think a lot of people also care about.
I love all the jewellery, I love the hoop earrings with the little bugs I think they’re incredible and I can literally sit and scroll through the whole website for hours! Theres a really cool selection of curated items which I think is important because sometimes you have masses of things that are maybe not a certain aesthetic and I think you guys have done a great job picking out which ones.
Your blog ‘Sustainability is cool’ features all kinds of sustainable content from fashion and beauty to lifestyle! Are there any discoveries you’ve made whilst writing and researching for your blog that has shocked you?
Here’s the thing, not really. One of the biggest shocks I think was how many people wanted to be sustainable. There are so many people in the world that actually want to be and every time they conduct research and see how many people want to be more sustainable, this number increases. I think that one of the main things that people do report is that they want to be more sustainable, they just don’t know how. So I think by making things more accessible, aesthetically pleasing and easy then more people would be able to actually become sustainable.
We hope you've enjoyed getting to know Monika just as much as we did! Be sure to head over to Monika's Instagram for lots of cool tips and tricks on how to live sustainably.
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Aequem Gang xo