For Emily Kate Symes, StarCentral Magazine’s Blogger of the Month for June 2013, the creation of her blog, ‘EKOLUV’ (which is also the name of her online boutique) is a natural extension of her life tenets and perspectives. The 26-year old Australias/Spanish/Filipino has always believed in ‘sustainable fashion’ and so successful has been the reach of her blog that she was invited as an ambassador for the first Health and Wellness Congress run by the World Health Organisation in Asia last year.
1. Tell us about your blog.
EKOLUV is a blog which aims to empower people to make more conscious decisions with their purchases and also how to live a more sustainable, ethical and environmentally friendly way of living. I wanted to start something that would appeal to not only those who may already be interested in sustainable fashion but especially those who aren’t. More often than not I find people do want to be a part of the solution and help, given the chance and if the right information was available for them. Also if the sustainable products being sold are stylish, on trend and fashion forward whilst being of exceptional quality and craftsmanship. This is what people want, they do not buy something merely because It is sustainable, It has to be stylish too and on trend or fashion forward.
2. Why did you decide to start a blog? What started it all?
I started my blog because I saw a need for more ethical fashion blogs. So I created an ethical fashion blog which is everything from an online resource of news, style, thoughts, ideas, stories and wonderful sustainable and ethical fashion and lifestyle content. I wanted to represent sustainability as a way of life and a way of thinking and taking responsibility for the impacts we have as humans with respect to our environment and each other. It was also created for a way to express myself and interact with others whom may share the same passions or want to know more about sustainability and their quest for this knowledge.
3. When did you start writing your blog?
I started writing my blog just over a year ago now and have really enjoyed blogging.
4. Why did you choose your specific subject matter?
I chose to blog about ethical and sustainable fashion and lifestyle because they are what I care and am passionate about. I have always been wearing vintage clothing, hand making things and involved in charities and environmental organisations since I can remember. This was just the next step for me to be able to share my passions with the world, it’s also because my jewellery business and online store are in both the ethical and sustainable genre.
Photo by: Shaun Denaro
5. What do you enjoy most about writing your blog?
Being able to share my thoughts, passions and views with the world whilst interecting with others. I feel like I’m learning so much every day and I feel like my blog is growing too and that’s a great feeling.
6. Do you have a specific inspiration that keeps you going? (A person, an event, etc,)
My inspiration would have to be Mahatma Ghandi and The Dalai Lama. Ghandi inspires me to believe the change starts within, in order to see change we must look inside ourselves. “Be the change you wish to see in the world” is one of my favourite quotes and a mantra for me. Also the Dalai Lama because of his teachings and his compassionate nature, these two people are very inspiring for me.
7. What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?
The most memorable moment of my career so far was being an ambassador and model for one of the first Health and Wellness Congress’s in Asia in 2010. I grew so much as a person whilst working alongside very dedicated professionals from the WHO (World Health Organisation) their work is very admirable as they dedicate their lives to promoting a more healthy way of living and doing business.
8. Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?
Probably the most interesting people I have met so far are the boys from Smile Clothing Co (www.smileclothing.co) Their business is based on a ONE for ONE principle, for every item sold, they will donate the equivalent of a t-shirt or school uniform to a child in need. These guys are very passionate about what they do and are doing amazing things for kids around the world as they believe access to an education is a basic human right. Donating t-shirts or school uniforms enables more children better access to an education as there is a growing need for children to have uniforms in order for them to attend school.
9. What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far? This can be about the industry or about yourself. Or both!
The most valuable lesson I have learned so far would have to be to love yourself, love others, follow your dreams and passions and what truly makes you happy and excited to get out of bed in the morning, this is truly living. It’s easy to get caught up in what society wants you to be, just remember we are all individuals whom all have wonderful talents we can provide the world and it’s great to be different.
Photo by: Amelia Jane Satoor Photography
10. Is your family supportive of your blog?
Yes, they are supportive.
11. What are your future plans? Inside your blog or out of it.
My future plans are to grow further with my blog to reach a broader audience, we would love a following of people who may not be currently sustainable buyers but who might want to be or want to know more about it. I will be studying a bachelor of business in sustainability to further enhance my knowledge and skill set to better help others in understanding the impacts of climate change, what sustainability means for us and what we can achieve by living a more sustainable lifestyle. I am also in the process of creating a book on Ethical and Sustainable fashion with great tips, advice and tutorials. My store EKOLUV is in the process of adding an ethical/sustainable marketplace, providing a platform to enable designers/brands who are ethical or sustainable, promotion and a place where they can sell their sustainable and or handmade treasures with the world.
12. Do you have another career outside of writing your blog? If yes, what is it?
Yes, I am curently a model/stylist, eco designer to my jewellery label EmilyKate and founding owner of EKOLUV, an online Ethical Luxury Boutique.
Photo by: Shaun Denaro
‘LIGHTING FAST’ Round:
Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear…” “…I’d be a world famous singer on tour performing…”
Best comfort food – Pizza
Best pick-me-up – Green smoothie + bikram yoga
Music I’m listening to right now – The Naked And Famous
Last good movie I’ve seen – Just recently watched Earthlings again (a movie documentary about our impact on the planet with respect to animals and wildlife) It is a definite eye opener!
Official Blog: http://ekoluvr.blogspot.com
Official Website and boutique: www.ekoluv.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ekoluv
Emily’s jewelry line: www.emilykate.com.au