For the second edition of SUMMER WITH SCOON's Curated By series, we spoke to inspiring storyteller, journalist and content specialist, Talita Kalloe.
With discovering a new generation retailers who were dedicated to contributing to a modern, conscious and sustainable way of life, her online magazine Soul Stores was born. This magazine shines a light on unique stores and brands who consider craftsmanship, the creator of the product, sustainable production and a conscious lifestyle.
When sitting down, we talked about what sparked Talita's interest in sustainability and how she applies this in her daily life with young children.
Can you tell us a little about what brought you to clean beauty and sustainable shopping in the first place?
I have always had an interest in fashion and beauty. I like to look good, take care of myself and I really appreciate me-time. But I also became more aware of the cruelty in certain industries. I noticed this in the fashion industry first as I started to delve more into it for work and while making more conscious and sustainable choices, my entire lifestyle grew along with it. Choosing conscious cosmetics soon followed and then food and household products, for example.
How is all of this reflected in shopping for clean beauty and sustainable fashion? What are the most important questions you ask yourself when considering what products to purchase?
The first and foremost question I ask myself, is: do I really need this? Not buying is always the most sustainable option, so if I don't need it, I leave it, no matter how tempting it sometimes is to buy it anyway. If I do decide to buy a product, I often try to find out where it was made, under what conditions and what sustainable materials were used. With regards to beauty, I find out which ingredients the product contains. Do they contain additives such as parabens, silicones or SLS? Is it clear that the company is committed to a greater purpose than just making profit? When I have two options to pick from and one option may be more expensive - but is a lot more sustainable or locally produced - I always go for that one.
Staying committed to your sustainable values when shopping for the whole family can be difficult. With the launch of SCOON Kids, we set out to fill the gap between fast-fashion and high-end styles that have been created with care. As a working mom, social entrepreneur and mother, how do you balance family life, work and sustainability?
Haha, that is a tricky one. I finally found this balance when my oldest daughter was around two years old. And then I got pregnant with my second child, which means finding this balance all over again. The most important overall lesson I have learned is, to surrender yourself to the situation you are in. If my child is sick and can't go to daycare and I have to stay home (and won't be able to work), then so be it. It's just work and my kids are my number one priority. One way or another, we will work it out as a family. As far as sustainability is concerned: all conscious buying choices I would make for myself, I naturally also make for my family. From (part-time) use of washable diapers and sustainable cleaning products to sustainable clothing and organic clean skincare.
How do you raise your kids to be mindful about the environment and the way they consume? Any tips?
I teach my children to treat nature and all living things with respect. Every night we bless our food and the origin of the ingredients - also to show them that we every reason to be grateful for having a warm plate of food on the table. See it as a prayer, but not necessarily as a religious conviction. We also teach our kids (in this case Malía, Ava is still too young) to pet plants, to smell flowers instead of picking them and to not kill bugs but to bring them outside to their natural habitat. It's beautiful to see it works, she really is aware of the scent and beauty of flowers. And at first Malía was afraid of bugs, but now she grabs a glass and a piece of paper herself to catch them and bring them outside. I really think it all starts with respecting nature so that the "why" is clear and they also understand this intrinsically.
With Corona putting everything on hold, people are saying that this is the time to make big changes and create a new normal, what do you hope will change?
The pandemic has caused a lot of suffering, but it has also made us all look more inward - literally and figuratively speaking. And I think this has been a good thing. I hope we all reflect on the way we lived, worked and consumed before the pandemic. We've seen the world turning, even when we didn't work until we are burned out. Living more in a slow pace and buying less is an option and we need to acknowledge that there are more important things in life than material things. I hope the way we consume will really change in a lasting and constructive way and that the awareness about the need for a more sustainable and conscious lifestyle has grown.
Photo credit @Cindy van Rees