As a dutch actress with numerous international films under her belt including 2 Oscar nominations, Thekla Reuten is firmly established as one of Europe's leading actresses. Next to working alongside Colin Farrell, George Clooney, Jennifer Lawrence and many more, she speaks five languages, is a mother of two small kids and a fierce sustainability advocate.
We are incredibly proud of this exclusive interview and cover everything from sustainable living and raising conscious kids to the big changes that are needed for a more sustainable future.
Can you tell us a little about what brought you to clean beauty and sustainable shopping in the first place?
The wonderfully optimistic and fierce organisation Strawberry Earth asked me over ten years ago to be their ambassador for Green Film Making. That's when I started opening my eyes to the scale of things, what sustainability encompasses, it immediately broadened to sustainable LIVING. Because a filmset is basically life on the move. It covers every aspect: travel, energy, light, costume, catering, packaging, housing, office, skin and hair care, waste, trash, interior design… everything! So ALL those areas had to be investigated and explored for problems and solutions. And at the heart of me saying yes to becoming their ambassador lays my own gut feeling that we are and have been (for decades) exhausting and trashing nature and exploiting workers and poverty.
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?
I’ve been reading labels and ingredients for decades. And I highly recommend it. Also looking up things you don’t understand. It started with food. But definitely expanded to clothing and anything from household cleaning materials to soap and skincare. Who made this, where and how was it made. What is the impact of certain materials. I have always used organic skincare. I am a firm believer of ‘clean' products. I don’t understand how it's not illegal to have products in stores that are made with child labour, that destroy eco systems (mostly elsewhere) or products that contain hormone disrupting or potentially ill-making ingredients, or micro-plastics that are stored in your body as your system can’t get rid of them through sweating or peeing.
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 successful actress and mother of two, how do you balance family life, work and sustainability?
Yes its difficult, as it takes time to look for the alternatives rather than going back to your old habits. But it is also so much easier than ten years ago because there are is so much on offer. There IS an alternative choice for everything. And there is a variety of sustainable ànd well designed timeless items, beautiful brands, well made products that can more than compete. Unfortunately it's more expensive to be fair. If I was in power I would change that all around. Organic and fairly made products would get subsidised and unhealthy unfair products would get taxed big time.
How do you raise your kids to be mindful about the environment and the way they consume? Any tips?
I pickup other peoples litter in front of their eyes and throw it away so they have learned how lazy and stupid it is to leave it on the street or playground. They know animals in the ocean die of plastics. They are small but the more they grow up they will see how I make conscious choices, and where I can do better, we have to lead by example they are highly sensitive to that. Choosing carefully will make them realise you have a choice. That every euro you spend shapes the world, our influence is much bigger then we think.
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?
I hope we will keep a slower pace. More isn't always better. There is so much we thought we ’needed’ and in the end we don’t. I hope we hold on to the awareness of what does matter, like time with you loved ones, health and caring for each other, and honour with (income not just applause!) the valuable people in our society; teachers, caretakers, nurses.