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Hello, everyone! I am very happy to share with you the 3rd interview of my monthly Sustainable Talk series (published every first Thursday of each month)! Today you will have the pleasure to discover french beauty Louise from Alias Louise blog, a green cosmetics, ethical fashion and healthy recipes expert.
I always like to start with the little story on how I connected with the people I am interviewing. Last year, I was browsing my Hellocoton feed when an eco-friendly and vegan article from Alias Louise caught my attention. I could just identify myself with her values and sense of style.
Without further ado, let’s discover her favourite sustainable fashion brands, natural beauty products and vegan recipes, shall we?
Louise from Alias Louise Blog
Margot: You are working as an osteopath. What made you launch your fashion/beauty/lifestyle blog?
Louise: I always loved reading blogs. When I was younger, I was actively reading Garance Doré, Pandora and The Cherry Blossom Girl blogs. I kept dreaming of their lifestyles, not to mention their beautiful photos.
Even if I chose a health care profession (I have also studied medicine before my osteopath studies) I’ve always been passionate about fashion.
I started some fashion blog posts during high school (Thanks, Skyblog!) but after my high school diploma, I stopped everything to concentrate on my university studies.
During my university studies (so two and half years ago), my boyfriend at the time, who used to see me spend hours reading blogs, pushed me to create my own blog but in a more serious way. I already had some knowledge about beauty – a subject I am completely fond of, (At that time, I was an avid and compulsive make-up and skincare tester) and my girlfriends were always asking me for fashion tips. In addition to that, I developed an appreciation for micro-nutrition that I was able to deepen during my studies. That’s how I launched Alias Louise in August 2014 focusing on Fashion, Beauty and Healthy recipes.
Margot: When and how were you introduced to sustainable fashion?
Louise: Before jumping into sustainable fashion, I’ve first started with cosmetics. I’ve always bought high-end or drugstore brands but I quickly transitioned into organic products after reading about all the toxic chemicals we could find inside. Soon after, I applied this logic to my wardrobe. I came to realize that the way fashion garments were produced involved a lot of harmful chemicals as well. After reading about the subject and watching “The True Cost” documentary about ethical fashion, I decided to change my way of consuming fashion. If I remember correctly, this awareness started a year after launching my blog.
Margot: Do you remember your first ethical purchase?
Louise: Yes, absolutely! I discovered the brand L’herbe Rouge during one of the Fashion markets in Roubaix (amazing fashion event in the North of France where we can discover some wonderful designers) and I immediately fell in love with their ethical and eco-friendly clothing line. My first purchase was a beautiful blue blouse in lyocell that you can see in this article. That’s actually after this discovery that I’ve been more than ever in this eco-responsible fashion approach.
Margot: What are your 3 favourite sustainable fashion brands?
Louise: I particularly love People Tree for their pretty and affordable basics. Otherwise, I am crazy about the two American brands Reformation and Doên. It’s more expensive but they have magnificent designs.
Margot: How long did it take you to transition from fast-fashion to sustainable fashion?
Louise: I am quite compulsive so the moment I became aware of it the transition went pretty fast. A few weeks, I would say.
Margot: Sustainable fashion gathers many types of ethics. It’s sometimes difficult to combine all of them in one product. Is there a criterion you are more sensitive to that we could find in a majority in your closet? If yes, which one and why?
Louise: My main criterion is ethics because I cannot bear the thought that the clothes I am wearing were made in hazardous conditions and/or human abuse. Thus, I buy a lot of made in France (including brands like Harpe or Maison Cléo) and when possible, I like buying garments that are both eco-friendly and ethical. For instance, Reformation uses eco-friendly or recycled fabrics to reduce their carbon footprint and water use. Everything is made in the U.S.A. in a sustainable way. I also congratulate brands like Jan’n June that produces in Poland in an ethical way using certified eco-friendly fabrics such as organic cotton, lyocell, and recycled fibers.
Margot: What would be your advice to someone who would like to start building a more sustainable closet?
Louise: My first advice would be to sort out your closet and see for yourself what you really need before buying anything new and stop buying anything at any time.
I personally had this awareness a short while ago (I am talking about it in this article). In fact, to make a real impact, it is not just about buying ethical clothes and/or organic products but it’s more importantly about buying fewer (and better!).
I also think we have to stay away from big retailers that sell fast fashion.
The best thing is to make a list of pieces we fancy – in order to not be tempted by the latest trend – and try to shop them in sustainable brands. Prices will be a little bit more expensive but in the end, I believe it is worth buying one quality top at 60€ than three at 20€ each that you won’t like in a few months.
Margot: On Alias Louise, you also talk a lot about green make-up and cosmetics? What are you 3 favourite beauty products at the moment?
Louise: I am a big fan of Tata Harper brand. My favourite beauty product from the brand is the Lip & Cheek Baume – Very Vivacious tint. I use it as a blush on a daily basis. It gives the skin that healthy glow and stays all day long!
I am currently testing the Tata Harper Illuminating Eye Crème enriched with diamond dust, which really highlights the eye area (and reduce dark circles!). Finally, I also recommend the AHA & Copaïba purifying mask from Paï Skincare that just gives that perfect glow to your skin! I’ve already empty two tubes and I seriously think of ordering a new one.
Margot: Finally, during your osteopath studies, I’ve been paying special attention to nutrition and you also said that you’ve become vegan at 80%. Why that choice? Could you share with us your 3 favourite vegan recipes?
Louise: Actually, I’ve always paid attention to my body and what I eat. Before deciding on opting for a predominantly vegan diet, I’ve already had considerably reduce my dairy intake (which was making me sick) and I was never a big meat eater anyways.
That’s when I watched “Cowspiracy”, the documentary on Netflix that I really switched to a more vegan lifestyle. You come to understand the impact of the animal product consumption on our planet and it’s seriously scary!
For example, did you know that the use of water to produce one hamburger is equivalent to having the water of your shower running during 2 months?! It’s seriously frightening! Nevertheless, I say “80% vegan” because I sometimes eat eggs, cheese, meat or fish when I am invited or when I am at the restaurant. However, I eat vegan food on a daily basis.
Here are my 3 favourite vegan recipes. They are super duper easy to make and they are the one I make the most:
– Chia Pudding: a few hours before eating (best if it’s made the night before if you wish to eat it for breakfast). Mix 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with 20cl of vegetal milk and 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar (or agave sugar). You can also add a tablespoon of grated coconut if you want to make it a little bit sweeter. Pour the mixture into a little jar and let it sit in the fridge. Before eating it, add fresh fruits toppings and/or oleaginous and, enjoy!
– Quinoa zucchinis/mushrooms & tofu: cut the zucchinis into small pieces, add garlic and a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Sauté over medium heat until zucchinis are translucent and then add the mushrooms. Season with salt and Provencal herbs. In the meantime, cook the quinoa and brown the diced tofu (my favourite is the spinach/hazelnut tofu from Tossolina). Then mix vegetable, quinoa, and tofu all together in a big bowl and savour hot.
– Crumble apple, banana, and coconut: ma favourite dessert recipe that everyone loves! You can find the entire recipe HERE. Bon appétit!
Thank you, Louise, for taking the time to answer my questions and for sharing with us your green and ethical journey!
Ladies, that’s what we call french style, so make sure to follow Louise on Instagram @aliaslouiseblog!
See you on April the 6th for the next Sustainable talk Interview!