Holly Rose is the blogger behind Leotie Lovely, a conscious lifestyle blog. She believes that change starts when you learn the circular story behind every object you purchase or use, and she uses her blog as a platform to narrate her experiences. Holly hopes her blog will guide readers to vote for positive change with their dollar and motivate businesses of all sizes to overhaul their production processes for the greener good.
What inspired you to start Leotie Lovely?
I had been working for luxury fashion startups in London for most of my career, but as I started to understand how the fashion industry really worked, the dark side of it made itself known to me. The waste, the harm, the chemicals and the pointlessness of it all. I began exploring solutions and alternatives. At the time there wasn’t much to choose from, so I decided to see if I could start an ethical business myself using eco-friendly or upcycled materials. I began making clutches out of upcycled vintage fabric and deadstock, and as I did I realised there was little excuse as to why all brands couldn’t do better. It was a situation of profit over people and that wasn’t something I was willing to support, so I started to change the way I shopped. Last year, I decided I wanted to educate myself beyond fashion and really look at every item I use in my daily life to find out if there were more sustainable solutions available. I wrote a blog post every day for 365 days for my #GoneGreen2016 series, discovering the issues with each product as well as options to replace each thing.
Which post on your blog most encapsulates your values and why?
Ohhh, hard to say. My favourite one most recently is one about vulnerability and the responsibility of each consumer, brand and blogger to go beyond what’s already been done. I’m quite passionate about intention and the circular story behind each thing. So for me, this applies to items as well as individual actions. I guess to encapsulate my values, it would be a combination of two pieces: first, my most recent post, the other, a piece I wrote for Fashion Revolution’s first zine.
Which post do you wish could reach the biggest audience and why?
I think it would actually be my zero waste video. I think making these simple sustainable switches are easy and important sustainable switches to make.
What’s your biggest challenge in pursuing your mission?
Time and money. It takes a lot of time to research, write, shoot, edit, upload and share everything I create, and it’s hard to earn money from a job like this because it’s not a booming consumerist industry and creation of content requires the utmost conscious care. So many bloggers burn out or drop out because it’s not a sustainable job, despite it being a central part of the sustainable industry.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
To SLOW down. Last year I was writing 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for 365 days and I felt totally burnt out and depleted. I spent this year readjusting my life to reflect the lifestyle I was trying to encourage and promote. Creating careful conscious content under a “less is more” type of mantra. It’s totally transformed my life personally and professionally.
Share a couple of your favourite blogs. Why do you like them?
I did this post as a collaboration with the United Nations just before COP 22. It was an incredible honour to work with them and I really enjoyed the process, especially as it was a part of the EWC, which is an incredible group of women. I just did my first community collaborative post on homeware, which is all about my process of making a house a home and slowing down. And also the circular collaboration post I mentioned above, and this piece I wrote on eco, ethical, affordable fashion. Most of these recent ones reflect the type of writer and blogger I’d like to be, moving away from any “hollow” content and avoiding writing anything unless it takes away from the “noise” of the online world and really creates something of meaning.
Can you tell us about a product you’ve owned forever and why it’s important to you?
My mum’s embroidered vest. There’s something really special about items which can transcend generations – timeless pieces made to last which are well loved for multiple lifetimes.
What is important to you when you’re buying clothing and items for the home?
Quality. I think sometimes items made to last are even more important than items made sustainably. Even before I was introduced to BuyMeOnce this has been a mantra I’ve tried to adhere to myself and suggest to my readers. It logically makes sense, financially, ecologically and ethically.
Can you tell us about the last time something broke and disappointed you?
My handheld vacuum cleaner. I did tons of research before I bought it and tried to buy the most energy-efficient one with the best reviews. It lasted about three weeks before it gave up on life completely.
What vision do you have for your Leotie Lovely for the future?
I’d like to create more content offline, to be read offline as well. I’m currently working on a “photographic novel,” a collaboration between myself and my husband about this summer’s sustainable travels.
What do you love most about what you do and what drives you to keep going at it?
This has been a complete process of growth like all things in life. I’m grateful that I get to do something I am hugely passionate about that allows me to keep questioning the status quo, questioning myself, and working towards creating a brighter future for the planet and its inhabitants as well. The world is moving forward and I still have hope we can save ourselves. We just need to find ways to be more collaborative so the mumble of the conscious community will ripple into a roar that can’t be ignored any longer.