We have become huge fans of SUSTAIN the Mag and their mission. They amplify how people create habits within over-consuming. We wanted to sit down with Sustain to learn more about their goals as a company, their team, and what they really think about sustainability.
Sustain is a very bold and vibrant online platform for eco-conscious individuals. Tell us about @sustainthemag and what it means to you.
Reza Cristián, Editor-in-chief and Founder: SUSTAIN the Mag was built on creating a space that was inclusive to everyone and normalizing sustainability because I’ve felt turned off to the environmental spaces prior for it being too white and granola. So that’s why it was important to bring in bold and vibrant colors in our branding to represent that sustainability is intersectional and should be accessible for all since the core of sustainability was from BIPOC communities anyways.
We love your mission at Sustain the Mag! What are some future goals you have with Sustain and other aspects of your career?
Reza Cristián, Editor-in-chief and Founder: Thank you! We appreciate the support so much. Our future goal is to keep continuing to have a platform to uplift the voices of others and specifically BIPOC change makers in the world. We have recently created our monthly digital covers and we love shifting the barriers that we’re in larger magazines and creating an independent online publication. At the moment, we are full volunteer run and are looking to expand and create a space to sustain ourselves and all our contributors.
At Viv, we love to have a conquer more mentality- it pushes and encourages us. What does conquering even more mean to you?
Reza Cristián, Editor-in-chief and Founder: I love this question! I feel like addressing what conquering means is powerful since when we think of conquer we think of strength and power. Sometimes to have those two things though we forget to think about taking care of our own mental wellbeing as a process to gain and regain strength. So in order to conquer, one must take time for one’s well-being.
What are your favorite things about your role at Sustain?
Jalin, Food Editor: My favorite thing about my role as Food Editor of SUSTAIN The Mag would be the sense of community and networking. This role has allowed me to connect with amazing people from all over the world.
Alla Rickett, Social Media Manager: I love being able to interact with our community online! The people and brands that follow and reach out to us help us work towards creating content that is not only entertaining, but also important.
Julia Le, Fashion Editor and Creative Director: The people and connections I've made over the past couple of years have been the most rewarding thing about SUSTAIN by far. As Fashion Editor and Creative Director, getting to meet and work with so many designers and creatives from around a world has made me really grateful for this community. It's been incredible getting to learn so much about the efforts and innovation behind those looking to reinvest in the fashion industry today, and to continue to learn about the necessary shifts taking place.
Sam Baselice, Director of Brand and Events: I love bringing people together over their love of sustainability! The community is full of fun, creative, and passionate individuals who are taking action to make the world a better place. Getting to bump elbows with these people has been a great experience.. Also, I'm very thankful to be a part SUSTAIN team, because I get to consistently spend time with and collaborate with a group of awesome ladies.
Caitlin Ruggero, Fashion Staff Writer: I love the work that we are doing to educate the community and make sustainability more inclusive. Hosting events with SUSTAIN has always been a blast and cultivating a safe, fun space to share ideas and uplift each other is paramount. I love my role as a fashion writer for SUSTAIN because I’ve been able to meet and shine a light on so many fashion labels and companies that are really putting in the work to give the fashion industry a more sustainable future. It’s been more inspiring than anything and I’m so happy to be a part of this team and community.
Alyssa Ford, Wellness/Beauty Editor: I love all of the people I get to meet and connect with. We've cultivated a strong community of humans that share a common love of people and the planet. It's a beautiful thing when you see so many coming together to make the world better, especially with so much hate and negativity that comes from the mainstream media. SUSTAIN is a voice of the people, for the people.
What sustainable practices do you enforce in your day to day activities?
Jalin, Food Editor: The sustainable practice I use in my day to day activities is based on reduce, reuse and recycle. For me this means lowering the use of water, avoiding plastics, consuming less meat/fish, shopping responsibly and buying secondhand.
Alla Rickett, Social Media Manager: I try to use as few single-use items as possible, something that can be difficult (but not impossible) when I’m constantly on-the-go. I am also privileged in my ability to walk to work, which significantly decreases the amount of gas I waste driving.
Julia Le, Fashion Editor and Creative Director: Second-hand clothing has always been a part of my life, and still makes up at least 90% of my wardrobe. Otherwise, I've been zero-waste and plant-based for the past few years, and during the pandemic, try to uphold those efforts to the best of my ability.
Sam Baselice, Director of Brand and Events: Composting, using a glass jar for coffee on the go, walking/public transit/biking, and I actually just started using a menstrual cup as of recently!
Alyssa Ford, Wellness/Beauty Editor: I started with baby steps. Switching one habit, for instance, a reusable water bottle and coffee cup, and then the farther into the journey I got, I continued to get more zero waste with my lifestyle and the products I was using. I've also cut my meat consumption way down, and I plan to stop it completely, when I used to never think I could be a vegetarian or vegan! It's all about holding yourself accountable and continuing to educate yourself everyday. Whether that has to do with the environment, human rights, consumer vgh, it is all connected.
Caitlin Ruggero, Fashion Staff Writer: I bring my reusable water bottle with me wherever I go, and where I usually am is the thrift store, shopping for second-hand clothing! I’ve also slowly but surely been eating more plant-based. Remember, everyone’s journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle is going to look different, and it’s okay to go at your own pace!
Looking back, what advice would you give to your 16 year old self?
Jalin, Food Editor: I would tell my 16 year old self to remember all of the good moments the most.
Alla Rickett, Social Media Manager: I would tell myself that thrifting is still cool, even if you’re the only one in your friend group that does it. I had this idea in my head that being cool meant having the trendiest outfits from the trendiest stores, even though some of my favorite pieces are secondhand. Now, I know that simply isn’t true, and encourage everyone to shop sustainably, ethically, and secondhand.
Julia Le, Fashion Editor and Creative Director: When I turned 16, I was just entering my junior year of high school, and honestly it was a great year. Still, I suppose I would tell myself then the advice I still find relevant now: whatever you want to do, just do it, just start. You're never too old to learn something new - it's just the beginning.
Sam Baselice, Director of Brand and Events: Don't be so hard on yourself. Just roll with the punches and try not to worry so much.
Alyssa Ford, Wellness/Beauty Editor: I would tell my 16 year old self that it is going to be okay. That I do not have to worry so much about what others think of me and that I am on the right path. I would tell myself that my feelings are valid and to have empathy and compassion is not weak, but extremely powerful. To all young people, don't let anyone try to dim your light, stand up for yourself and for others.
Caitlin Ruggero, Fashion Staff Writer: I would tell my 16 year old self to never think for one second that I won’t be able to accomplish my goals. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come and I would tell myself not to worry about highschool drama because the world is SO much bigger. Stay true to yourself and work hard, and you’ll be golden.
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