For this edition of PALA Meets, we’ve caught up with Kira Simpson, the founder of Australian online magazine The Green Hub. Kira and her team of writers share practical tips that aim to empower readers to make planet-friendly lifestyle choices, especially in the areas of fashion, beauty, living and travel. We took the time to catch up with her as she gets ready to launch her latest project… read on to find out more and see our sunglasses soaking up the sunshine over in North Queensland.
Kira, it’s a pleasure to meet you, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. You haven’t always lived such an eco-friendly life. What was the turning point for you to embrace a more sustainable approach?
I studied biology and environmental science at uni. It opened my eyes to some of the major issues facing our planet, but my lifestyle changes didn’t really start until a few years later. Using natural cleaning products was the first change I made, followed by investing in a reusable water bottle and coffee cup. The rest just developed from there with time and research. Every small change opened the door to new opportunities to live more sustainably.
You’re based on Australia’s Gold Coast. How easy is it to lead a more sustainable life in Australia? Are there many ethical and sustainable fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands to choose from?
Australia is quite a small country, so we don’t have many ethical and sustainable fashion brand based on the Gold Coast but we do have a lot to offer Australia wide.
We have some incredible fashion talent here leading the way for ethical and local manufacturing. Cue Clothing has been manufacturing in Australia for over 60 years, and you will most likely find a Cue piece in the wardrobe of every Australian woman. We have KITX who is a leader in the sustainable fashion space, showing at Buckingham Palace earlier this year.
For smaller designers we have Lois Hazel using deadstock fabrics, Spell Designs committed to tracing their entire supply chain and using more environmentally fabrics and, Tasi Travels making gorgeous travel staples.
You stress that The Green Hub is a judgment-free zone and that you’re not in search of perfection, but rather trying to encourage change where practical. Do you have any tips for readers who may be embarking on a more eco-friendly lifestyle for the first time?
Living more sustainably is not about sacrifice or giving up the things you love. You can find ‘greener’ alternatives to just about everything in your life from plastic-free food to ethically made fashion and sustainable hair salons.
Start small, try one thing and grow from there. There are lots of small things you can do to make an impact, such as reducing how much meat you eat, composting, eating organic, buying less, supporting ethical brands or buying preloved.
Get educated. Read books such as Rise & Resist by Clare Press and Slow Fashion by Safia Minney. Listen to podcasts like Wardrobe Crisis, Green Dreamer and Conscious Chatter.
For a more significant impact look at your who your money is invested with via your bank, superannuation, and loans. Most are likely funding fossil fuels. Look for banks who invest in clean energy and infrastructure. Use your voice, write to brand who you want to change, sign petitions for causes you believe in and be vocal online and the injustices you see in the world.
The Green Hub has been going for a little over two years now. What plans do you have for it next?
Something I’m incredibly excited to share! The Green Hub Magazine is launching on the 23rd of November with our first summer issue. Our readers have been asking if we would create a magazine for some time now, so it felt like a natural progression.
This issue feature stories from environmental scientist and communicator Laura Wells about armchair activism. An interview with Australian designers Ginger & Smart, a size inclusive swimwear guide, a summer vacation fashion edit and some magical places to visit in the Daintree Rainforest plus a Christmas gift guide sharing lots of wonderful ethical brands who give back.
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Felicia is our ‘camera ninja’ when it comes to photography for the Pala website. Hailing from Sweden, but now based close to the Pala Brighton HQ. When she’s not exercising her skills of mind control to makes models relax on shoot you’ll find her gleefully tucking into a tin Surströmming… or maybe not.
Emma is our marketing guru. When Emma isn’t planning, strategizing and creating content, she can be found travelling the world exploring its wonders, or in more recent times – headphones on with a paintbrush in her hand creating an abstract masterpiece!
Mary is the team leader of the Care4basket project in Bolgatanga, Ghana. When Mary is not organising and supporting the work across the communities, you will find her sowing sweet potatoes, ground nut, millet and looking after the animals on the farm.
Izzy is our Sales and Comms mastermind. When Izzy isn’t throwing herself down a mountain on a snowboard, she can normally be found rummaging through vintage shops or pounding the fields with her beloved puppy, Mac. She once mislaid a finger on a night out (eek!) – girl knows how to party!
Justin is our ‘Film Alchemist’. When he’s not laying on the floor looking for the next shot he’s either exploring the finest bourbons and listening to obscure country music tracks from the 50s and 60s. Normally found planning his next trip abroad or fuelling the pineapple on pizza debate. Just so you know he’s firmly in the Hawaiian camp!