Has sustainable living always been a part of your life or did you feel like you needed to shift your lifestyle?
It has been part of my life unintentionally just by growing up in a Hispanic household where we would save plastic cutlery, dishes and bags to reuse over and over again. Or we would recycle water bottles and cans for extra cash so we can treat ourselves to go to the movie theaters. We did this to be resourceful and that was my first introduction to sustainability. Of course my lifestyle has evolved a lot more since then as I have grown to learn more about the climate crisis and what is truly important when it comes to fighting for the environment.
What’s your attitude on “eco-influencers” promoting “eco-friendly’ consumption. We know it’s not possible to shop our way to a better planet, so how do we shift from being better consumers to being better inhabitants?
This is a great question, as I know green consumerism is very popular nowadays and green washing is revealing itself more, creeping into our lives as brands see that more consumers are more eco-friendly. There are harms to this of course, as brands and bigger companies will never feel the need to take true accountability for their actions, but of course having eco-influencers is also great to at least have the conversation get started when it wouldn’t have otherwise.
What does being an eco-warrior mean to you?
To me it truly means standing up for not just the planet, but for all people on Earth, so if it means advocating for global issues then that is what it means to be an eco-warrior. It’s not about the daily life hacks anymore. We have to stand up for one another, because the climate issues we face are also colonial issues.
I think a lot of global communities, especially indigenous people, have a really symbiotic relationship with the environment. What's something you have learned from these communities that you wish other people knew about?
The root of sustainability starts with Indigenous communities as they are native to our lands and truly know how to care for our planet and the environment. We need to learn from Indigenous communities on how to protect our Mother Earth for years to come, being resourceful and enjoying natural resources.
How do shops sustainably without sacrificing style?
I love shopping at thrift stores, but responsibly of course, where so many pieces have a uniqueness to them that last way longer than any other brands usually do. I think also a lot of brands have launched that changed the way sustainability in fashion was originally. It was really plain and neutral tones, but thankfully style is now in the picture and color.
What is one of your best second hand finds?
I have these vintage Moschino red glasses with a gold trim and it’s seriously my most prized possession. They are definitely never going to go out of style, at one point I thought I broke them, but was able to fix them right away. Once you find a good piece, be sure to keep them in good condition.
Jewelry is so special because it never has an expiration date and can be passed down for generations. Is there a piece of jewelry you own that you feel like will make a great keepsake?
First of all, definitely my Serendipitous Project will be something I will pass down for sure. But I do have this gold ring with an emerald stone that is my late mother’s birthstone that my nana got for her for her birthday and now it’s passed down to me.
Reza is seen wearing our Clementine Earrings and El Dorado Chain Duo Pack