'Transparency is the future of fashion' | In conversation with Curiously Conscious
Molly Waring-Moore • February 1, 2019
We caught up with Besma from Curiously Conscious to discuss ethical journeys and how you can craft your own with some of her top tips and favourite brands!
Ethical lifestyle blogger and entrepreneur, Besma Whayeb, runs Curiously Conscious and the Ethical Influencers Network. Curiously Conscious is an ethical lifestyle blog which is founded on the ethos of ‘looking for the better things in life.’ Besma documents her journey and promotes her ethical beauty, fashion and lifestyle finds along the way.
We think you'll find a little inspiration and encouragement from what she had to say...
What started your journey into a more ethical lifestyle?
I lived in Paris for 16 months as part of my degree and became incredibly inspired by the food, agriculture, and effortless style Parisians have. It made me question my own diet, start cooking better, and then the researching into all aspects of my life began! Curiously Conscious represents that same inspiration and curiosity and hopefully shares ideas with others on how to live a little kinder.
How did you start your journey? What were your first steps and did you go slowly?
I started by going vegetarian (which is quite difficult in France! There are no “v” signs and at the time, veganism wasn’t “cool”). From there, I got into whole food cooking, and natural beauty. The research into where my products came from also had me asking where my clothes and stuff came from… and so it became a lifestyle change.
"veganism wasn’t 'cool'"
What areas are you still working on or looking to change over time?
I’d like to improve my own mental wellbeing, balance of work and life, and promote that on the blog. I’d also like to encourage others to write about positive subjects that are important to them, which is why I started the Ethical Influencers network.
Have you always found support from the people around you? If not, how have you dealt with that?
My parents took a long time to understand what I was doing and why I was doing it. Being an entrepreneur and blogger is an incredibly new career path, and it’s hard to explain too, but I know they look out for me on a pastoral and social level which I adore.
I’ve also learnt that you can’t win them all - and that’s okay. Everyone is different, and we should respect that.
"I’ve also learnt that you can’t win them all - and that’s okay"
What are your favourite ethical fashion and beauty brands?
Great question! Fashion-wise, I love Matt + Nat for bags and shoes, Peep Eyewear for sunglasses, Know The Origin and their transparent take on ethical fashion, MUD Jeans and their circular processes, and Po-Zu for their ethical trainers (that look and feel just like converse but are made better and fairly).
For beauty, Ere Perez is my favourite make-up brand, Bybi Beauty make really cool skincare, and I can’t get enough of a delightfully rich argan oil from Art of Bam that I’m soon to review. You can use it for your face, body, and hair - it’s saved me during this hot summer!
What’s your opinion on brands having sustainable fashion lines amongst their regular fast fashion line?
It’s a difficult one. I’m open to shopping those lines when I want to run around the high street, but only really in a pinch. Demand creates supply, so the more we buy these products the larger the lines will be - however brands who are already committed 100% should get our vote anyway, and there’s no conflict either.
Where do you find your style inspiration?
If I’m honest, I’m still finding it! I love reading ethical fashion blogs and noting outfit ideas, but I usually look at Pinterest and find ethical options for mainstream styles.
What are some of your top tips for people who want to lead a more ethical lifestyle?
Find a calling: you can’t do everything (and no-one and nothing is perfect), so find something that you’re passionate about and stick to it. I’m in a fortunate position where I get to try lots of different things, but I don’t believe in committing to anything 100%, and instead having a flexible approach. Currently, I’m a dairy-free, pescatarian, ethical fashion enthusiast and natural beauty hoarder… but that might be totally different in six months’ time!
"Currently, I’m a dairy-free, pescatarian, ethical fashion enthusiast and natural beauty hoarder… but that might be totally different in six months’ time!"
Tell us about the Ethical Influencers Network
The Ethical Influencers network is a digital community doing good. We’re a group of influencers and bloggers sharing a passion to live better - and treat the planet and people better. Each member is different, which is why we have a public directory for all our members, and the aim is to connect everyone and grow our voices collectively.
I’ve been blown away by the uptake in the network, and how supportive everyone is to one another. I started the network to help engage people in spreading positive ideas across the net (and the globe!) and also share opportunities that I receive. As a one-woman blogger, I can’t do everything, and I’d like to share my platform with others.
Where do you see it going in the future?
Currently, the aim is to grow the network and connect members to one-another, as well as with ethical brands. I believe there’s scope to start doing meet-ups in certain locations in the near future too, and provide that valuable face-time that social media just can’t compete with.
I’d also like to start providing guides to blogging, using social networks, and generally supporting smaller and newer influencers to raise their voice and be part of the community more.
What do you think is the future for the fashion and beauty industry?
Transparency is definitely the next step. We talk about “ethical” and “sustainable” as buzzwords, but without transparency how do we know these brands genuinely are what they say they are?
I believe the brands that can demonstrate their supply chains, and show they use fair practices, will find themselves on top of the pile in a few years’ time.
If you want to read more of Besma’s articles, head over to the Curiously Conscious blog - we love her new paper backpack! If you’re an ethical influencer yourself then check out the Ethical Influencers Network and get involved.