Supermodel, eco-activist and philanthropist Petra Nemcova just added a new job title to her already-impressive list: mom. And judging by her super stylish and sustainable nursery, she’s bringing all her former job experience with her into her new role.
Even as she spent her career modeling for some of the world’s biggest names in fashion, from Bulgari to Victoria’s Secret, Nemcova has used her personal platform to support and patronize sustainable brands that put priority on protecting the earth and paying their employees fair wages. She says there are “no more excuses” for brands to produce fast fashion pieces that are destined to end up in landfills, and encourages consumers to use their purchasing power to shop sustainably.
And fashion -- which keeps most models in business -- is one of the world’s leading pollutants. The industry is responsible for 10% of the world’s carbon pollution and is also the second largest consumer of the world’s water supply.
Now, as a new mama, her focus on living an eco-conscious lifestyle has only grown. That’s why Nemcova styled her baby boy Bodhi’s nursery almost entirely out of sustainable, long-lasting pieces like our alma max convertible crib and our alma dresser. Like Nemcova, bloom has an overarching commitment to sustainability, and all of our modern nursery furniture and baby gear is made with sustainable woods, recyclable plastics and metals, and has low VOC finishes.
Nemcova understands that starting your sustainability journey with a zero-waste mindset can be overwhelming and defeating, instead, she suggests starting small with bite-sized, manageable steps toward sustainability. Living an eco-conscious lifestyle means just that, Nemcova says -- being conscious.
She chatted with us about what it’s like to speak out in an industry that’s slow to change and shared her simple steps for starting off on your own path to better the Earth.
(The following has been lightly edited for clarity.)
Being sustainable in fashion is no easy task, but you're doing it. Why is it so important to lead that charge?
The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world after the oil industry, and so many people are being taken advantage of through fast fashion, which is not acceptable to me!
Every choice that we make has ripple effects. If we are making conscious choices with our purchase power, we have the ability to empower people and protect our planet. If we are not making conscious choices by selecting conscious brands which are taking people and the planet into consideration through their supply chain, we immediately have a negative impact on either or both. All we have to do is to care, do the research and choose consciously.
Twelve years ago when I tried to wear sustainable fashion, there were very few options. Today, there are sustainable options for all occasions and all budgets, as well as second hand shopping, closet-swapping platforms and so much more. No more excuses.
Do you think your passion for sustainability has grown since becoming a mother?
It definitely expanded in different fields, especially regarding anything to do with baby clothes, furniture and other baby products. And of course, you’re thinking even deeper about what kind of planet we will leave for future generations. We all have a huge responsibility and the change has to start with us. We have more power to positively change our world than we realize.
How will you be a sustainable mother? Second hand shopping, cloth diapering, eliminating plastic... anything like that?
All of the above and more, but often you have to go really deep to find truly sustainable solutions. Also, communicate clearly to family and friends about your commitment to an eco-friendly lifestyle so you don’t end up with presents which are not aligned with our commitment to conscious life.
Zero waste is the goal, but it's not easy. Do you have any tips for people just starting their sustainability journey?
It is not easy to achieve 100% zero waste life, but it starts with small steps such as bamboo straws and bamboo toothbrushes, then you get shampoo and conditioner in a bar, and soon you will find yourself composting and quite addicted to making a positive impact through every decision you make.
What is one small thing new parents can do to help the earth?
The main thing is not to take the first thing which is presented to you though advertisement or peer pressure. Keep researching for more sustainable options. Babies need a huge amount of stuff throughout their life, and if you make conscious choices along the way, you will have a big positive impact on Mother Earth and inspire other mothers through walking the walk.
Hanna Nakano is a Washington, D.C. based writer and photographer, and mother of two.