We sat down with the founder & CEO of sustainable slow fashion brand CRUZ&PEPITA and Toiletries Amnesty Ambassador, Pepita Diamand to ask her 10 questions and find out how we can all make a difference with small changes to our lifestyle.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I’m a bit of a global nomad: Born in Canada, studied in Scotland, became an entrepreneur in England and currently live between London and Paris, where I recently launched a line of ethically made resort wear called CRUZ&PEPITA.
2. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GET INVOLVED WITH THE WORK WE DO AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT?
I have been a waste crusader for years, giving hoteliers around the world schtick about all their little bathroom minis and the waste they create. I’ve also been involved in poverty relief programmes in East Africa and know how precious some of those wasted products can be. The way Toiletries Amnesty marries these two issues is inspired. Now when I have the ear of a hotelier, I direct them to support Toiletries Amnesty!
3. WHAT’S ONE SMALL AND EASY CHANGE PEOPLE CAN MAKE TO BE MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY?
Stop buying water in plastic bottles. Just stop it. Unless you live in Flint, Michigan, the water from your tap is perfectly fine to drink. UK tap water is among the best in the world. And if you like fizzy drinks, always buy them in a glass bottles or cans.
4. Where’s your favourite place on Earth? How have you seen it change?
I love Morocco. Marrakesh is my happy place and I’ve been humbled by the incredible hospitality I’ve received in villages from the Atlas Mountains all the way to the Algerian border. Those villages are increasingly surrounded by rubbish heaps. Fields of plastic bags and bottles that sometimes seem larger than the communities themselves. It’s sickening.
5. What does it mean to you personally for people and companies to reduce their environmental impact?
I’m ashamed of what we, humans, have done to our planet. Of our arrogance and ignorance. Now that we’re aware of the impact of our ways, there is zero excuse for any business to continue harmful practices. Planet trumps profit.
6. Where do you see your industry making changes or what would you like to see them do to become more sustainable?
Fashion is a tricky one. Improved supply chain transparency is a start. Replacing plastics with properly biodegradable wrapping helps. Avoiding synthetic fabrics too. But frankly, as long as planned obsolesce remains core to the trade (with every new collection rendering the previous one “so last season…”) the fashion industry will never come clean.
7. What’s your favourite sustainable and affordable lifestyle/beauty tip that you’ve learned?
You don’t need all the cosmetics that influencers say you do.
8. What are some of your favourite sustainable brands?
Stella McCartney and Allbirds.
9. What does kindness mean to you?
To me, kindness means sharing – sharing time, an ear or a smile. Anything that makes the world a better place, even if it’s one moment, one person, at a time.
10. Has hygiene poverty ever affected you or those around you?
My parents were both war survivors. They taught me to treat the remaining sliver of a bar of soap like a piece of gold.
I have been a waste crusader for years, giving hoteliers around the world schtick about all their little bathroom minis and the waste they create. I’ve also been involved in poverty relief programmes in East Africa and know how precious some of those wasted products can be.
The way Toiletries Amnesty marries these two issues is inspired. Now when I have the ear of a hotelier, I direct them to support Toiletries Amnesty!