In conversation with Monica Richards, founder of the Ecobabe and sustainability advocate
STILBAAR SAT WITH MONICA RICHARDS, FOUNDER OF SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE BRAND ECOBABE AND MAJOR ADVOCATE FOR SUSTAINABILITY AND GLOBAL CHANGE TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE.
Monica Richards, aka The Eco Babe, launched her lifestyle brand dedicated to sustainability after a career in interior design and TV. While navigating those jobs, she never lost sight of her dedication to nature. And it is no surprise: she has led a sustainable life since the day she was born!
“I come by sustainability, honestly! I grew up on an eco-friendly farm in a very small town in Southwest Michigan. We grew our own produce and animals - we even grew the sunflowers to feed our turkeys. As a child, I experienced the perfect interconnectedness of Mother Nature. I learned the importance of sustainability. I saw the struggle and the reward for keeping that sustainability alive. After college, I developed my sustainability expertise as an interior designer for two conscious boutique firms. After moving my career forward as a Hollywood TV Host, I launched my lifestyle brand, Ecobabe.”
Ecobabe is a huge success, so much so that it goes beyond being a brand: Monica wished to develop a real community spirit. "Now, in conjunction with ecobabe, where we inspire individual impact for collective power and change, I co-lead The Collective, an online global community where we co-create a better world together. I also consult for homeowners in zero waste and transform brands into conscious companies. I'm still a TV Host, too !"
Monica's jobs, both in terms of their number and characteristics, can be quite a challenge. When she talks about her work as an eco-responsible consultant, people's mindset seems to be her biggest challenge! "My biggest challenge is getting people to truly believe that they - and what they do - makes a DIFFERENCE."
But overall, she feels like people's spirits are more and more focused on ecology and fighting climate change: "I am happy to share that YES I currently see and feel a much bigger concern and genuine care for our planet and Her people. In my opinion, this elevated care has happened in two ways: 1) unfortunately, climate change has directly affected these people through events like forest fires, flooding, aggressive winters, sea level rising, sinkholes, etc. and 2) fortunately, climate change is becoming a popular topic of conversation and awareness is spreading! "
"THE MORE WE DEMAND CHANGE FROM CORPORATIONS AND GOVERNMENTS, THE MORE WE LEARN FROM NATIVE COMMUNITIES ON HOW TO CARE FOR OUR PLANET, THE MORE WE CONTINUE TO FUND THE TRANSITION ON BEHALF OF CLIMATE CHANGE... THE SOONER WE WILL STEP BACK FROM EARTH'S TIPPING POINTS."
The process with corporations isn't as sufficient, though:" I do think corporations and governments are starting to move the environmental needle. However, this movement is slow, as these entities are large. And for large entities, change takes time." She calls for citizens to get involved in political processes to help speed the change. "Because these corporations and governments have the power to make the big changes we need for social and climate justice, but that change takes time to produce and implement, WE as individuals must take action. From choosing to consume as consciously as we can, calling our Congressional members for support on Bills that are important to us, lifting our community members, and spreading the climate change message... WE have the power for change, too."
When looking at the fashion industry and where it stands today, Monica feels like the most important thing is to slow down. "I would change the compulsion for fast fashion. If we could care less as a society about trends and more about minimalism and wearing natural fabrics (as opposed to synthetic fibres, which are made from plastic), our planet and Her people would experience a massive, healthy shift."
Overall, Monica brings a boosting optimism to the discussion about climate change, as she witnesses change every day: "I am always happiest when SEEING the change! Nothing makes my heart more full than seeing the empowerment of mindset - and the domino effect - of when a person makes a change that works. Taking daily action, even if seemingly small, is the best way to keep any sort of change going. Scientifically speaking, taking action results in the release of happiness hormones within one's body; with these added hormones, your mind will urge your body to keep taking more action steps (because it likes being fueled with those happiness hormones!) So, when I get to be the catalyst to another's self-sustaining change and action for the planet... It's the best feeling ever."
She shares this optimism regarding the planet's future, with an interesting take on its resilience! "I am hopeful about the future of our planet. Look, we are in the middle of the sixth mass extinction. I know this seems scary, but think about it - this means that the planet has survived and reinvented Herself FIVE times. Our planet will survive. Reversing climate change is essential for humans. And I do believe that the more awareness we spread, the more people we get on board the conscious consumerism train, the more we demand change from corporations and governments, the more we learn from Native communities on how to care for our planet, the more we continue to fund the transition on behalf of climate change... the sooner we will step back from Earth's tipping points and live fuller lives with a focus on healing, regenerating and living as One."
Let us hope that everyone soon sees eye to eye with Monica!