Gone Green - Nicola Alexander
Forget 'Go Green', in this week's Gone Green interview I talk with Nicola Alexander who is the founder of Daisy Green, an ethical womens' magazine.
Nicola Alexander, 33, lives in Gateshead with her husband and is a former student of both the University of Northumbria and Durham University.
As well as travelling, Nicola was also a teacher and special needs coordinator before turning her ethical blog Daisy Green into a magazine last October.
Hi Nicola, tell me about Daisy Green.
DaisyGreenMagazine.co.uk is an upbeat, online ethical women's magazine for modern women living a real life.
We blend an inspiring mix of fashion, beauty and every aspect of living plus great competitions to bring you the best of all things ethical.
What do we mean by ethical?
Every small step makes a difference. Daisy Green loves products and services that are in some way sustainable - kind to our planet, fair to people. It is our raison d'ÃÂªtre to find things that would be irresistible, even if they weren't ethical.
And we help our readers to consume less but stay fashionable and gorgeous by offering easy, fun and low cost ways to make, mend and customise what we already have."
What is your role on the magazine?
MD, Founder, writer, sales person and anything that needs to be done!
What inspired you to set up Daisy Green?
When teaching I became more aware of the problems that beset the children everyday.
It struck me that we need to be far more responsible in how we treat the environment to make sure it is well protected for those children when they grow up.
Also, the on-the-shelf magazines don't appeal to me particularly.
I get distressed at the amount of "bitchiness" there seems to be in many magazines, people laid bare at their most distressing times; losing weight, gaining weight, splitting up with their partners and so on.
I wanted a magazine that was positive and upbeat and could lead by example.
Have you always lived an ethical lifestyle?
I have been vegetarian since the age of 11, have always recycled and given to charities. My parents have chosen to eat organic for many years but, it wasn't until we bought our house with a garden that we started to grow our own vegetables, compost and so on.
What inspired you to live a more ethical life?
When I realised that people may suffer to make our clothes, (for example from pesticides in cotton farming or in unhealthy working conditions) or that child labour may be involved, or that so many of our clothes have huge air miles, I was inspired to change my buying habits.
No more fast fashion, rather key pieces that I will keep from Ethical fashion labels.
My version of buying fast fashion now is hunting in charity shops and then giving them back the clothes if I tire of them.
What do you do in your spare time?
Running your own business doesn't leave much spare time, but I love reading, gardening, charity shopping and entertaining my friends.
Mooching about with my husband is pretty cool too!
What is your favourite food?
What is your favourite restaurant?
The Ravensworth Arms
What do you view as the biggest eco-sin?
1.Sitting in parked cars with the engines running. Taxis, buses, planes, they all do it.
I may make it a Daisy Green magazine campaign in the future it annoys me so much!
2.Throwing things into the bin or tip if other people can make use of it.
What do you think is the one most important thing that we could all do to help reduce our impact on the planet?
Reduce our consumption - across the board; food, clothes, beauty products and so on. Buy less and when you do buy, make sure that you need it, want it and that it is good enough to last.
Buying less means less waste.
What is your biggest eco-sin?
Using the car.
I have recently been starting to use public transport and I have had a pleasant surprise as to how easy it has been for me.
Which political party do you think will do most for the planet?
Given that the Labour party have just commissioned the 3rd runway at Heathrow, I haven't got faith in our government.
I am really hoping Barack Obama is going to be true to his word and respect the environment; it would surely have a knock on effect around the globe.
You are also involved in vintage fashion fairs - any coming up soon?
The next two are:
Vintage Fashion Fairs: 28th February Durham University student union
Ethical Extravaganza: 12th March Newcastle University Student union