Dit is een goede gids Hutspot

Dit is een Goede Gids by Marieke Eyskoot: an accessible guide on how to up your sustainability game

Interviews

Are you aiming for a more sustainable lifestyle, but don’t know where to begin? Dit is een Goede Gids is an accessible guide on how to up your sustainability game in area’s like fashion, food, cosmetics, travel and much more. We sat down with expert Marieke Eyskoot to talk about her second book and why thinking about sustainability now is more important – and fun – than ever.

Hi Marieke, congratulations on the succes of your book. Why did you decide to write it?
Thank you! I have been working in sustainable fashion and lifestyle for over 15 years. I started writing this book because I kept getting a lot of questions. Many people want to live more sustainably, but just don’t really know where to begin. I wrote ‘Dit is een Goede Gids’ to positively inspire and to share the knowledge that I have gained over the years.

You are a sustainable fashion and lifestyle expert. How did you end up in this industry?
I always found it strange that, when we buy a bargain, we tend to be proud of how little we spend. We tend to forget where our clothing, phones and bananas comes from and, more importantly, who pays their real price. I have always felt that I am born here by coincidence, and have gained so much by that: women’s rights, economic security, democracy, a stabile climate. I have done nothing to deserve that, and don’t have more right to it than others. So I wanted to do something to make this disbalance more fair. I always loved fashion, was volunteering for Amnesty International and started working for the Clean Clothes Campaign to improve working conditions in the global garment industry.

The book covers many areas of our lives – food, beauty, fashion, travel, work. Of which part do you feel people know the least in terms of sustainability?
Food has gotten a lot of attention over the years. This probably has to do with the fact that food has such direct impact on our bodies. The fashion industry has also received a lot of critique. Factories collapsing, animal cruelty; you have probably heard the stories and they are all true. I hope that there will be a lot of change in that industry, and that cosmetics will be the next. We put so much rubbish on our skin. A lot of it is just there as a cheap filler, doing nothing or drying out your skin so you need more. Also, travel could get a lot more attention that it does. It is so easy to take a plane to somewhere or to hop inside a car. In ‘Dit is een Goede Gids’, I try to give alternatives and show you what the impact is.

Dit is een goede gids

Your book also highlights a lot of aesthetically attractive brands that measure well against more commercial and (potentially) harmful brands. Are aesthetics an effective way to promote sustainability?
Thanks – and yes! It is very important to show that sustainability does not negatively impact style, aesthetics or quality. Some people used to be a bit sceptic about this, but nowadays there are many stylish and qualitative alternatives that do not necessarily need to cost more. I mean, what is more expensive in the long run? A shirt for €10,- that you only wear three times or a sweater for €70,- that you wear 40 times? We need to start thinking long term about spending money instead of short.

Is there any brand in specific that you love to talk about? Any favorites maybe?
Picking favorites is really impossible. All examples that I mention in the book are amazing in their own way. Hutspot sells a couple of really good brands. Abel is an 100% natural perfume and has wonderful scents. The ingredients behave differently on every body and evolve throughout the day. O My Bag is a beautiful and stylish leather brand that only works with eco-leather.

What I notice is that you write about the subject in a very accessible manner. Why is accessibility important?
It is OK to have fun and be happy, right? You’re only going to change something in your life if you like it. Otherwise it is going to be really hard to maintain it. The aim of this book is to give tips on how to continue enjoying life while, at the same time, also making it enjoyable for the rest of the world. Do whatever suits your style – either go for vintage if that is your thing, or for buying less or sustainable brands. Stop wasting food, buy more secondhand, consider sharing your car instead of having it parked the majority of the time. Fly less, bike more; there is something for everyone!

Dit is een goede gids Hutspot

What is the one essential tip that you would give to anyone interested in a more sustainable lifestyle?
Quality above quantity. This works for fashion, food, travel – even love, right? And don’t try to be perfect. It is very difficult to be a saint and not everything is possible yet. Start with the area’s where you can make most impact – for instance food you often cook, energy use or stuff you buy.

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