Composed by Adeline Chandra / Images courtesy of EthicallyKate

Being an ethical / sustainable blogger is one thing, but being an ethical / sustainable living inspiration is a whole new ball game. We met Kate Hall from EthicallyKate for the very first time in 2017 at an eco-fashion event in Fremantle, when we merely just started sharing RŪPAHAUS with the world. Both EthicallyKate and RŪPAHAUS have definitely come along way since, and our friendship has too bloomed in a very exciting but in a delightful way.

Through our recent partnership, we had the chance to chat a little bit more with Kate about what she does, and to discuss her sustainable lifestyle and why ethical and sustainable fashion is so important to her.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what makes you interesting!

Is the fact I’m writing this with a cockatiel kissing my face interesting enough? Haha.

I am 24 years old, I live in Aotearoa, New Zealand with my husband, dog and two birds. As I go to sleep at night, sometimes I can hear the waves crashing on the beach close by, or nocturnal birds adventuring.

Life is pretty blissful, though I am a bit of a work-a-holic – that comes from loving what I do and wanting to do it 24/7!

I swim all year round, I sleep upside down on Thursday nights to mix life up, I ditched owning a car in February this year and ride an electric bike instead, and I am a huge kombucha making enthusiast.

What do you do, and what do you love about your work?

I am an educator, activist, and blogger. I advocate for all people to live in a way that respects and protects people and the planet. I work as a brand ambassador for sustainability focused companies (like RŪPAHAUS!), and host events to encourage people (from kindergarteners to corporates) to think more sustainably. Basically, I wake up every morning with the mission to help people understand they can live life so much more joyfully when they start to think about what they are doing and why they are doing it.

I love my work because I get to communicate with literally thousands of people each day. I learn so much from talking with such a variety of different people; this fills my cup. I also love making people laugh. Our climate crisis is a huge heavy topic, but I choose to live life in joy and hope, using humour to get my messages around sustainable living out to the masses. When people tell me I made them laugh or a new habit change really helped them enjoy their life so much more, that’s when I know I could do this work forever!

What does being an ethical & sustainable advocate mean to you, and what motivated or inspired you to do the work that you do?

I watched The True Cost documentary in August 2015 – that was a huge catalyst moment for me. Before this, I grew up in a family with strong social and environmental values, so it was inevitable that I found myself in this line of work.

Being an advocate simply means whatever I do, I try my best to do it with respect for people and planet. Beyond that, I inspire others to try this too. Rather than preaching, I lead by example – I think this is the most effective way for people to learn.

I believe everyone, everywhere, deserves to work in a job that brings them joy and makes them proud. The fast fashion industry does not foster this. This is why ethical and sustainable fashion is important to me.

As one of NZ/Aus sustainable living inspiration, what was the most noticeable change when you adopted the slow lifestyle? 

Sustainable living has been hugely beneficial for my mental and physical health. I started making these decisions to benefit people and planet, but i believe sustainable living is the most joyful way to live too!

What does tradition and culture mean to you?

It means passing on stories that are timeless, handing over ways of living that come from hundreds of years of experience, storytelling that stands the test of time, and connection to our ancestors through words and feelings.

What is your favourite RŪPAHAUS piece?

I have the Macca Shirt dress. 

Although it's winter where I am, I still wear it with layers and cannot wait to wear it on it's own when summer comes around! 

I love pieces that can be worn all year round, so the Macca Shirt Dress is a favourite!

Lastly, what's your rhythm of life? and do you have a daily mantra or ritual? 

I have many mantras, but I guess the first one is this: You have a decision to make everyday. To live life joyfully, or let guilt, injustice, and the weight of the world paralyse you. I choose joy.

I also love the saying “you cannot change the world, but you can change the world for one person.” Sometimes it can get overwhelming constantly trying my best to help EVERYONE make change - that can get to me. So I have a goal to impact just one person a day, and every day that happens!

Practically, I walk the dog every morning at the beach. I have a cup of tea, usually read my book or do some yoga. I am lucky to work from home at a dynamic desk so I kneel, stand, squat, stretch while I work instead of sitting in a chair. Time management is a strength of mine, so I have lots of lists and strategies for tackling those. I believe ‘busy’ is a state of mind (because everyone is always ‘busy’ these days- there is always something to do!). So I avoid being busy. My life is constantly full, but never busy.

"Aside from the classic RŪPAHAUS pieces - which I believe will never go out of fashion, I was drawn in by the textured fabrics, and the lack of middlemen so I can truly know who made my clothes" - Kate Hall (EthicallyKate), 2021.

Curious to know more about our ethics and sustainable practices, learn more here or better yet ask us about it in the comment below!

Shop the look! Find EthicallyKate's favourite piece here!

Adeline Chandra