by Emma Peters January 04, 2018

I met Kate when doing her makeup for the cover of Good Magazine last year, and it was hard to stop chatting long enough for the photographer to get her shot!

This lady is so full of knowledge on sustainable and ethical fashion, weddings and beauty, in fact she and her hubby are the poster couple for ethical weddings. I’m so glad she’s finally launched her site Ethically Kate to share her findings with us, and give us a hub for all things conscious, ethical and eco-friendly.

Having grown up in a forward-thinking, ethical family, the world of conscious consumerism has always been close to Kate's heart and her personal brand is going from strength to strength.

We chatted to Kate about all things eco and ethical and how, in her own words, "our planet is beautiful, and I'm not going to sit around watching it go to waste."

Ethically Kate NZ

In a nutshell, what’s your business about? 

Ethically Kate is about sharing an accessible and easy way to begin living more sustainably with a lighter footprint on the planet whilst looking after our global community.

I share my every day struggles, real-life eco-chick problems, and offer eco alternatives for everyday products that I personally back up and have tried and tested. Ethically Kate empowers people to be mindful of their consumerism and their interactions and impact on the planet.

How did it all start for you? 

It started by accident. I've always been a bit of an eco-consumer, having grown up in the family who were thrifty and nature lovers. About two and a half years ago I watched the documentary 'The True Cost' and decided if I was going to do this thing, I would do it with all I had.

I started tagging the ethical fashion brands I was starting to buy and wear, and researching eco-beauty products and alternatives. Companies loved my organic (excuse the pun) and wholesome vibe and began to ask me to write for them and review products. Now it’s one of my day jobs!

How does your business reflect your own personal beliefs about natural beauty? 

My business is my own personal beliefs about natural beauty. I don’t share or collaborate with companies who don't agree with my own values around natural and environmentally friendly products. It makes it hard to turn down offers of big collaborations, but easy to keep my brand authentic and me.

How do you see beauty and wellness intersecting? 

You can’t be beautiful without being well- in my opinion. Beauty products aren’t just girly habits; they interact with your body functions and how you express yourself. If you are putting chemicals on your skin every day, you are probably not going to be at your most healthy state.

Looking after your body and keeping well is inclusive of beauty, 100%.

What does ‘conscious beauty’/’natural beauty’ mean to you? 

Conscious beauty means being mindful of what you put on your body and how those products affect the rest of the world- including the environment and other animals. Often people just choose something because it makes them look good in the short term, and we need to stop thinking like this.

Conscious beauty is slowing down and having a greater connection with the objects that we interact with which make us feel beautiful.

Natural beauty can explain many things. I like to think people are naturally beautiful, when they look after themselves, eat the right things and balance this with exercise by listening to what their body needs.

Ethically Kate NZ

What does your typical day look like? Work, family, everything! 

Every day looks different in my world. Usually it begins with kissing my husband goodbye, and a run or walk along the beach - cup of tea in hand if I’m not running.

Usually half my day is taken up writing articles for eco-fashion companies or media platforms. This is how I earn my bread and butter. I schedule Skype meetings with the brands I represent, and sometimes have the time to pop out for lunch with a friend or my sister-in-law and my nieces.

I love finding the time in my day for yoga- this usually happens late in the evening. When Tim (husband) gets home, we try to bike around our streets, visit the beach, and catch up on the day.

I spend my evenings making minimal-waste meals, reading, yoga, or watching movies with friends. These are my ideal evening plans, though often it looks like more work!

What are your top tips for staying well and healthy yourself? 

Exercising at least once a day, eating the right things and listening to my body when it needs something, and using the right face masks and night creams for my skin to keep on top of everything.

I have also just bought some essential oils, so I think these will start to blend into my daily wellness routine.

Outside of the conscious beauty world, what are some other interests that make you tick? 

I love hiking and generally all practical activities e.g. gardening and creating things. I enjoy travelling and try to plan one big trip each year. 

Ethically Kate NZ

Image: @ethicallykate

What beauty items currently can’t you live without? 

Ethique shampoo and conditioner is my absolute favourite. No bars needed, only compostable paper packaging! I am also now addicted to the Babs face oils and love the Sukin mud face mask… though that is totally a luxury, I would survive without!

What advice do you have for people who want to embrace conscious beauty but might not know how to start? 

Start small and do what works for you. People have so many different opinions in this space, and it gets overwhelming listening to them all.

Look at the products you have, and find natural alternatives. When they're close to running out, order them so you have a backup to immediately change to so  you don’t have to race to the shops to find the second best.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. I love getting messages asking about products, and you’ll find eco beauty bloggers are always happy to help.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given over the course of your career? 

Fake it till you make it. Seriously, this piece of advice means you always back yourself, and backing yourself means other people believe in you. You aren’t going to get anywhere unless you think you can do it, because otherwise this will come through in your work and others won’t think you have what it takes.

Where do you see yourself and your business headed in the next few years?

This is exactly what I need to sit down and plan… It’s been such a crazy year accidentally getting into this that I hardly have a plan! I think ultimately I want to work with as many brands as possible to get their message across, and focus on ‘heroing’ the people in the world doing amazing things in the eco beauty and fashion space. In the distant future, my main goal is to have my own ethical fashion brand.

Thanks Kate for your amazing work and dedication to sustainability! We're so excited to follow your journey!

Emma Peters
Emma Peters

Emma Peters, organic makeup artist, creative director and founder of Belle & Sage, is committed to leading the conversation around beauty and wellness. With over twenty years of experience as a make-up artist, she knows you don’t have to sacrifice quality for clean.

She’ll help you find the what, learn the why, nail the how, and everything in between.

Letting you know more, wear better, and start making beautiful choices: from the inside, out.


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