Kate Hall (ethically kate) blogger, influencer + activist teaches us how she leads an ethical life.
Can you share with us how you came to be ‘ethically kate’? What about ethical living and values drives and motivates you each day?
I became Ethically Kate by accident, which I think is pretty cool (and also the answer to my growth and success). After watching The True Cost documentary in August 2015, I decided I would commit to an ethical wardrobe, 100%. I'd always shopped at second hand shops, and been taught to be thrifty from a young age; to treat all resources as valuable and precious. But the documentary really set me off, and pushed me to 'jump over the edge'. My passion for seeing each and every individual happy in their work place, treated with respect, and valued for their skills, also kicked off Ethically Kate. I studied Business Psychology; we learnt a lot about the UN's SDGs and the living wage. If someone is in Cambodia, New Zealand, America, or Australia... they still deserve exactly the same treatment. They deserve to be proud of their work and happy in their job: that is sustainability. I also believe the world is too beautiful and valuable to waste. I can't bear to do harm to it; and I think other loving individuals believe the same (but they're just tricked by society and the crazy systems we find ourselves in, so it's up to me to make them aware of it).
Ok, so if I have my reusable cup down pat, my reusable bags and water bottle - what are some other areas of our lives where plastic sneaks in that we might be completely immune to? Where else can I make change + how do I implement that?
Well done you! The next step, is bulk food shopping, buying your meat (if you eat it, and if you do, please eat SO much less of it) in your own containers, say NO to tea bags (they contain plastics too!), and opt to eat in rather than out. Little things, like choosing a beauty salon who have plastic free values, or deciding not to even go to a beauty salon and treat yourself at home with eco/plastic-free products is a plus too! Every service you use, every place you go, will probably have plastic coated products/tools they use to provide that service for you; be careful and intentional about what you do and don't do.
Some people may not know this about you - but you are quite the entrepreneur. Tell us how you juggle the ups + downs of being your own boss? What do your days look like + how do you incorporate balance + mindfulness?
It's true: I've been an entrepreneur since I was 8. It was called 'Kate Care' and while people where on holiday, I looked after people's animals, watered their plants, mowed their lawns, and collected their mail. Haha! It's certainly a juggle, as I own an in-home childcare company with 20 employees, write for 7 companies, and work as a brand ambassador for upwards of 40 brands.
Routine, Exercise, Sleep (LOTS OF IT), Good food, Yoga and Lists.
I exercise every single day. Whether it be a 1/2 hour HIT (high-intensity-training) session, or a 1.5 hour yoga session... I get my body moving daily. Even if I feel like "I don't have time", I do. I make it the first thing I do everyday, so nothing can jump up and get in the way of it! My body has to work efficiently 24/7, so I have to protect and care for it to be able to do all that I do.
I eat healthy: whole foods (plastic free nearly 100%!), veggies, gluten-free (I'm coeliac).
I make several different lists: monthly, daily, yearly, for all the different areas of my life. I have to separate these different areas consciously too- so I don't feel overwhelmed.
Oh and 15 minute nana naps in the afternoons? Keeps me working effectively all afternoon long!
What is one of your most favourite things about being your own boss and what is something you find challenging?
I don't have to ask anyone if I can go anywhere or do anything: I just do it. I don't have to get projects or decisions 'over the line', I make all the shots. Although this comes with frustration and a certain level of feeling overwhelmed (sometimes I'm just like I'M 22 YEARS OLD, LEAVE ME ALONE, I DON'T KNOW!), I love it. I can go look after my nieces during the day, or take them on an adventure, and then work during the evening. Life can work how I want it to!
Because you are so driven by your ethics, what does equality look like to you? How do you think we can all live with justice + fairness? And what can privileged people like us do to empower those in vulnerable situations?
Equality looks like treating all individuals with the exact same level of respect, kindness, and care, no matter what the circumstance. We shouldn't be thinking that sweatshop factories are great, because "we are giving people jobs", we should be thinking the same thing about those individuals as we do our sons, daughters, friends, and everyone in between. My mum didn't tell me to just get a job, any job, and take it: we should be striving for everyone to have a job they love, adore, and thrive in; a world where all skills are utilised to the maximum, and everyone is acknowledged fairly for that. Just because you live in Bangladesh, shouldn't mean you cannot have hopes and aspirations.
What is something about yourself you’d love people to know?
I'm really surprised I'm a blogger/activist/influencer. You know how people have their key 'pet hate' or 'worst fear'? For some, it's disloyalty, for others, it's dishonesty, or it may be unkind behaviour. For me... it's being misunderstood. My worst fear is for people to take when I've said or done, and misinterpret it into something negative or offensive. This worst fear, and blogging/sharing, don't really fit comfortably together. I've had to learn how to have a harder skin, while still keeping my innocence and heart. It's really tough; I probably look stronger from the outside than I really am on the inside.
What is your ultimate purpose with ethically kate and the work you do?
Education. You can show someone a pretty ethically made top 10 times... they still aren't going to buy it for $200; they'll still go buy the one down the road for $10. If we educate, ethical brands don't need to then spend all this time on marketing and advertising; the people will come. The lack of knowledge and inbuilt habits from an early age, is the reason we're in this mess. Ethically Kate is my tool and platform to educate (edu-kate!) people about the greater issues, why they should care, and why it's up to them. I also like to keep things fun, and I want this to always be my way to story telling. Life gets super serious, at the best of times, so people enjoy my humour and the way I get messages across without shouting or being a down-buzz.
What does being a, ‘creative Woman with a conscience’ mean to you?
Creativity solves problems. Therefore, I'm a creative women (a problem solver and DOER) with a conscience. Conscience= solving the problems with awareness of the world, its people, and the future in mind.
**All photos owned by: ethically kate