Marieke Eyskoot is a sustainable fashion and lifestyle expert. She's a sought-after speaker, author and consultant. She quite literally wrote the book on living more sustainably. It's called "This is a Good Guide - for a sustainable lifestyle". We refer to it regularly.
Marieke is both a personal and professional mentor to LUXTRA - helping us up our eco-game - and it was such a delight to ask her the following questions.
How do you start your day?
I’m a real morning person, so I jump out of bed once I wake up – ready to go and excited for what’s to come. Three things are important to me at the beginning of the day: read the newspaper, do a work-out of sorts (at home or the gym) and eat a rather big breakfast (porridge, fruit, nuts, cinnamon, the works).
What's inside your handbag?
Next to the usual stuff such as laptop, wallet, lipstick, hairbrush, water bottle: postcards from my book ‘This is a Good Guide – for a sustainable lifestyle’ to give away, my favourite Abel perfume (can’t go anywhere without a beautiful, natural scent) and an unusual amount of elastic hair bands. Not because I use them that much, but because I always pick them up off the street when I see them. There are so many lying around, it’s such a waste. So if anyone needs one, I’ve got one!
What's your bag style?
Minimalistic, cool, useful. But, I also love my small over-shoulder shaped like red lips.
What you are most proud of in your career to date:
That I've made a book of which readers say it's empowered them - that they now know what choices to make to contribute to a better world. I'm so blessed to receive many of these kinds of messages: so cool. Most people really want to live more consciously, they just don't know where to start. It's amazing to realise that I get to contribute to the movement and transition to a sustainable future. Some even tell me my work's guided them in what they want to study, or even that it's changed their life. Such an honour.
The most difficult time of your career:
When I just started as an independent professional, I got lonely pretty quickly. I’d never worked on my own and didn’t even notice it while it was happening. It’s such a vulnerable feeling and there’s still a massive taboo around loneliness. It still hits me sometimes and I try to talk about it and make it more open. It’s a staple subject when I do consultancy for starting entrepreneurs – I wish someone had warned me before I stepped on this path. I hope it helps and also that we stop the stigma, there is no shame in feeling lonely and needing support or company.
Biggest life lesson:
That it’s such a massive coincidence that I was born here (The Netherlands) – and not in for instance Bangladesh or Sri Lanka. I arrived in this wealthy part of the world by coincidence, with a healthy economy, a good climate, human rights, women’s rights, democracy. I didn’t do anything to earn all that, I simply had it handed to me. And so I don’t have any more right to it than anyone else, I don’t
deserve it more. I just as well could have ended up elsewhere, and therefore I aim to take everything I’ve been given, use all these advantages to try and make the balance more fair.
I'm happiest when:
I find that special balance of doing something I really love, and that actually makes a difference. Probably on stage, speaking about sustainable lifestyle, how the pressure to look good prevents us from doing good, and how taboos random rules are usually there for a commercial reason - and not just make us feel very unhappy most of the time, but also make it goddamn hard to behave more sustainably, and that we need to realise and resist the way the industry makes us feel, to not only save ourselves but the world too. Amen.
My favourite place to be is:
Next to my home – where my partner and cat are – it is Zoku, a fab hotel which aims to blur the lines between home and office. It embraces sustainability and facilitates the new global living and working. It’s genuinely my home away from home and the place I feel people know and welcome me.
The woman/women who have most inspired you?
Oh gosh, how much space do I have? There are so many fantastic women that inspire me every single day. Just from the top of my head: Jameela Jamil, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Hamnet, Oprah, Jacinda Ardern, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Katrin Jakobsdóttir, the late Polly Higgins, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie…