Meet Csilla of The Pretty Planeteer
Happy October everyone! I love asking questions, I love telling stories, and I love blogging. So I decided to start a new series here on the blog! Every once in awhile I will be featuring someone interesting to follow: stylists, designers, makers, cooks, farmers… Anyone really! I think they call it a feature interview? I hope you’ll enjoy the series because I’m very excited about this format.
Today’s blog post features Csilla of The Pretty Planeteer. Formerly an architect, she lives in Switzerland where she moved from Hungary. Csilla writes about sustainable, ethical and vegan fashion, and she likes to experiment with clothes. I love her style and especially the fact that many pieces she owns are secondhand. We connected a year ago on Instagram and stayed in touch ever since. In August I was visiting some friends in Geneva and I got to meet Csilla in person and spend a day with her. We walked, we thrifted, we talked about controversial stuff and we celebrated this occasion with an Aperol or two (or three).
Please get comfortable and meet Csilla of The Pretty Planeteer!
How did your conscious journey begin?
I feel like I was always somewhat eco-conscious. It's probably because I've spent a lot of time in nature in my childhood which helped me appreciate and respect the environment. But the real change happened two and a half years ago, at the beginning of 2017. That's when I quit architecture to pursue my dream of becoming a fashion blogger. I was doing my research on how to start blogging when I first came across the term "ethical fashion". And it just made sense. Fast fashion exploits workers and destroys the environment, I knew that already, but now I had an alternative that causes less harm. To me, it was an obvious choice to go for the less harm. So I binge-watched videos from The Green Closet and Kristen Leo on YouTube to learn more about conscious fashion. One thing led to another and I also went vegan at that same time thanks to one of Kristen's videos where she recommended James Wildman's talk called "101 Reasons to Go Vegan". This whole lifestyle and mindset change happened so quickly, it felt like switching a light on in my mind.
What was the biggest challenge you were facing when you started?
The biggest challenge that I'm still facing to this day is building relationships with people outside the sustainable community. I am horribly bored with the "Love your top. - Thanks, it's from Zara." conversations. Tell me a real story about your clothes! It traveled around the globe, it should have one. As my values shift more and more away from consumerism, so do I shift away from society and people. I don't mind hanging out with people who have opposing views, it can be fun, and it opens the possibility for discussion about these views. But in the case of sustainability, these discussions don't happen. About veganism, even less. Deep down people know they're doing the wrong thing, and they can get offended very easily. So nowadays I'm trying to be more chill about it, and concentrate on the things I have in common with other people. But it kinda sucks because I don't get to talk about the issues that are the most important to me.
How has it changed you?
I have fewer friends, haha. But I also met some amazing people (like you, Alisa) in the conscious community online who inspire me and give me hope for the future. Being on this path has also given my life a sense of meaning and guidance, so I'm not just floating around in life like a PET bottle in the ocean. Every decision I make is based on principles and I always try to choose the best option according to my current knowledge. Do I always choose the most sustainable option? No. Sometimes there are other factors to consider such as money and time. And there are occasions when I just don't know what is the better option. Should I buy the lettuce in plastic because it protects the product and creates less food waste or should I avoid single-use plastic at any cost? Should I buy more clothes than I need if I buy them second-hand? Etc. So yeah, lot of tiny things to consider every day. It can be tiring sometimes, but definitely worth it because I know that I'm making a world little bit better.
What helps you balance your life? Do you have a ritual?
I don't have a balanced life, I guess. I recently started to build some habits that help me stay on track with everything. Yoga is the most important one. Or at least, I feel like it has the biggest impact on my life. I like to fit in a 30-60 minute session each morning so I can clear my mind and stretch my body a bit. Then I'm all set for a productive day. Recently I also put more emphasis on having fun and enjoying my life. It's something I neglected for such a long time because I was only focusing on my work. Now I realized that life is not a race and becoming successful in what I do won't make me happy if I don't let myself enjoy the journey. Surprisingly, I'm more effective this way, and I feel like I'm getting even more stuff done.
Could you recommend me something to watch? or a book to read?
Yes, I could recommend so many, but I'm going to mention my recent favorites, although they aren't very ethical fashion related. My most interesting and eye-opening read this year so far was "Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do About It" by Kate Harding. It talks about all the biases about rape victims and how ineffective the legislations are concerning this issue. As for the podcast, I really enjoy listening to the Peta podcast which takes the listeners behind the scenes of the organization. Then if I must choose one series it has to be Explained which is a documentary series that explains a different topic in each episode such as K-Pop, Cricket, The Female Orgasm, etc. It's so cool that in 20 minutes you can learn something new about the world. For the movie, obviously everyone should watch the True Cost, but I will recommend Cowspiracy. Both are documentaries that everyone who wants to build a more sustainable Earth should watch!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would love to build my own business, and I would love to keep on focusing on sustainability, that's for sure. So having a sustainable business, keep on blogging, have a YouTube channel are all possibilities. But we can't really see how social media is going to change for example. YouTube wasn't this popular 10 years ago, maybe in 10 years, we'll have something completely different instead. For a long time, I wanted to create my own ethical fashion brand, but I'm not so sure about that anymore. There are already enough cool brands out there. We'll see what life brings. Honestly, my biggest dream is to build an animal sanctuary and have pigs and goats running around in my backyard. Now that I think about it, maybe it should be something I pursue more actively. It would be so lovely to rescue poor animals from factory farms and provide a new home for them.
From that perspective, what would be your message to your younger self? To the actual you in 2019?
Don't compare yourself to other people! Everyone has their own journey and the fact that they are ahead doesn't mean you cannot get there one day. It is better to see others as inspiration. Also, life is not a race! You don't have to compete with others because everyone is on a different path. And if you work together, you'll get to the destination sooner and the journey is also going to be more enjoyable. What the actual me needs to practice more in 2019 is self-love. I tend to be very judgmental with myself in various ways. It seems to me that a lot of people feel the same way, that they're not good enough and they want to change themselves. The truth is we're all good enough, and we're all amazing! We just have to start to believe it!