by Eileen Weber
Have you heard of Victoria Everman? If you haven’t, you need to look her up. She’s done everything from writing to modeling to photography to hosting her own web site about the environment. She’s even gotten into green weddings, which is very fitting as she and her fiancé are soon to be married. And she manages to juggle all that while practicing yoga in her spare time.
Jeff McIntire-Strasburg, Founder and Editor of Sustainablog, a site providing information about the environment, the economy, business and politics since the summer of 2003, said Everman is an incredibly creative person with cool and different ideas. “For somebody involved in fashion and modeling to be this down to earth, you don’t really expect to see that,” he said.
McIntire-Strasburg has known Everman for over two years. They worked together when she was a writer for Green Options Media, a conglomerate of green blogs launched in February 2007. He said she did a lot of fashion articles and took the lead on the site’s crafting blog.
“She’s not afraid of digging in and finding the great stories. I’m impressed with how well she promotes green living. She puts her ideas out there and makes them user-friendly.”
Emily Dodge, Founder of SustainabiliTee, an environmentally-friendly online clothing store, said Everman was easy to work with as a fashion model. Dodge originally met her through her web site, Victoria-E, when she bought ad space. They developed a professional relationship when Dodge did a photo shoot. Everman was one of the models.
“For her age she's very mature and very thoughtful. She has good advice and is actually willing to share it,” said Dodge. “I think she does wonderfully at letting people know what alternatives are out there, and to explore the "green" realm of every aspect of life. She activates people and gives them good information via her written work.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Everman via e-mail recently. Here’s what she had to say:
You have been quoted as saying that your family was green because it was more affordable to reuse or make your own things. How did that shape you? If affordability is no longer an issue, what is the driving force behind your continuing green initiatives?
My family shaped me immensely! Even my mom reuses plastic bags, aluminum foil and repairs her clothes instead of buying new ones. My writing/photography life is growing slowly, so affordability is still an ongoing issue for my life, but beyond that, it is not about being "thrifty"—it is about bucking against the needlessly wasteful society that has been built around us.
I strive for a more sustainability in a local and national level for the obvious 3 reasons: past, present, and future. Our past was a clean, efficient, local lifestyle that could have simply been expanded upon, but instead was industrialized to create our present. While we have grown immensely as a society from farming all day, every day to changing the world with the click of a mouse, we have quickly become disconnected from truly thinking about what it means to be happy and healthy—it often has nothing to do with new tech tools, expensive purses, or long trips.
The future could hold many things, but if it is going to be nothing but an extension of our current society, we are in for some dark times. I want others to be able to enjoy the wide-open countrysides and clean water I grew up with as a kid so I strive to be green and to help others do so as well.
I've seen your bio that you are a "creatively versatile eco-powerhouse" repeated on different web sites. Tell me why that statement is true. Then, tell me what that statement doesn't reveal about you.
Writing my own bio always feels weird, but something about that particular phrase stuck in my mind. Being creative is in my blood from both sides of my family; it is even rumored that I might be related to T.S. Eliot (on my mom's side). Acting, dancing, singing, modeling, photography, painting, woodworking, ceramics, knitting, sewing. I've dabbled in creative endeavors all my life, but I consistently come back to my passion of writing, which is why I made it my main career focus.
My dabbling in photography has turned into a second career, which I am currently studying deeper and hope to work with major magazines in the future—similiar to my writing career. I always like to have a few projects to investigate and follow; I'd be far too bored and listless if I didn't!
You have labeled yourself as a kind of "jack-of-all-trades" for the eco-conscious. How do you manage to juggle all of that? What makes wearing all of those hats work for you?
I've had people ask me this all my life, and I still can't full explain it. I've never been a one project, one goal kind of person, which has also gotten me a fair amount of critique. My interests are too far and wide to be able to spread my casual, creative, sustainable message through just one outlet. My mind simply works on a number of channels all at once and having a handful of different "trades" keeps it in working order. It is all about the juggle, the balance of each of my endeavors. I try to spend an equal amount of time on blogging, magazine pitches, networking, and photography every day.
You write about eco-friendly products, from skin care to bamboo T-shirts. What are some of those products that you like the best and why? Have you found any products that you didn't like?
We could spend hours talking about my favorite products!
I'm a sucker for Del Forte organic cotton jeans. I've had one pair since the brand started back in 2005 and they still look like new (swoon).
Stewart+Brown makes my favorite shirts--the lengthened tee, long sleeves and a long body made from whispy organic cotton in a myriad of colors. I feel like a modern, etheral eco-warrior in them.
I delve deeper into the world of sustainable cosmetics every day, but I can't say that I have found a brand that 100% meets my expectations ... so the search continues (on my blog, of course).
From my crafty side, I am enamored with Blue Sky Alpacas 100% organic cotton naturally-dyed yarns. The colors they come in are phenominal and work for almost any project. I have sensitive skin, so organic wool yarns make me itch without fail.
I don't mince words and I don't sugarcoat things. That is something all companies have to understand when they ask me to review something, whether it is for a publication or my blog. If I don't like it, I tell people - they have a right to know the truth and no one can bribe me to say otherwise. Thankfully, most of my public reviews thus far have been positive, but I make sure to highlight any questionable ingriedents, practices, or opinions that I have.
There is enough "greenwashing" in the media to open a library. Someone has to be able to point out the flaws and make the consumer market more consumer-friendly. It sounds like a huge endeavor, and it is, but I try to help make that possible.
As a society, what do you think the most important green initiative is and why?
Agriculture, hands down. How we grow our food and treat our land effects everything else that matters. How we fuel ourselves shows how much we respect our bodies, and therefore each other - and on our current system, it is clear that respect is nearly non-existent.
Image courtesy of Victoria Everman.