The Wonder Woman of Eco-Fashion

 An Interview with Benita Robledo

By Denisse Juliana

Benita Robledo is a role model for all those who want to take action in ethical fashion. She is the Wonder Woman of this industry who does it all and shares her passion with people by inspiring them to create and live a more compassionate life, starting with their closets.

Ethical fashion is now becoming a trend and even a "must" among fashion bloggers. Benita understands that it is here where we can easily break down the taboo about ethical fashion and make it accessible to everybody. It is with knowledge and education that people can understand and make well-informed decisions about the products they buy.

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Benita, an ethical fashion writer and filmmaker, uses her many different talents and passions to show us all how to love ourselves and the planet through fashion. In her blog, you can find a variety of resources that guide us in the process of shopping ethically and living a healthier lifestyle.  Benita spoke to SUSTAIN about why she started and her life as a successful blogger and public figure in the ethical fashion world.

When did you first get involved in eco-friendly fashion and why?

"I first became aware of ethical fashion about seven years ago when I went to a local craft fair and met the women from Raven and Lily. It blew my mind that my purchases could affect real change in other people's lives."

As a successful and very involved professional, how do you manage to find a balance between all of your interest and tasks you have to accomplish?

"Lots and lots of organization. I have a running list of tasks and then have things broken up by category. For example, Mondays I only focus on the business end of my ethical fashion blog, that way when I'm done with the business stuff, I'm done for the day. If I don't break it up this way I would never stop working."

As an artist, what inspires you? What gets you up in the morning?

"Helping other people. I've found through a lot of trial and error that if what I'm doing is ego driven I feel miserable and empty. No matter what I'm doing helping others either through education or direct aid, has to be a through line to my work."

As a businesswoman, how do you remain political and maintain your integrity in the industry?

"I do my best to only work with people whose values align with my own. Many times, I've lost out on work and better money because I just couldn't bring myself to work with certain corporations. It hasn't always been easy, and I haven't always gotten it right, but I think about each partnership long and hard. As I've gotten older and have more economic freedom it's definitely gotten easier. I feel very lucky to have that choice now, but I get that sometimes people have to take whatever work they can get to keep a roof over their heads."

What is your daily routine? What are some tips to live a healthy lifestyle?

“First thing I do in the morning is sit in the sun and stretch and snuggle my cats. My living room gets these really awesome patches of sun in the morning and the cats and I love to hang out with them and just chill. It's hands down the most relaxing part of my day. As for living a healthy lifestyle, I try to take breaks every couple of hours even if it's only for 20 minutes. This is especially important for freelancers as left to our own devices we could always find more work to do, but we have to remember the importance of work-life balance."

How do you contribute or promote eco-friendly fashion in your directing career?

"All my sets are as eco-friendly as possible. We use biodegradable utensils, donate leftover food, and ask everyone to bring reusable water bottles. For my current project, there's actually money in a budget set aside for offsetting our carbon footprint."

How do you go about continuing to develop your professional skills and knowledge?

"I read a ton. I read other blogs, I read the news, I read long and boring research papers. I also talk to a lot of people both in and out of the ethical fashion space about ethical fashion. Those in this space always give me insight into new developments. Those not in the space ask me great questions I've never considered before, which leads me on a hunt for answers."

What career goals do you have for the near-future?  What will we be seeing from you?

"I'm currently developing a documentary about ethical fashion. I couldn't be more excited about it!"

Benita continues to inspire more people to change and upgrade their closets in an eco-friendly way. We also can’t wait to see her upcoming documentary and other projects! Visit her blog for more information and resources about Compassion Fashion.

Pictures by: Anais Ganouna (@anaisganouna)