ON DUTY CITIZEN
1) What are a few things you do to stay environmentally friendly?
I love to cook, so I avoid doing takeaways due to all the plastic that comes with it. Also food shopping is done only with my own bags, I always have it in my handbag (I use ‘Bag The Habit’ lightweight fabric bags for groceries and separate ones for loose fruit and veg). I try to buy bulk, which means less package used in a long run. I do prefer Farmers Markets, not only the food tastes better, but you can be sure most of the farmers are environmentally conscious, use less pesticides which are not only the fret to our health, but our eco system too. All is connected.
I love coffee, but since 4/5 years I have my Keep Cup and I cannot remember the last time I had my coffee in a paper or plastic cup. When I have an early call time, I just take my Keep Cup with me with the coffee we brew at home or simply ask to fill my own cup in a coffee shop, yes you can definitely do that! :)
I make sure I am always hydrated, but I never buy bottled water - I have my Swell bottle, which I fill in with filtered water at home and carry it with me at all times. Sometimes at work when I run out of water, I always ask if they have one of those big water machines in the office, which they normally do and refill my own bottle. I always recycle, I am used to it as in Lithuania, where I come from, is simply the norm.
I also think that is it important to be conscious of what we use on our skin, as some of the chemicals are absorbed by our skin and you can be sure some of the chemicals will not only end up in our bodies, but eco system due to elimination process (same as food), so organic and natural is the only way in my opinion. Also no tampons - ‘Moon Cup’ is the only way, not only for landfills, but most tampons are bleached and trust me, we don't want any of that stuff in our vaginas. Yes, I said Vagina! We openly talk about our gut, our skin, and so we should talk about vaginas too. That includes condoms and intimate care, Sustain and YES Organic Intimacy are great. Most of my friends think I am crazy, my fiance used to think ‘I am too much’, but in a long run you not only save money, you become very aware of all things unnecessary or necessary. -LOVE all these suggestions and love that you took things a step further. We often think the best way we can live sustainably is by avoiding plastic or by making sure to recycle, which are all necessary things we should all be doing. But it's important to think about how else we can implement sustainable practices in our life, things we may often overlook such as tampons or condoms.
2) Do you have any favorite sustainable or ethical clothing lines?
I love fashion, but the concept of sustainable fashion occured in my life only three years ago. So I am fairly new to really knowing my conscious fashion brands. The thing is I haven't really shopped for three years for clothes. Me and my mom had a pact three years ago to stop clothes shopping for a year as we were both such fashionistas and had no more spaces in our closets, so the habit had to GO. We did pretty well - I only bought a Lithuanian designer A. Pogrebnojus dress for my birthday that year and I think mom bought couple more pieces, but overall - we both did well. Not excellent, but well. So I decided we should do another year... In the second year I understood few things: one - fashion goes round and most of trends come back and so it is super fun to style some oldies and have a whole new goody outfit. Two - I became very aware about where my clothes are coming from. That year there were few more new scandal’s out in high street fashion and ‘True cost’ was out. I was already shopping for organic food and ‘clean’ skincare, it only made sense to be conscious of who are making my clothes too. Natural progression also led to cleaner home cleaning products and other home goods. So this is a third year running of not really chasing the latest trends, but consciously researching and choosing the brands I want to shop. At the end of the day every time we buy something we vote with our dollar what we want to see more of.
I love wearing a new piece of fashion for my birthdays, so my mom got me a jumpsuit from Reformation, which I love. (I wonder where I should shop for my September birthday this year, wink wink :)) Some essentials like knickers and t-shirts I buy at Rodales.com, who carry brands like Threads 4 Thought, Pact, amour vert. My last purchase obsession is ‘day heal’ from Everlane. I also love vintage finds and I have been very lucky as my fiance’s mom Marianne works for a charity shop and buys me few great pieces of clothing every year, she has a great style.
I worked for a couple a conscious accessories brands like JADEtribe (picture with a bag) and absolutely love the ethos they promote. I don’t think shopping at high street shops is wrong, but one thing for sure - the future is NOT fast fashion and unfair trade.
I am yet to research and find more brands, but it is so helpful to have blogs like yours and model4greenliving.
3) What are some of your favorite organic beauty products?
Oh Lordy, this is only my favorite subject! I make my own skincare, but the things I don’t make I researched deeply for the ‘cleanest’ options. See ‘Green Beauty’ is my obsession. It has been for about five years now. I have probably not only tried every conventional product in the market due to my long modeling career, but every ‘green beauty’ product I could get my hands on as well. I have researched what ingredients to avoid, followed the gurus in the industry and shopped in the most consciously curated shops. My absolute favorite makeup brands are: w3ll people - fantastic mascaras, rms beauty - the best illuminizer, nu evolution - camouflage cream feels more like a treatment, alima pure - great eye liners, modern minerals - beautifully scented lip glosses, boho chic cosmetics - sparkling eye shadows, ilia beauty - smooth lipsticks, kjaer weis - most beautiful packaging, hynt beauty - super cover ups. Who said natural make up isn’t camera ready! (All the photos you see are with the ‘green’ make up I have listed here :)) Those brands are clean, conscious and with great ethos. I met most of the makers and all of them want the beauty and fashion industry to become healthier.
Here are few other products I love:
Nail polishes - zoya;
Tinted spf face cream - Suntegrity, MyChelle;
Spf for body - Coola, Badger Balm.
Hair products - Josh Rosebrook - great shampoos and conditioners, John Masters Organics - love the detangler;
Deodorants - Weleda, Osmia organics, meow meow tweet;
Bug spray - Zoe Organics;
Perfume - Timothy Han / Edition - I wear ‘She Came To Stay’
-You're the best! So many new brands I hadn't even hear of. Going to add a bunch of them to the site so stay tuned!
4) On a day off, you’re heading to your favorite coffee shop. What are you wearing?
Most likely I am wearing jeans, sneakers and a t-shirt. I am definitely wearing my garrett leight sunglasses and amber stone necklace my sister gave me. Amber is Lithuanian gold.
5) Tell me about something you’re doing simultaneously with modeling that motivates you. Another job? A project? Volunteering? A hobby?
I have mentioned before I make my own skincare. I actually study cosmetic science and I am building a natural skincare business. My brand is called ‘Amberlight Beauty’ (IG @abmerlightbeauty, web - coming soon). At the moment I offer anhydrous (waterless) products like facial serums and treatment balms. It is very important for me where every single ingredient comes from and how can I make my brand as sustainable as possible. It is very important to respect how every single precious oil and butter is grown, expressed and the people who are behind the process. For example I only use shea butter from an ethical suppliers called - Fair Tale Ghana. And I only use Australian Sandalwood as the Indian Sandalwood is extinct and forbidden to use commercially.
I believe that our bodies and natures offerings are biodynamic and therefore it works much much better than any synthetic products. The truth is there is no quick fix and the desired effects on ourself can only come through awareness and how kind we are to ourself and others. But I can reassure you that with the most potent natural ingredients, all the skin goals can be reached. I also think less is more, so my personal routine looks like this: cleanse with jojoba oil, for the night and/or day I use my ‘the rose in you’ facial serum and as a treatment twice a week I use my ‘three chamomile’ treatment balm.
I am also I huge ‘green beauty’ advocate, so I post on my instagram IG (@dominykag) all about it and once a month I contribute to my friends Rebecca Pearson blog ‘model type face’ with my ‘green report’. I have also really enjoyed putting together an event on beauty inside out, where my friend Vilma, who is a nutritionist, spoke about how nutrition makes us beautiful from inside and I spoke why is it important what we put on our skin. The event was called ‘Brooklyn Beauty Inside Out’ and it was a success.
6) In addition to modeling, what else may you be doing in your future, say 5 years from now?
In 5 years time I will be running a successful ethical skincare business full speed :) -I don't think you'll even have to wait five years for that... ;)