For the first in our series of interviews with inspiring business women who’ve worn Katherine Hooker, we speak to wellbeing entrepreneur Liz Earle about her career past and present and her take on sustainable fashion.
You are an author, journalist, broadcaster, business woman and organic farmer. Of all the roles you’ve done, which is your favourite?
I’m absolutely loving my current role as Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Liz Earle Wellbeing - my wellbeing website and magazine. This has seen me returning to my roots as a writer and researcher with a focus on nutrition, food and all aspects of healthy living. I truly believe that health and wellbeing go hand-in hand with eating well and I launched Liz Earle Wellbeing as I believe that there so much good stuff to share about small lifestyle changes that can make a big difference to how we look and feel. It’s incredibly rewarding to be thanked on a daily basis – either in person or on social media – for sharing helpful (sometimes life-changing) information.
Is this the career you imagined you’d have when you were growing up?
Yes, as a child I wanted to be involved in anything that made people feel better. I was inspired by my father, a gardening aficionado who taught me how to grow seasonal fruit and veg that are good to eat, as well as therapeutic plants good for our skin and bodies
What advice do you always give other aspiring female business women?
Trust your gut instinct. As I discovered when writing The Good Gut Guide, our gut is linked to our brain via the largest nerve in the body (the vagus nerve) and those inner feelings we get when we instinctively know something to be true is so often proved right.
You are passionate about the environment and sustainability, how does this affect your clothes shopping choices?
It means that I look out for and keenly support ethical fashion brands. I truly value quality and provenance – and I think of investment pieces as wardrobe staples that will stand the test of time. Working out the ‘cost per wear’ of an item is a good policy when it comes to investment dressing.
Do you think there has been a shift in the way people think about where clothes come from and who makes them?
I think there is growing consumer awareness and interest in supply chains. The instant access we now have to quiz customer service teams on social media means brands are under increasing scrutiny and we’re free to ask awkward questions about how goods are made, which can only be a good thing. I love feeling a personal connection to a heritage fabric or skilled seamstress.
Is it enough to dramatically alter the ethical standards of the fashion industry?
I think we are beginning to see some changes and as consumer awareness continues to grow I would hope that this would only increase in the coming years. The Millennials are very good at understanding the importance of this.
What more could be done at the consumer level?
Ultimately, the power is in our – the consumers’ – hands. There’s so much access to information now, there’s no excuse for us not to be conscious of what we’re buying.
What is your favourite item in your wardrobe?
I have so many favourites it’s hard to pick just one! I love clothes with happy memories – a Beulah evening gown that reminds me of a night at the opera in Verona, a Katherine Hooker tweed jacket I wear for family farm walks and an ancient Connelly cashmere sweater I cosy up in on flights.
What is your favourite beauty product? Why?
Pure essential lavender oil. It has so many uses in the wellbeing world – one of my current favourite uses is as the perfect ingredient for a lavender body scrub.
You seem – of course – to live a very natural, healthy lifestyle, but do you have your indulgences? And what are they?
My guilty (and rare!) pleasure is probably a lie-in with breakfast in bed and the weekend papers. I also love red Burgundy and the odd piece of dark chocolate for wellbeing balance!
Liz Earle’s Wellbeing Yearbook Volume 2 is out now. Following on from her first volume the book gives an all round view on how to live, eat and look well all year round. Katherine Hooker customers are being offered £5 off with the discount code KHYEARBOOK5. Buy Liz Earle’s Wellbeing Yearbook Volume 2 here lizearlewellbeing.com.