Our Planet | Vol. 1
“Of all the paths you take in life,” the pivotal naturalist, author, environmental philosopher John Muir stated, “make sure a few of them are dirt.” Muir proffered this humble advice circa 1911, but its wisdom rings louder now than back in his day. In a world governed by screens and stress, regular immersion in nature is key to mental and physical health, so says a host of recent scientific studies.
You don’t need to tell us twice: wMM’s demand for fresh air and muddy feet is existential. We’ve integrated it into everything from our name to our processes, which we’ve designed with nature and its inhabitants — people, animals and plants — in mind. And in honor of Earth Month, we’ve asked a collection of conscientious female-led brands in our orbit to share their favorite earthly things, plus some eco-friendly tips. (We’ve thrown in a few, too).
An eco-conscious designer you admire.
wMM: Eileen Fisher.
What does it mean to be a conscious consumer?
Article 22: Someone who is a conscious consumer knows that she cannot be perfect, but is thinking about how the past, present and future of what she buys connect: where things come, how they're made, by whom, with what materials and what social impact, then how those items will be worn, used, consumed and for how long, then how the packaging or item will see its end. She acts on this by avoiding fast fashion, seeking quality products that are made to last and can be worn often and styled in different combinations — even across seasons.
A “green” fashion tip.
Bakari: If you have something in your closet for over a year and do not wear it, give it away to someone who truly wants and needs it.
Your top five all-natural beauty products.
Kaméa Chayne: Shea All-Purpose balm, Ellume Naturals Secret Serum, OSEA Malibu Sea Serum, iHeart Nature Lavender Cleansing Oil, Era Organics Soothe Cream.
A plant-based recipe.
Josie Maran: During a recent trip to Haiti, I fell in love with the fresh watercress native to the island. A super simple and clean salad I have adapted using it includes: watercress (make sure to cut off the thicker stems!), tomato, green onion, cucumber and a little chopped parsley — all tossed together with lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Super simple and so delicious!
A tree that has meaning.
Josie Maran: An argan tree.
The last photo of nature you took.
How do you define ethical fashion?
wMM: In its most simple definition, it's any brand that is making intentional choices to treat people and the environment fairly. We all have room to improve, because no brand is perfect, but we choose to celebrate the goods things each of us is doing.
Your favorite “green” website.
Your favorite nature photographer.
A perfect eco-style moment.
Follain: Gisele in Stella McCartney at the Met Gala.
A reason to protect the planet.
Josie Maran: MY GIRLS!
Ocean or mountains?
Bakari: Mountains, always.
wMM: Without question, mountains.
When did protecting the planet become a priority for you?
Follain: On an Outward Bound camping trip when I was 15 years old. 30 days camping in the wild will do that.
An important conservation organization.
Follain: Conservation International, globally. On a more personal level, I have a soft spot for the Appalachian Mountain Club, because they take care of the Adirondack (NY) and White Mountains (NH) that I love and spend time in.
An environmental activist you admire.
Article 22: Jane Goodall (pictured above - top).
Bakari: Wangari Maathai (pictured above - bottom).
An incredible fact about the Earth.
Bakari: There is a very intriguing fish that is a source of inspiration for me: the Japanese puffer fish or "artist fish.” During courtship, to attract a female mate, males work 24 hours a day for seven days in a row to complete a beautifully ornate figure with a circular mandala shape. This is representative of the incredible natural architecture and design that Mother Nature has given us. Architecture and nature make up the two pillars of my vision of life and design.
Your favorite land animal.
Kaméa Chayne: Oof, so hard...maybe the leopard.
Your favorite ocean animal.
Follain: Sea otters. They always make me laugh so hard.
An underrated fruit.
Josie Maran: Lychee.
A picture of nature you'd like to have on your wall.
Kaméa Chayne: This one by Travis Burke.
Your favorite nature-focused Instagram account.
Your favorite scent in nature.
wMM: The smell of juniper trees — or the smell of the Pacific Northwest forest.
Article 22: A pine forest.
An important article about the environment.
A critical environmental petition.
An environmental documentary that will change your life.
Article 22 is an ethical jewelry brand founded by Elizabeth Suda and Camille Hautefort that employs local craftspeople to transform bomb scraps from America’s “secret war” in Laos (1964-1973) into jewelry.
Bakari is an eco-friendly accessories brand founded by Carmen Lopez Serrano that trades on a slow-fashion philosophy and products handmade in Spain by local craftsman using certified natural materials.
Follain is a clean, thoughtfully curated beauty mecca (online and brick-and-mortar) founded by Tara Foley.
Josie Maran is the founder of Josie Maran Cosmetics, a line of organic and pure argan oil-infused, eco-friendly skincare and cosmetics products.
Kamea Chayne is the author of Thrive; Writer of Conscious Fashion Collective; Marketing Director of Ethical Writers & Creatives; Eco Creative for Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Companies; Duke-certified Health Coach for Green Leaders.