Meet Sonya. A digital creator from Mumbai, helping individuals and brands find sustainable solutions in the fields of fashion, beauty, baby and home. Sonya chatted with us about what it takes to be a eco-friendly influencer, and why creating content of value is important. Read on to know more about the fashion designer turned “earth advocate”.
Miko Lolo : Tell us a bit about your yourself.
Sonya : I started out as a fashion designer, studying and working in Milan. On a vacation back home in Mumbai, I made a designer raincoat during the monsoon, which by chance got photographed by all the major magazines - just like that the first designer raincoats were in stores in Mumbai and my brand Sonya Vajifdar launched in India in 2009.
Your instagram bio says you’re an “Earth Advocate”. What does that mean, and why is it important to you?
Down the way producing my line I realised how much waste I was creating with plastic raincoats and fabric waste . I also started practising Nicheren Buddhism which focuses on the law of cause and effect, and while learning to change myself, my brand automatically started shifting to a completely eco-friendly fashion brand. The work I do as an earth advocates is educating and teaching what I have learnt so far - in schools, on my social media and my blog about how we can create a better future.
You’ve been a part of the fashion industry and seen things from the inside. How have you seen things change since you started?
I have seen a lot of interest pick up in the last two years regarding sustainable fashion, specially since the pandemic. People have become more conscious of what they are wearing, the causes they are creating.
You studied fashion and textile design and went on to run a successful fashion label. What brought about the switch to being a sustainability blogger and influencer?
At some point in my career I felt what I was doing as an influencer and educator gave me more satisfaction than designing did. To me that is what matters - if I am doing good and feeling good about it too it’s a double win for me.
What are the key focus points you look for, when taking on collaborations as a sustainability influencer?
I do not work with brands under pressure and if it goes against my ethos of slow living. I always try, use and touch brands before I review or write about them. The brands I work with have to be making an attempt at a cleaner future.
Ivaan wears the Lagoon Floater Shirt
How important is it for you to pass on your ethical values to Ivaan?
I have already started trying to pass on whatever I learn to him - I am still learning and researching about how sustainable toys, plant based feeding sets and kids' clothes are helping out the planet. I feel it’s important he realises it’s all a self-learning process and should enjoy living it.
What makes you smile?
Nature - the tress, the breeze, the sea - seeing others smile.
Creative Family - Daisaku Ikeda
If you could raid someone’s closet, who would it be?
Swiss Sustainable Influencer - Karen Fleishmann
What inspires your life?
People who make a difference to others and to the planet.
Ivaan wears the Summer Daze Aloha Shirt
Follow Sonya's journey on Instagram @sonyavajifdar