If there is one thing we love it is people who are interested in making a difference in Veganism but equally are not willing to compromise their style. That’s why one blog we’ve long been huge fans of is Huntd. Nadhisha shows how easy it is to stay fashionable and stylish through only vegan pieces. Today we have the absolute pleasure of sharing our latest interview with this super cool Aussie babe and why fashion and Veganism do go hand in hand!
Hi Nadhisha! Tell us a bit about your childhood and background and how you feel that has influenced you today?
Hello! My name is Nadhisha and I’m a 27-year-old blogger from Sydney Australia. I was born and raised in Sydney, however, I don’t think anything specific about my background has influenced my compassion for animals and the choice to be vegan. I was however raised Buddhist and continue to live by most of the principles of Buddhism such as never harming a living being and practising kindness and compassion to all. I do have amazing parents as well who have raised me well and to always do the right thing.
When did you decide to go vegan and why?
I tried to go vegetarian so many times in the past, but my love for food and the thought that one person would not make a difference always resulted in going back to a non-vegetarian lifestyle. Turning vegetarian came quite suddenly back in 2013. A friend of mine posted a video of ‘From Farm to Fridge’ a documentary about the factory farming industry. I already had a great love for animals and after only 12 seconds (basically the introduction of the video) I stopped the video and cried for about an hour. I then decided that I could no longer eat meat but due to my previous attempts, I decided to go pescatarian for a few months to help with the transition. Reflecting back, this decision worked for me because I was able to wean off animal meat and then gradually become vegetarian. I then watched a PETA video about the leather industry in 2014 and vowed never to purchase anything made from an animal again. After much research and self-discovery, I made it my aim to become fully vegan on January 1st, 2016 as I slowly discovered the pain and sadness behind the dairy and egg industry. You could say that I have had a slow but successful lifestyle change in the last 4 years.
How did you first find going vegan?
I found it quite easy because by then I had started my vegan fashion blog and my passion and determination for animal rights was quite strong. Basically, my love for animals and the pain in my heart for animals was much much stronger than my love for any type of food. The only thing I struggled with at first was in social situations – I still struggle 9 months on to ask waiters if a certain menu item is vegan. I think my friends also feel that they need to make sure that any restaurant we go to has vegan options. It’s not a big deal though and there is always something I can eat.
What do you friends and family think about you now being vegan?
Most people I have talked to mention how proud they are of me. They say that I’m an inspiration and I’ve had about 4 people come to me privately to let me know that they have either reduced their meat consumption or turned vegetarian because of my blog and the posts I share on social media. Not one of my friends or family members have ever shown anything but positivity towards my choice to lead a vegan lifestyle.
When did you decide to start up Huntd and what sets it apart?
I started Huntd about a year ago in late September. By then it was nearly 2 years since I decided not to buy leather or any other animal product when it came to fashion. I, however, have always loved fashion and struggled a lot with finding vegan designer options. Prior to becoming vegan, I was a Louis Vuitton lover and had acquired a nice collection – my fashion goal was to purchase a Chanel bag, but suddenly my moral conscience took over and I was in a rut. There was a fight in my head between loving designer fashion and loving animals – of course, the animals won! I did a lot of research and started to find that there were some vegan options out there. You just had to do a bit of research and ask a few questions. I decided that I wanted to share this knowledge with everyone and combine it with information about the cruelty leather/fur/silk and wool trade to show people that there were animal-friendly options out there.
I firmly believe that reducing consumption of meat and reducing the purchase of animal by-products really does make a great of difference so even if I changed one mind at a time, I would be ultimately doing some good. Slowly I realised that there was a HUGE audience out there of true animal lovers who were in the exact position as me and hence I became a part of this amazing community.
What do you feel has been the most successful part of your blog?
I think my love for fashion, current trends and finding animal-friendly alternatives to popular fashion items has made my blog quite successful. However, this is only the beginning and I wouldn’t call my blog successful just yet! I have seen a gap in the market for on-trend, but classic vegan pieces which have encouraged me to slowly start designing my own products with the hopes of launching next year.
What are some of your favourite cruelty-free vegan fashion pieces?
It is easy to buy vegan items these days as a lot of accessories are made from PU and PVC; making them also quite affordable. What I am really interested in though are brands that try to utilise ethical practices and eco-friendly materials. Stella McCartney pieces are probably my all time favourite as the materials are all eco-friendly. The brand has gotten so big that they are able to create their own eco-friendly materials and develop ethical practices and standards. Other brands who are always on trend and are slowly exploring the transition to eco-friendly materials are Matt and Nat and Freedom of Animals.
Why do you think there has been such a rise in veganism over the last few years?
I think it is largely thanks to social media, which has meant animal cruelty; especially in the meat and fashion industry is much easier to expose. Much like my own personal experience, other people’s views and attitudes can be changed with a click of a button. The cruelty within these industries are being exposed rapidly and people are really beginning to open their eyes within the comforts of their own home. I think the fact that social media has become so portable, means there really is no escaping the facts. People are being exposed to the realities of animal cruelty at work, at home, on public transport and everywhere in between. I also think the rise in vegan-friendly restaurants and menus now makes it much easier to transition and I don’t personally feel like I miss out on anything as there are so many alternatives readily available. I feel the same is happening slowly in the fashion industry too. The easy accessibility of vegan-friendly items is a huge factor in the rise of veganism.
What inspires you?
I think anyone who tries their hardest to make this world a kinder place inspires me. People who are so passionate about animal rights that they have made it their life mission to seek justice for the voiceless inspire me every day to become stronger. In terms of fashion, I still am inspired by the fashion industry. I feel with the knowledge I have gained, I am able to be inspired, yet am able to make the right and moral choices.
What’s your average day like?
My life is crazy! I am busy setting up a business, I work part-time as a hair stylist and I also work part time at a health centre. On days that I’m not working at my part time jobs I try to go to the gym, work on my blog, create content for my Instagram (I love to create flat lays as I have a background in design) and I work bit by bit on my vegan fashion designs. I also love to cook and explore new recipes, such as taking normal recipes and turning them vegan without compromising on taste! I have a beautiful supportive husband who owns his own businesses so I am lucky enough to have the time to explore my passions and work on what I love. No week or day is ever the same for me which is what I love and thrive in. I also have the cutest rescue dog who follows me around the house and sleeps wherever I’m working to keep me company.
Do you think you have a work/life balance?
I definitely do, I quit my full-time job exactly a year ago and since then my work/life balance has been amazing. I pretty much work 50% of the time and then spend 50% of the time on my passions – my blog, cooking, my business and fashion.
What is the best part of your job?
With hair styling, I love the creativity. I love being able to create and love that no style is the same. I also have amazing clients who are so lovely to work with.
What words do you live by?
I live by a quote from Buddha – May all living beings be delivered from suffering. I work towards that vision every day of my life. I hope that one day in my kid’s generation or their kids, that we become an informed world where animals and humans do not need to suffer.
What’s next for you?
Working on Huntd – the fashion side is definitely what is next. I aim to have a fashionable line of shoes and hopefully, a line of clothing made ethically and from eco-friendly materials. I hope to grow the blog and apart from fashion begin to explore vegan food and vegan beauty products.
All images via Nadhisha.