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Text:  Beth Mark
Photography: Sandra Freij

“To begin with, the blog was to document my own journey learning about ethical fashion and sustainable living. It was not targeted at people who had awareness about these issues, but more towards people who didn't - like me. I started with a real fashion focus, but as my interests grew, it developed towards sustainable living and climate action awareness.”


Meet Nataly,

Nataly is a writer and founder of an ethical luxury and sustainable fashion blog named ‘Literally Nataly’,

Born in Israel and raised in Thailand, Nataly lives with her husband and two-year-old son (with child number two on its way) in a cosy flat in Oxford, UK.

As a form of refuge during the Covid pandemic, like many families, Nataly and her family seek out local nature spots to spend as much time as possible immersed in nature. This time in nature has meant a great deal to her as she loves seeing her family appreciate the natural world and hopes her children grow up with a sense of connection to plants and animals alike. 

For Nataly, her fascination and love of protecting nature didn't realise itself until later on in life. It wasn't until she started exploring her love of fashion that she truly began to understand what was at stake. She recalls,

"While studying my Master's degree in Luxury Brand Management, I attended the one class we had about sustainable fashion, and that was it – my curiosity was sparked.  Seven years ago, I went on to write my thesis about sustainable fashion in the luxury industry and found there was very little information and awareness about it…this surprised me.”

As a somewhat hidden subject, it was only really by chance that Nataly came across the concept of sustainable fashion that unbeknown to her, would transform her life’s path, she recalls, 

“I didn’t know what sustainable fashion was before. I bought new clothes all the time - It was normal. Growing up as a teenager in the early 2000’s there was so much celebration of consumerism and being told that you needed to buy things to be happy. And then the more I learned, the more I realised I didn't want to live like that. I had to change my lifestyle, but I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”

After finishing her studies, Nataly wanted to share her newfound knowledge, so she started writing a conscious lifestyle blog named ‘Literally Nataly’. The blog started small, but through commitment, enthusiasm and sheer determination, it has developed into a much-loved site by many. The blog explores the power of the consumer and how we can change the path of consumerism as we know it.

Nataly explains the blog’s journey,

“To begin with, the blog was to document my own journey learning about ethical fashion and sustainable living. It was not targeted at people who had awareness about these issues, but more towards people who didn't - like me. I started with a real fashion focus, but as my interests grew, it developed towards sustainable living and climate action awareness.”

Two years ago, Nataly moved most of her discussion from her blog onto Instagram (@natalyelbaz) as she found that people are gradually becoming more visual and responding better to quicker reads. She explains her content,

“I discuss ways in which people can live more sustainably whether it’s by making product swaps or by giving tips on how to lead a more zero waste life. I also raise awareness about climate issues and ways that we can all take action. To me, sustainability means having a functioning world without the need to compromise the health and survival of future generations. This means fighting for a systematic change in our economic model so that it is ecologically sustainable and built on social justice; we must strive to not take more from our Earth than it can give and we must treat all beings fairly and with respect.

Individual action is important, but I think that it is only through collective actions that we can make real change happen. We need to organise and push for legislation in order to make fundamental changes in industry and consumer practices.”

The fight against climate change and people taking on sustainable living concepts are finally building in popularity. I ask Nataly what she thinks has changed within society in the past seven years from the time when she felt these subjects were rarely on the agenda,

“I think a large part of it is started due to the emergence of more sustainable companies, and in turn, more celebrities showing interest. The more companies were involved, the more celebrities wanted to talk about it through promotion. And then with Greta Thunberg, everything blew up, people took notice. But I would honestly say it started with more ethical and sustainable brands. They made sustainability trendy… people began to think ‘it’s more relatable to my life so I can also care about these things’.”

The media and social influencers continue to have an impact on how climate change is perceived. I ask Nataly what she believes is the best method in delivering the message about the climate emergency to attract more people to take action,

“I am attempting to talk about things in an approachable way. I don't think bombarding people with information is a good idea. Instead, I try to give people the information and tools they need to make sustainable decisions and then it is up to them what they do with it. I think it's important to reach out to people in an approachable way, so they don't feel like they're under attack.”

Nataly explains the driving force behind her work and shares with us her deepest fears which influence her on-going activism on a daily basis,

“I'm honestly terrified of leaving a ruined planet behind for my children and their children - and even worse that it will be out of my hands. Climate anxiety is very real and many people who I know have felt it too. It is scary to know that while many of us have good intentions and push for positive change, our lives still rest in the hands of big corporations and politicians who refuse to fully acknowledge the damage that is being done to our world… I have to take a step back now and again from engaging in climate awareness on social media or reading about the climate crisis on the news. It can get very overwhelming, so I take a moment to remind myself that I as an individual person can't control the actions of others, but I can continue raising my voice about these issues in the hope that more people listen and push for change too.”

We end the interview with Nataly offering her advice to anyone wanting to make environmentally sound changes,

“Don’t be scared to make changes in your life. It can be daunting, but if you take things at your own pace, you will see that making those changes is not as hard as you may think. It's going to make you feel uneasy, but we have to do it, we have no other choice. I suggest getting involved in causes that you care about, and it will likely lead you to other causes that you will also care about.”

Nataly’s story reminds me that one single moment can lead to a decision to change your life’s course forever. As individuals and as nations, we are forever learning and evolving - the things that may have felt right yesterday, may no longer feel okay today. We hope that today is the day you decide to own sustainable products that make you feel good on the inside and out.


︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎Don't be afraid to make change in your life.

︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎Read eco-blogs and follow eco-focused Instagram accounts as a source of quick and easy to digest information. 

︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎Share knowledge with others. It's a way we can turn individual change into collective change.


︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎ Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, by Michael Braungart


︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎ Slave to Fashion, by Safia Minnie


︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎ Six Weeks to Zero Waste, by Kate Arnell


︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎ Before the Flood, National Geographic


︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎The True Cost (documentary)


︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎Kiss The Ground (a movement of regenerative agriculture)


London 2020