Alyssa Hardy, Senior Fashion Editor at COOLS - Alyssa Hardy is the Senior Fashion Editor at COOLS. She was previously the Fashion News Editor for Teen Vogue and responsible for the site’s coverage of everything from the politics of fashion to celebrity style. Before Teen Vogue, Alyssa contributed to NYLON, Ladygunn Magazine, M2M, Allure and more. As a vegan for over a decade, Alyssa has committed both her lifestyle and her work to sustainability and ethical consumption. She is passionate about telling the stories of people who are working to make a difference in the fashion industry, and those who it impacts.
Why is it important to celebrate Earth Day every day?
"The choices we make have consequences and they are killing the earth and impacting people’s lives. Conscious consumption every day of the year is crucial to trying to slow down the damage and start to change the future. Sustainability is not easy — it can be expensive, time consuming and overwhelming — but making small daily changes are so important. We also need to educate each other on how to make these changes happen without judging or preaching."
What steps do you take to maintain a sustainable lifestyle?
"I’ve been vegan for over a decade. At first that didn’t start as an ethical or sustainable choice, it was more about health. But as I learned more, I started integrating the principles of ethical veganism into how I live. I am always conscious about where my food comes from and want to understand the impact of my choices. In fashion it’s a little harder to practice sustainability and be a conscious consumer but its something I have worked hard toward. For a long time the information wasn’t as readily available. Outside of trying to tell the stories of people who work in the garment industry or that are fighting to change it, I’ve reduced my consumption significantly. I buy vintage or if i want to wear a new style or trend I look for designers using sustainable textiles and who are using factories with fair wages, and working conditions."
How does sustainability impact the way you shop?
"I am so conscious of how much plastic waste we have in the world. From the grocery store putting every piece of produce in a plastic bag, to take out containers to packaging that comes with an online order, everything seems to be contributing to this huge problem. I’m not perfect by any means, and there is a lot of privilege that goes into being able to make sustainable choices, but resusable bags and containers are an easy way to make an impact. And again with fashion, its not taking the plastic bag, reducing how much I shop and not supporting brands that are contributing to the unsustainable state of the industry."