Sustainability Influencers Everyone Should Follow

Written by Lily Rogers

If you're getting a bit stir crazy and need some entertaining content and new projects, you're not alone. Why not pair our need for new activities with living more sustainably—starting at home? Turns out, the internet is abuzz with people wondering how to reduce waste, repurpose what they have, and get creative in the meantime. We've found some unique trailblazers who are showing us how.

From simple home organization tips to teaching you how to repurpose items you own, these influencers can teach you how to make the most of your time at home, and offer some much-needed distraction, too. Let them show you how to celebrate what you have, ditch the fast consumer mindset, and help take care of the world we live in together.

1. Paper & Stitch (Brittni Mehlhoff)

With a bright, organic-modern take on all things lifestyle, Brittni Mehlhoff (aka Paper & Stitch) uses upcycling ideas and DIY to reimagine everyday household objects. Her site and Instagram give practical tutorials on everything from how to dye clothes naturally to whole-room makeovers using self-created art and DIY and thrifted decor. If anything, come for the eye candy—her visuals are a real treat. (What else would you expect from a former art teacher?)

2. The Girl Gone Green (Manuela Baron)

Manuela Baron's Instagram description says it all: "I make Art out of Trash"—and does she ever. Her site and feed are thriving with green living, beauty, and second-hand fashion content. Follow her eco-travel adventures, be inspired by videos like "Zero Waste on a Budget," and learn how to build your own sustainably timeless capsule wardrobe. She takes you along her path to conscientious living, offering up thoughtful insights along the way. She's also hosting virtual hangouts, where you can see her create in real time.

3. The Discerning Brute

This lifestyle site features "discerning brutes" of the vegan sustainable fashion community. The founder, Joshua Katcher, launched an ethically made menswear line in 2010, and published "Fashion Animals" in 2018, a book that explores the impacts of the fashion industry on animals. The site aims to bring conversations surrounding ethical fashion and lifestyle into the mainstream, and it does so through the lens of fashion, food, culture, and vegan, sustainable brands. He also posts delicious-looking vegan recipes on his site that are perfect for aspiring vegan home cooks.

4. Flaunt Your Fancy (Sabrina Ramkhelawan)

Manhattan-based sustainable fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blogger Sabrina, of Flaunt Your Fancy, expresses her values through her wardrobe. Whether spotlighting sustainable brands, shopping her own closet, or writing about the ups and downs of opting into upcycled fashions, she offers excellent and honest insight into the possibilities (and sometimes pitfalls) of ethical style.

Sabrina says: "Zero waste does not reasonably work for everyone. Nor does it have to. The key to living a more sustainable lifestyle starts with reframing our beliefs and reevaluating what is important to us. Just be more conscious of what you buy, how much you buy, and how much you throw away. Cut back where you reasonably can and don’t feel bad if there’s something that doesn’t work for your lifestyle."

5. Old World New (Addie Fisher)

Addie Fisher of Old World New exudes an infectious energy that makes you want to pay attention. And pay attention you should, because her message is a worthy one: Everything can be done sustainably. Her lifestyle tips come with a strong creative edge, always with a mindful eye on her principles. From paper-free kitchens to thrifting tips to diversity in sustainability, her topics are well-rounded, fresh, and creative. Her sustainable living monthly guide is a work in progress, and one to keep an eye on. Her quarantine posts are a shot of positive energy, and she takes part in virtual happy hours with other sustainable influencers that anyone can join.

Addie says: "When you want to start living more sustainably, but don’t know how or where to begin, take notice of what you do in your everyday life. You don’t have to uproot your entire life as you’re used to it to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. You also can’t buy your way into being sustainable, either. It takes a mindset shift that occurs when you educate yourself on sustainability, and you can definitely do this!"

6. Zero Waste Home (Bea Johnson)

As the "mother of the zero waste lifestyle movement," Bea Johnson turned a blog into so much more with her educational content. Her brand continues to expand beyond the home to include talks around the world, bulk shop locators, zero-waste travel guides, and a book translated in 25+ languages. Her success is certainly an indicator of the thirst for information on sustainability, and her corner of the market is alive and thriving.

7. Terumi Murao

Terumi Murao stands out for her innovative styling and adventure-seeking Instagram feed. This sustainability activist and stylist straddles the boundary between fashion and nature seamlessly. She creates sustainable looks that pull inspiration from the patterns, colors, and movements of natural surroundings, projecting a fresh fierceness equally at place at a fashion shoot or on the street. A leader in second-hand styling, she's moving the needle forward when it comes to how stylists can think more sustainably. Also, her thoughtful Instagram posts are a nice boost during tough times.

Terumi says: "I have been passionate about fashion since childhood, but the severe lack of regard for environmental and social sustainability kept me from working in the industry for a long time. Since I style with vintage and secondhand clothing, I end up purchasing pieces that are ‘Made to Keep', that are constructed sturdily and that I can use for many shoots over the years.

Think of each purchase as an investment, because ultimately, buying things that last a long time (and can be repaired and maintained) is the most sustainable way to shop!"

8. Clothed in Abundance (Deborah Shepherd)

Shepherd is a minimalist in everything but job titles. This multi-hyphenate entrepreneur is a YouTuber, speaker, writer, and podcaster. She covers topics on minimalism, sustainable fashion, mental health, money, and more. Her messages are geared toward self-care through seeking abundance in spiritual rather than physical things. Inspiring, stylish, educational, and just plain cool, her various digital content outlets are well worth a follow.

9. The Sorry Girls (Kelsey MacDermaid, Becky Wright)

The Sorry Girls have nothing to apologize for when it comes to offering helpful and digestible content. These Canadian creators take you through all things DIY, thrifting, and upcycling trends, to super creative results. Learn how to copy projects like upcycling a vintage shuffleboard or making DIY reusable mop pads. The college friends have garnered quite a following with their unique takes on sustainable design and fashion, and their skills are impressive. They also have some mean home organization chops and give tutorials on things like how to hang a gallery wall. A perfect self-isolation project!

10. Conscious n Chic (Kathleen Elie)

Kathleen Elie (aka Conscious n Chic) is an ethical fashion curator, reviewer, YouTuber, and influencer who provides advice and resources through her various media. She focuses on consumerism, women's issues, food and health, and fashion under the umbrella of social responsibility and ethical living. From mouthwatering vegan recipes to non-toxic beauty guides to inspirational reading lists, Elie's advice is versatile and will help you live a more mindful life. She also gives great quarantine coping advice on her Instagram.

11. Wasteland Rebel (Shia Su)

This zero-waste blogger rallies for many causes that contribute to her vegan, palm oil and plastic-free, minimalist lifestyle. Based in Germany, Shia Su embraces tiny living, public transportation, bulk food shopping, and challenging systems that encourage consumerism and waste. Her site will guide you to zero-waste alternatives, with resource lists and how-to posts. Learn how to wash your hair with rye flour or make your own laundry detergent—she highlights many surprising ways to do your planet-saving part.

12. Michelle for Good (Michelle Chavez)

Conscious lifestyle blogger advocating for ethical fashion, Michelle Chavez aims to use products that do not harm the environment or people. As part of the conscious capitalism movement, she uses her voice as a resource for others looking for a cleaner, more ethical way of life. She covers topics such as brands that fight human trafficking, and is co-founder of the Tote Project, which empowers survivors through education, mentorships, and job training. She's also part of Dressember, a community of advocates against human trafficking.

13. Sustainable Daisy (Karen Housel)

Run by environmental specialist Karen Housel, Sustainable Daisy is a website promoting mindful shopping and sustainability. Housel's thrifting prowess aligns with her belief that things don't lose their value just because they change owners. Sustainable Daisy works under the philosophy that small changes can have big impacts on fighting injustice and protecting life. Follow along for things like eco-friendly advice for beginners, expert thrift shopping tips, and natural beauty and skincare. Fashionable and fun, this is one of the best repurposing blogs for fashion.

14. Sierra Camelia

Covering health, wellness, and intentional living with a focus on DIY, Sierra Camelia knows sustainability like the back of her (toxin-free) hand. Her site is rich with advice on balancing holistic health and nutrition with minimalism. She'll teach you zero-waste traveling tips, guide you toward sustainable goods, and share easy vegan recipes with honesty and personality. Her Instagram feed is inviting and well-curated, and when you visit her site, you feel like you've made a friend.

15. HomeMade Modern (Ben Uyeda)

If you're looking for ways to furnish your home with items that will last, HomeMade Modern is your place. Created by Ben Uyeda, this site features DIY projects and furnishings. The site deemphasizes mass-produced home goods, focusing on heirloom-quality pieces that are made to keep. With the use of videos, HomeMade Modern provides useful tutorials to help you create your own lasting keepsakes. Uyeda and his team have created one of the most useful upcycling furniture blogs out there, and it's a great resource for home improvement projects.

16. Annika Victoria

This sewing enthusiast offers a new spin on sustainable fashion, recreating fast fashion trends with thrift store finds. Her educational videos teach you how to use recycling, upcycling, and socially responsible practices to produce fun, modern, and on-trend clothes. Her experience with chronic illness adds to her unique point of view, and she credits it for shaping her optimistic outlook. Inspiring, creative, and socially conscious, Annika Victoria is a force to follow. Also, her #GetDressedUpInIsolation posts are an inspiration to shop your closet and try out new looks during quarantine and beyond.

17. Heal Your Living (Youheum Son)

Youheum Son is a minimalist life coach who practices extreme minimalism and natural living. Despite embracing a sparser, no-furniture and clutter-free lifestyle, her images certainly aren't lacking—she has a knack for making minimalism beautiful. Her mindfulness, sustainability, veganism, and zero-waste life advice feels authentic because it's so personal. She offers insights by telling her own story, from wins and losses to things she's learned along the way. If you get excited by clean lines, muted color palettes, and healthy living, look no further than Heal Your Living.

Whether you're looking for creative ways to stay active during quarantine or you want to make sustainable lifestyle changes, these are the best influencers to get you started on your journey. You'll be reaping the benefits of upcycling, reimagining the value of what you already own, and gaining new skills in no time.

About the author

Lily Rogers

Lily is a writer, editor, and content strategist. Her curiosity spans genre, from travel to pop culture to food, and she writes about all that and more. She's also a social introvert, literature nerd, and (slight) hoarder. When not in pursuit of her next adventure, she's most likely at home with her wife and two cats.

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