Forest Gump once said “Life is like a box of chocolates”, and we agree. But sometimes, instead of chocolates, life gives you a box filled with doubt, setbacks and unpredictability. Sure sucks to receive that one, huh? Even though everything would be better if it all went according to plan, it’s much better to stay aware that nothing can determine your path, sometimes not even you yourself. This is something that our latest Cool Face had to overcome, so read on as she lays it all out.
Rachael Noll is a sustainable fashion & lifestyle advocate, writer, and content creator located in Sydney and New York with work for top editorial companies such as Marie Claire, EcoCult, Cosmopolitan, and Women’s Health under her belt. In addition, she is currently Brand & PR Coordinator at Mara Hoffman. With her artistic eye for detail and eloquent way of expression, she is currently expanding her fashion industry experience and embarking on a path of a versatile work life as a freelance contributor and sustainability-focused content creation. We are extremely honored to have her join our Cool Faces of Bastet Noir Series, and if you’d like to know more about her inspiring story, keep reading.
Who is Rachael Noll?
Right now, I’m still working that out. Currently, I feel like I’m in the development stage. The circumstances of the past two years really forced me to shed layers off. Although I may not have appreciated it at the moment, I was taken back to square one which was truly quite daunting.
Currently, I would say Rachael is an observant person, she has learned to wait, take in, breathe then act. She is genuine, speaking her truth and entrusting her small group of friends/family with her most authentic self. Rachael is passionate, she gravitates towards what she believes in and stands firm in those beliefs. She is (learning to be) compassionate because sensitivity to emotions is a beautiful thing.
Finally, she also loves the fashion industry but understands its damage and wants to help bring about positive change towards environmental healing.
What’s your morning routine like?
Oh, I love this! I recently “upgraded” my morning routine since my work life has changed. I always, I’m not lying when I say always, start my morning with hot lemon water. This is something I do religiously before eating or drinking, it really assists my digestion & hydration.
Then I begin with a yoga session (Yoga by Adrienne on YouTube is the best!) and then meditate, for about 5 minutes I’m still new to it.
After, I get showered, dressed, make a smoothie, and prepare to leave for work. But just before I head out, I write down gratitudes and affirmations to get myself in a good headspace.
Your words can be read in leading editorial brands such as Marie Claire, and EcoCult, in addition to other projects as well. Lead us through your writing process, how does just a title/theme evolve into a full-blown article for a leading magazine?
Not to sound dramatic, but I begin by dwelling on the theme/subject of the article. I don’t begin writing straight away. I often take a walk and begin by imagining my piece. Jotting down key phrases, topics, and directions I could take. Dedicating time to brainstorming, brings clarity to my research and as a result, direction for my writing. This time also allows me to identify what knowledge and action steps I want to equip my readers with. My writing focuses tremendously on sustainability in fashion, so ensuring the piece is digestible and enlightening is key.
When I began working on my article No, Fashion Made in Los Angeles and America Isn’t Always Ethical. But It Could Be for EcoCult, I spent the first week watching YouTube videos, reading articles, interviews, and even scrolling through Instagram pages, to narrow down what I would choose to focus on. The unethical practices happening in LA are incredibly intricate, so time was needed to ensure that I could provide a piece that would educate and equip readers to take action.
You are an avid spokeswoman for sustainable fashion and sustainable living through your Instagram profile, in addition to your articles. Can you give our readers your take on sustainability, and where it’s best to start?
When you first begin to learn and understand humans’ effects on the planet & communities, it can feel incredibly overwhelming — as though the weight of the earth’s health and responsibility of lowering our CO2 emissions is on your shoulders.
But relax, it’s not, and first zoom in. What can you do within your everyday life that allows your life to be more eco-friendly?
Great ways to start include:
Buy second-hand clothes, whether at a thrift store, online buy/sell group, or flea market!
Choose to buy one good, long-lasting fashion piece then 5+ cheaper, trend-focused pieces (you’ll thank me in the long run).
Buy clothing made of natural fibers; cotton, linen, silk, wool, cashmere, etc.
Gradually eliminate single-use items; reusable water bottles, straws, cutlery, zip locks.
Composting food scraps (my favorite thing!)
Walking or using public transport (if in a metropolitan area)
Buying organic and/or locally grown produce
Watch documentaries/read books on the effects of the fashion industry on the environment and people. The True Cost Movie is one of the most well-known documentaries!
Once you feel confident in your understanding of the small things that can make a difference, zoom out and look into supporting local and global activations & organizations.
Always start small, continue to educate yourself & build out.
Things you wish you knew before starting?
When I first moved to New York from Sydney, I wish I understood that my path isn’t linear.
That sounds quite simple, but I put a lot of pressure on myself to maintain a seamless and linear career path. Particularly when I was focused on becoming a full-time fashion editor.
Originally, delays and gaps would leave me feeling stuck. But now I appreciate them so much more, as I’ve learned more about myself and my capabilities during those times.
The biggest setback in life and what you’ve learnt from it?
During the pandemic for financial reasons, I had to go back to my college waitressing job. At the moment, this felt like such a catastrophic setback as I was just beginning to pick up momentum in the fashion industry. It made me quite embarrassed when people would ask about my writing and (what appeared to be, thanks to social media) my super cool fashion editor job.
It made me truly appreciate the cards that I have been dealt in life, now that I’m back working in the fashion industry. I’m so privileged to be able to do what I’ve always dreamt of. Being required to work in (what felt like) a very unglamorous position whilst rebuilding my career in fashion, taught me the importance of advocating for myself and practicing patience as I build connections and wait for my time to come.
Books that changed your life
I think I would say I’ve read books that have enhanced my life more than changed. In the past year, I’ve been focusing on medically backed non-fiction books that can help me to understand myself more.
Right now I’m reading “Hold me Tight, Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love” by Dr. Sue Johnson, which has been amazing for understanding relationships from the perspective of a psychologist. I haven’t finished, but her understanding of research regarding emotional requirements has brought a lot of clarity to my own relational needs.
I also recently read “This Is Your Brain in Food” by Uma Naidoo, MD. That book was incredible for understanding how different foods affect our mental health and overall life.
Favorite female empowerment speech
This may not count, however recently I came across a post on Instagram (I can’t remember on whose account) of climate activist Lauren MacDonald, denouncing the actions of Shell’s CEO during a TED panel. She brought incredible passion, knowledge, and authority to the stage as she commanded the room and spoke on the behalf of many. The video brought me to tears — a young woman fiercely speaking the truth.
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