BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 17 Apr '18

WEN interviews Nat van Zee for a series celebrating ambitious female leaders in the green industry

Women need to be awarded the recognition they deserve in order to change outdated perceptions in the energy sector and beyond. To this end, WEN has launched a ‘#WomenWeSalute2018’ series to celebrate the wonderfully inspirational women in the green industries.

Interviews so far include Ruth Rogers, founder of The Canvas Café community hub, Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party of England and Wales and food and farming expert Vicki Hird. All the women featured in the series are taking both their and future generations’ futures into their own hands, working with resilience and diligence to transform it for the better.

Women we salute

This week WEN has spoken to clean beauty consultant Nat van Zee, who is helping to drive the shift to a more conscious approach to beauty.

We all deserve the option to wear makeup that doesn’t expose us to harmful chemicals or have a negative impact on wildlife or the environment.

This year the call for cleaner beauty has become a mainstream demand; 385,000 people signed a petition that helped secure the ban on the manufacture of personal care products containing microbeads, which came into force in January.

Green beauty pioneer Weleda has made its mark in the natural cosmetics sector; its award-winning Beauty Balms and Tinted Lip Balms prove you can get a lasting look without using products that are harmful to people or planet. Weleda’s products are so effective they were used on models at London Fashion Week, where they withstood hours under the glare of flashing cameras.

From natural to bold statement looks, Dutch make up artist Nat van Zee has an intuitive flair for creating healthy, glowing skin with beautiful impact.

Passionate about holistic beauty, Nat sources the cleanest natural and organic brands and merges them with the latest fashion trends.

Having learnt from makeup industry leaders Pat McGrath, Val Garland and Dick Page during a decade of fashion shows in Paris, New York and London, she has since worked with the likes of Vogue, i-D, Style, Harpers Bazaar, Vivienne Westwood, Net-a-Porter, Nike and Selfridges. Cara and Poppy Delevingne, Karlie Kloss and Mark Ronson are just some of her celebrity clients.

Nat has been researching and testing natural and organic beauty brands from around the world since 2012. In 2017 she launched vanzeebeauty.com, showcasing the cleanest beauty must-haves with beauty tutorials and expert tips.

Click here to find out how – and why – to detox your beauty routine


WEN’s Nat van Zee interview

What do you envisage to be the biggest environmental challenge of 2018?

We need new materials that are a durable, affordable and stylish alternative for plastic makeup packaging. Sadly, current bioplastics have stability issues and only work with an in-house collection scheme, not typically within budget of niche ethical brands.

I’d love to know if consumers are committed to replace plastic with more sustainable packaging. Cardboard and wooden pencils are an affordable option but they do show wear and tear easily. Metal packaging is often a beautiful alternative at a higher cost. Bamboo is strong, ecological and has a very distinct ‘green’ look.

Most of the time these products still have components that are plastic-like inner tubes to keep the product formulation intact, so it is a compromise. I’d love to hear people’s thoughts!

What is your top piece of advice for young female entrepreneurs in the green industries?

Surround yourself by mentors who can guide you and help you to where you want to go. Create a vision board of what you want to achieve. Ask for help and partner with people who have that vital skill set that you don’t master. There will always be an endless list of things to do.

But remember to take time to nourish yourself with things that make your heart sing. Nobody will be served by you burning out. Life is short, be kind and enjoy all the beauty around you.

Finally, which woman, friend, family or famous, has inspired you most?

I am blessed to have many inspiring people around me who help me learn and grow. As a public figure I really like Arianna Huffington, especially in her message of her book Thrive, in which she eloquently describes the 12 steps required to achieve ‘a successful life’. They include compassion, volunteering, looking at our world in positive wonder and the importance of a weekly digital detox. I love her suggestion to live your life by how you want to be remembered when you die. I follow her on LinkedIn and love the heartfelt advice how to tackle the tribulations of our modern life.