This Mother's Day we have a very special Leading Ladies feature! Meet Charlotte - yogi, actress, writer, model, and mother to Liam. We spent the afternoon with Charlotte and Liam taking some snaps in TAMGA at Crown Flora in Toronto, and chatting about motherhood, her career and passion for sustainability and wellness. Scroll down for the full feature and gorgeous photos of Charlotte in TAMGA with her son Liam.
Charlotte, tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am a multi-hyphenate-and proud of it! I used to think I had to figure out one career path, but I've grown to realize that being passionate about several things is awesome! I love to create - whether that's through teaching yoga, writing, modeling, curating my retreats or conceptualizing photoshoots - the wheels are always turning! My inspiration is my son - he motivates me to create the best life I can for us.
How did you get into modeling and acting?
I always wanted to model & act - I had magazine ads plastered over my walls when I was growing up - guess girls, Nike women, Naomi, Christie, Linda, Amber - anything iconic from the 90’s was there! I placed as a finalist in a modeling contest when I was 14 but my parents wanted me to go to school - so I got a degree from Queen’s, shaved my head, drove to Toronto and started modeling!
How did you become interested in sustainable fashion and why do you think that it is important?
I started getting interested in sustainable fashion about 6 or 7 years ago - the factory collapse was a pivotal moment for me, and at the same time I was meeting inspiring women in the industry and discovering brands like Reformation that were doing amazing things without destroying the planet. As a mom it’s such a huge priority to do something about the damage we are doing to the earth - I feel it’s my responsibility - our responsibility - I want my son to play in the ocean, enjoy forests and fields and nature un-destroyed. Supporting sustainable fashion has an impact - I feel drawn to spread the word about brands like yourself going to so much extra effort to value & respect the planet’s resources.
Being a mother, how do you teach and discuss sustainability with your son?
Sustainability is part of what we do, it’s how we live. It’s just like being polite, or friendly. We hold doors open for people, we say good morning in the elevator, and at the coffee shop we ask for glass instead of plastic. Right now we are watching Blue Planet and the Planet Earth series. We are both fascinated and inspired - my son joined the Eco club at school - he is so driven it’s sweet - he will walk around with a banana peel on set asking for the compost bin.
What do you think is important when raising the future generation?
Teaching them to respect and connect with nature and the earth. Having a garden - letting them pot and grow plants - seeing them flower & bloom. Explaining how recycling-reusing works - how composting works. Helping them to be mindful - meditate - focus on gratitude.
What inspired you to start your blog and retreats Raw + Basic?
I was inspired to start my blog through everyone I was meeting in the green beauty and sustainable fashion industries - I couldn’t include them all in my assignments for other outlets and I wanted to be able to write about everyone! My retreats were both a natural progression and a sudden epiphany. I was watching everyone struggle with all-consuming stress, and I realized I could replicate the international yoga retreats that I had hosted in places like Nicaragua & Mexico right here in Toronto. I wanted to connect all the amazing brands with people inspired to learn - to create community, to hold space.
What is your favourite topic to write about?
That is a tough one - I love it all - green beauty is a passion, but so is sustainable style - I love designers and brands who are taking so many extra steps, not only to create a beautiful, top quality product, but who also care about the planet and their workers, and their customers.
What can someone expect when attending one of the monthly retreats?
My retreats all follow the same format - an intro, a nourishing yoga & meditation session, a plant-based snack, two mini-workshops featuring wellness/green beauty hosts, intention setting and an awesome goodie bag!
As a mother, what are your top 3 tips to leading a conscious life and/or incorporating sustainability into a daily routine?
Do what works for you - every little bit helps - switching to metal straws was a big one for us - now it’s part of our regular routine and my son will grow up knowing it as the norm.
You have a strong presence on social media, how have you seen the sustainability community grow over the past couple of years?
I love social media for the way it connects people across the globe with common interests. I’ve chatted with likeminded individuals in Australia & Asia as easily as if they were neighborhood friends! The community has grown a lot since I first started writing - people are not afraid to have an opinion - a passion - and there are so many amazing accounts offering inspo & advice!
You share a lot of great info on quick, simple beauty tips! What are your top 3 tips for the woman that’s always on-the-go?
Cleanse your skin properly - never go to bed with your makeup on! Use all natural beauty products - I love a good serum morning & night, and I look forward to the ritual of applying it. Multi-purpose products are also my go-to; balms for lips, cuticles, elbows - you name it! And a good cheek/lip tint!
You share some great vegan recipes on your blog, what are your favourite nourishing snacks?
We love snack platters in our house - hummus, crackers, veggies, berries, apple slices, nuts, seaweed - the more the merrier! I like to start the day with a superfood smoothie to make sure my body and brain are nourished!
Living in Toronto you have access to so many great restaurants and activities! What would an ideal day out look like for you with your son?
Sleep in and cuddle! Read in bed for a bit - vegan bulletproof coffee for me, golden milk for him! Morning yoga, brunch and some kind of an adventure - a walk in the park - a drive in the country or maybe a music festival!
Do you have any exciting plans for 2019?
Yes - lot’s more of EVERYTHING! You’ll have to stay tuned :)
What’s your favourite TAMGA piece and why?
I LOVE all of the pieces - it’s so hard to pick one, but I think I would have to say the romper because it’s everything all rolled into one; elegant, sexy, practical - I want to feel good but be able to run an play with my son - the romper allows me to do that and then throw on a pair of heels and wear it out to dinner.