This week's feature is on Cali girl Hayley Friedman! We originally connected with Hayley over Instagram a few weeks ago about working together and quickly learned that Hayley's passions and talent make her a leading lady we had to share!
Scroll down for the full feature and check out Hayley's styled look in our favourite Putri kimono.
Hayley, tell us a little bit about yourself!
Born and raised in Los Angeles! Currently living in LA but working in the next county over (Ventura County). My current college situation is a zoo, literally! I'm a part of a very specific two-year long career program called EATM (Exotic Animal Training and Management). At America's Teaching Zoo I can work with animals as small as a hedgehog, or as large as an African lion! Each semester I get to work with a different set of animals and I learn so much from them.
What’s a typical day like for you at the EATM?
At EATM my day starts at 5 am when I wake up, I start my work in the kitchen at 6:30 am making food for the animals in the zoo, then once I'm done I'll feed my animals then head to a lab or lecture class on Animal Training, Wildlife Education, Wildlife Conservation, or even Animal Nutrition. The rest of the day consists of spending time with my animals, making new toys for them, building my relationship with them, and cleaning up after them! On the weekends, my animals get brought out in presentations for guests who visit the zoo and I get to educate the crowd about how each animal is important and what we can do as humans to protect them.
Which animals do you enjoy working most with and why?
Each animal presents a unique set of traits that make it interesting so it's really hard to choose just one! The animals I currently work with are a spider monkey, a yellow headed amazon parrot, a raven, and a pot belly pig! Each one of them is so special to me and I'm really grateful to know each of those animals.
You’re obviously passionate about wildlife conservation - why do you think it’s important to educate people on the issue?
There are so many issues facing animals that we are able to change. Sometimes people just don't know the affect we have on wildlife, and all it takes is educating someone to potentially make that difference. Small things people do every day can shape the environment in good and bad ways; picking up stray trash, switching to a reusable water bottle, not using plastic straws, reducing water usage, abstaining from purchasing palm oil products, adopting an animal from a shelter, and not supporting the fur industry.
Is there a specific environmental initiative you feel strongly about sharing with our readers?
A lot of the animals I work with come from the illegal exotic pet trade. I feel as though this is an issue that people overlook when it comes to devastating natural wildlife. In the illegal pet trade animals are taken from the wild and species that were once abundant are disappearing. This absence of animals in their local ecosystems does not go unnoticed as nature falls out of balance without them. Not to mention a lot of exotic animals do not make suitable pets for most people (exotic parrots are a great example). I advocate strongly for adopting from local animal shelters and doing extensive research before considering bringing an exotic pet into someone’s home.
Outside of your work with animals, you also model! Tell us a little bit about how you got started and the type of modelling work you do.
I started modelling for American Apparel when I was 17 and after that, I began expanding my work to all sorts of different jobs including music videos, catalogues, portfolios, and makeup.
What is your favourite thing about modelling?
I love perusing a vision of art that me and a photographer work towards. My favorite part of modelling is when I get to collaborate with a photographer and get a beautiful shot that delivers more than just "looking pretty". I love working with photographers who have become close friends of mine because there's no formality when it comes down to portraying the work we want to show. I feel most honest when I work that way and that’s when I believe I have taken my favorite modelling shots.
Have you ever done any shoots where animals are involved?
Sadly no! One day I hope I can!
How important is sustainability to you in terms of the impact the fashion industry has on the world?
I'll be super honest sometimes the items I wear aren't sustainable because I don't always know where I can find them! The fashion industry really should be more upfront with the effect it has on the planet and I think people will be able to make better choices pertaining to their purchases, for the most part, they're like me; they had no clue until now (thank you TAMGA)! This is why education on production is important.
Do you have any tips for our readers on how to shop so that their values align with the purchases?
Sometimes it just takes an extra minute to research alternatives to everyday products that people use, but it's worth knowing. I have apps on my phone that help me determine which seafood is sustainable (the seafood watch app) and there are other apps that tell you if a food has palm oil in it by just scanning the food item! I also suggest investing in cute reusable tote bags for grocery shopping to cut plastic waste, and who doesn't love a day at the beach! You can walk with your friends and pick up little pieces of trash; save the environment and catch up with your buddies!
What’s your favourite TAMGA piece and why?
The Putri kimono just grabbed my eye right away and I am a sucker for anything blue like the ocean! Not to mention the fabric is so soft and I can wear it with my go-to outfit; jeans and a tank top!
Big thanks to Hayley for the fun feature! Be sure to check back soon and meet TAMGA's next leading lady.
TAMGA Babe: Hayley Friedman
Photography by: Hannah Lee Davis
GET HAYLEY'S LOOK!