American actress and model Marisa Quinn, who rose to fame for starring as character Huilen in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 recently got on board as a designer with the environmentally friendly fashion label EcoCouture which focuses on fair trade throughout their supply chain and work with fabrics that are kind to the environment.

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American actress and model Marisa Quinn, who rose to fame for starring as character Huilen in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 recently got on board as a designer with the environmentally friendly fashion label EcoCouture which focuses on fair trade throughout their supply chain and works with fabrics that are kind to the environment. Urban Times had the pleasure to interview Marisa.

Global citizen Marisa Quinn. Image: www.marisaq.com

When did you become interested in eco-conscious fashion?

The last few years have been a period of tremendous personal growth for me. Through my work in yoga and spiritual development I became much more aware of the impact we have on each other as humans, and the beautiful planet we share. Through this awareness I have become much more of a “Global Citizen”, and realize that since the choices I make as an individual impact not only the present world around me but the future of humanity as well… I better start making those choices wisely!

How did your relationship with EcoCouture come about?

Serendipity. It seems that as soon as I began to take action in committing my life to something bigger than myself, the universe brought forth opportunities to make that dream take shape. After connecting with me through social media and a mutual friend, EcoCouture approached me with the idea of collaborating on a collection inspired by my Bohemian style and sensibilities. I immediately thought “Fashion + Social Responsibility? You’re talking two of my greatest passions, I’m in!”

How does EcoCouture add flavour to the current sustainable fashion industry?

Color!! As well as EcoCouture’s accessibility to the mainstream market – including designs that the everyday woman can wear EVERY DAY! And that includes to work – which hasn’t been a major focus for most of the eco-fashion world. I’m very proud to say that we are creating designs for the everyday woman who wants to feel good about looking good – at work, at home, and at play!

What do you think your status as an actress can do for sustainable fashion?

I am inspired by women like Summer Rayne, Gwyneth Paltrow, & Stella McCartney – whose fame has been used for such incredible purpose in making our earth a better place. The choices they make inspire the world that is watching, and that is a very beautiful thing. I too hope to inspire my fans and change the world by living a life of sustainable responsibility and boundless creativity.

Looking good at home in a bamboo viscose dress from EcoCouture’s spring collection. Photography: Steve Ledell. Hair and make up: Delonzo.

Do you think sustainable fashion is ready for the red carpet and would you wear any to a glamorous event?

Absolutely! I recently wore an EcoCouture bamboo cotton dress to the very exclusive “Hamilton Behind The Camera Awards“. It’s a really fantastic example of how versatile the EcoCouture line is – because that same dress could easily be worn with a blazer to work, but all I had to do was throw on a great belt, some killer pumps, and some sparkly jewels to make it red carpet ready!

What measures do you undertake in your daily life to be more sustainable?

My favorite action toward more sustainable living is shopping local. Small businesses, farmer’s markets, and local artisans are my source for almost everything – and it feels so good to buy from someone when you know you are supporting your local economy. Recycling, driving a small fuel efficient vehicle, plugging appliances into a power strip I turn off at night, & growing my own herb garden are just a few other ways I’ve moved toward a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

What top 3 fashion tips would you give to Urban Times’ audience?   

My top fashion tips are as follows:

1. When making a fashion choice – dress for yourself! Instead of dressing for a man or to impress your friends – dress to express the inner you, and use fashion as a source of creativity that will enrich your daily life.

2. Embrace COLOR! Take risks with brights and even neons if you dare – you can literally bring sunshine to a cloudy day by simply wearing a fun chartreuse sweater! (Case in point, my favorite winter coat is a deep yellow color, and I get smiles everywhere I go!)

3. My biggest fashion tip is to think twice before making any purchase.  Ask yourself, “Where did this come from? How was this made? How did it get here?” Fast Fashion companies like H&M and Forever 21 may offer incredible discounts…but remember, that discount comes at a price – and our planet and future generations are the ones who will have to pay. So consider putting down that synthetic fiber dress most probably made in questionable ethical conditions on the other side of the world and log on to sustainable fashion shops like ecocoshop.com or etsy.com, or stop by your local arts market to buy something that not only looks good – but feels good to buy as well.

Marisa will launch her own collection for EcoCouture in Spring 2013.

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