Nike’s Heroes in Sustainability: Meet Penny (@pennybelle)

Nike’s Move to Zero has kicked off and we’ve been teaming up with a number of Heroes in Sustainability. Over the past few weeks, we’ve had the low down on Michael, Victoria and Widya. This time, we’re talking sustainability with Penny (@pennybelle)!

Penny is a mental health advocate, blogger and speaker, as well as a wellness coach AND also the founder of Pennybelle Creations, where she strives to encourage people through art, hand-made uplifting gifts and natural, personal care products. Let’s find out more…

How do you aim to live a more sustainable life, what changes are you making?

There are so many ways you can live a more conscious, sustainable life! My favourite is using charity shops, which has become an actual hobby of mine. I would find the most amazing and unique items and turn them into something new, which left me feeling like an absolute artistic genius at times! Painting a wooden bar stool and turning it into a plant stand was one of my greatest achievements.

What tips would you give to your followers to work towards a sustainable lifestyle?

Recycling is a good start, and so is drinking tap water instead of buying bottled water! Give stuff away that you no longer use, recycle your actual belongings and clothes. A wise man once told me that ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ lol.

Thinking about what you think is another great way to be more present and live more consciously. One you’re ‘living your best life’, you can start sharing what you have learnt, and then everyone around you benefits too. A beautiful domino effect that can save generations.

Who/what would you encourage your followers to research into if they are looking to lead a more sustainable lifestyle?

If you need any extra guidance on how to live a more mindful and sustainable life, there’s so much help at hand and so many innovative organisations and brands doing their best to spread the word! I am going to be launching my podcast soon, which has loads of interviews with farmers, doctors and other amazing people. Also, ‘Sustainably Influenced’ is a great podcast and Instagram page run by 2 amazing women, Charlotte and Bianca!

Tell us about your brand, Pennybelle Creations and what advice would you give to others looking to create something sustainable?

When I created my skin and hair balms, I didn’t realise I was creating a sustainable product to add to a sustainable brand. I already made uplifting cards, affirmation jars, framed quotes and stickers to help support people struggling with mental health symptoms, but with the balms – Pennybelle Creations was born. If I was to advise someone on how to create a deliberately sustainable product, based on my own experience and opinion, I would just say that as long as you are meeting a genuine need, caring for the buyer, using natural or recycled materials and offering opportunities to individuals and economies in need, you have most of the ingredients to begin right there.

Do you have any tips for followers who want to become more sustainable with their fashion and lifestyle choices?

Do your research! Look up brands (big and small!) that use recycled materials. The new VaporMax 2020 by Nike is a great example because they’ve used recycled materials to make up at least 50% of the shoe! There’s loads if you look for it.

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