Marta (@martacanga) is an award-winning Spanish vegan, cruelty-free and sustainable lifestyle blogger living in London. She began blogging about sustainability 4 years ago and has become a well-respected voice in her community. Her audience is interested in sustainable fashion, plant-based food, cruelty-free beauty and ethical living. She has worked with numerous brands such as Lush, Waitrose and The Body Shop, and is an ambassador for award-winning companies Votch and Minuit Sur Terre.
We asked Marta few questions about how she charted a career path with social media and what she’s learned about herself along the way.
How did you get into sustainable fashion?
It all started over 5 years ago, when I switched to a plant-based diet. I started looking into wearing strictly animal-free fabrics for a long time. Shortly after I looked into all the different fabrics to understand why some were better for the environment. I started noticing the whole ethical fashion scene, and things started to click. Why care about the animal fabrics but not the human lives behind the clothes? Since then, it’s been an absolute roller-coaster, with lots of learning (and unlearning!). But I’m so happy I now look at things with a more holistic and eco-friendly approach.
What is your goal and who is your audience?
My goal is to educate people about all the different aspects of sustainability, with a touch of fun to make it less doom and gloom. I find it more useful to give to my followers sustainable lifestyle tips, rather than bombard them with the bad state of the planet. Action always! My audience is mostly women (80%), aged 25-35 (mostly millennials), who are into eating a flexitarian diet (some of them are vegan, some of them are not), people who are eco-conscious, care about animal welfare, and are trying to do better in their every day lives.
What has been the biggest learning curve in your professional growth?
That I am more capable than I give myself credit for. For the longest time, my goal was to sign with talent agencies. I thought that it was a sign of “making it” as an influencer. I’ve been with two, and none of them worked out for me. Turns out I’m better on my own and most of the big achievements I have in my life came from my own hard work, time, dedication, and not giving up! So I’m definitely stronger and more resourceful than I thought, and that’s great!
What are the biggest misconceptions about what you do?
I could write a book about this! I guess the main one is that being an influencer isn’t a real job – that’s something I still deal with on a daily basis.
Another one is that we are shallow and show-off. Honestly, influencers are some of the most hard-working people I know! We have to manage multiple social media platforms, our emails/income, PR, events, and it’s a fine balance between work and our private life.
The last misconception is that our job is a hobby. The amount of brands that still want me to work for free or gift me things in exchange for coverage is outstanding. I see my platforms as a Google Advertising site; do you think Google would advertise brands for free? Probably not, so for me it’s the same. An uphill battle I suppose.
What’s a day in your life like?
I’m going to be realistic here – I don’t meditate, I don’t do gratefulness journals, and I don’t do yoga. I think people over-glamourise our online lives so I’ll be honest with you. I wake up at around 7:30 am every day, I do my skincare routine (very important to me!), and have breakfast with my husband. Sometimes I’ll workout in the morning, but most days I start work at around 9:30 am and I’m glued to my desk, doing research, replying to emails, closing deals, and contracts.
I have lunch at around 1 or 2 pm, and I always try and create content in the afternoon. Sometimes I leave the house for a walk or if I need to go to the post office, but sometimes I forget. I have a shower at around 7 pm after I finish work and dinner between 8 and 9 pm. And then all over again the next day!
Who inspires you?
A lot of people inspire me. Clothing-wise, Olivia Palermo is my ultimate fashion guru. My husband’s hard work ethic is exemplary to me. My family is all also very dedicated to their work but also we’re very close-knit, and I love that. Other people online that inspire me are Aja Barber and Earth By Helena (and so many more!).
Who is someone you want us to know?
Aja Barber. She’s great. She deserves all the recognition in so many ways!
One sustainable product you can’t live without?
I’m going to sound cliché here but my 24bottles 1L reusable water bottle is an absolute staple for me. I would literally feel awful if I had to buy a plastic bottle!
One eco-friendly habit you wish everyone practiced?
I think there is a lot of wishful thinking here, but I do wish people questioned their habits and thoughts more. It’s not so much about recycling this or that, swapping a toothbrush for a bamboo one. Of course I’m not saying that these things aren’t important, they are, but mass consumption is one of the reasons we’re in this mess of the climate crisis. A lot of it is due to colonialist thinking, accessibility, and privilege. So ultimately if we thought more carefully about our daily actions, I think life as we know it would be very different right now.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability is a lifestyle to me. Of course, it means not to take more than we need, being mindful of our consumption, thinking of future generations, the restoration of biodiversity… But I also think we would be in a much better position to tackle the climate crisis if we addressed how broken the system is by repairing colonialist wrongs, stepping away from fossil fuels, addressing systemic inequality, and making global warming an absolute priority in politics. Being sustainable as an individual is a great first step, but we really do need to make a big effort to combat this climate mess we’re in, for our own survival.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — In the Featured Photo: Marta Canga. Featured Photo Credit: Marta Canga