‘I have turned down work because the brand wasn’t eco-conscious,’ admits Roz Purcell
"I only want to work with people I can be proud of."
As one of Ireland’s biggest social influencers, promoting brands and products is Roz Purcell’s bread and butter.
But the former Miss Ireland says she’s turned down work with certain brands over their environmental impact.
“I’m always conscious when I get asked to do jobs,” she tells us.
“I’d rather work with fewer brands and work with ones I actually like.”
When she was a full-time model, she explained, she had to take gigs as they came but as she’s grown in success, she’s become fussy about what she will and won’t be associated with.
“Now I know that I only want to work with people I can be proud of.
“I have so many young people who follow me, I don’t want them to waste their money on something I wouldn’t even put my money towards myself.”
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In a saturated field, Roz (28) has carved a niche for herself.
Her personal brand of ‘green’ food, fashion and lifestyle content has earned her over a quarter of a million followers on Instagram.
She credits her upbringing on a farm in Tipperary for her respect for nature and aversion to waste.
It’s though this prism that she started to re-examine her relationship to clothes.
She’s become aware of how harmful certain buying habits are to the planet and is trying to be better, she says.
“In the past, fast fashion was a huge thing for me.
“With social media, [there's] the pressure of always having new things and also everyone loves a good bargain.
“It’s very hard to be perfect but I feel if you just try and be conscious of where your clothes are coming from and how they’re made it does make a difference.”
Vintage clothing now makes up a lot of her wardrobe, she says, but from time to time she’ll buy new pieces – with stipulations.
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“If I have something on like a big event, I might resort to buying something new but I’ll have a couple of questions I’ll ask myself like, what’s the cost-per-wear? How much use will I actually get out of it?”
With sustainability becoming such a talking point in beauty and fashion, does Roz think that other influencers should be following her lead and speaking out about it?
No - “It’s not for me to tell anyone else what to do!”
She does think that anyone who does start a conversation should educate themselves before speaking out.
“You need to make sure you know what you’re talking about because you will get questions and you have to be able to answer them.”
Roz is currently working with Repak on its Team Green initiative.
Team Green, powered by Repak, was founded to support Ireland in achieving its new recycling targets which have been set by the European Commission.
Ireland needs to increase its plastic recycling by almost double to achieve these new targets.
If everyone in Ireland recycled an extra two litre milk bottle a week, it would generate an additional 9,492 tonnes of plastic recycling, enough to fill almost a quarter of the Aviva Stadium.
To join Repak's Team Green, log on to repak.ie/teamgreen.
During May, Her will be doing some more #ConsciousBits.
Over the month, we'll be learning how to re-use more than we buy, examining the sheer amount of waste the planet produces, and considering the many, many benefits of sustainable fashion choices.
We'll also be chatting to some people who have made sustainability a priority, while setting ourselves a few environmentally conscious challenges along the way.
Change is daunting and we're not perfect, but we can always try to do our bit. Our conscious bit.
Want to get in touch? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org