By Tess Cimino and Abigail Carlson
SUSTAIN the Mag is taking the sustainable fashion world by storm. Reza Cristián founded SUSTAIN on the core principles of sustainability: buy less, shop consciously, and believe we can make a positive change in the future. Since launching last year, SUSTAIN has countless articles surrounding eco-conscious style, food, and wellness ideas with thousands of avid readers and followers. We talked with Reza about how SUSTAIN was founded and how to define sustainability for our generation.
RC- Reza Cristián
Why did you decide to start SUSTAIN?
RC: I originally started off as a fashion blogger, but being of Mexican and Iranian descent, I didn’t feel I was being represented. I had a love for fashion, but the more I was in that world, the more my background as a woman of color opened my eyes to its inadequacies. Added to the mix, I became increasingly appalled by what I was reading about the fashion industry being tainted with human trafficking. I had always loved thrifting, mostly because I didn’t come from a wealthy background. All in all though, my true sustainability efforts didn’t start until college. I met two incredible women who ushered me into this world. Part of my earlier hesitancy with sustainability was the belief it had to come with a price tag. I started SUSTAIN as a way to share information about the accessibility of sustainable living.
What does it mean being a social entrepreneur, a student, and an entrepreneur?
RC: Wow, where to start? I feel like I’m always trying to catch my breath. Thankfully I get to make my own schedule, which helps to navigate all three of these.
What do you look for in brands you buy from?
RC: I look for transparency in brands that are looking to make a difference in some of the areas I am passionate about. I love when a brand is transparent on their manufacturing and packaging because I feel that even if a brand isn’t 100% sustainable, they are at the very least transparent or give back by donating a percentage of their profits.
What do you wish people knew about sustainability?
RC: That sustainability isn’t expensive or unattainable, it’s sexy as hell. You don’t need a big budget to join this lifestyle, even just reading and not educating your friends/family is making a difference as well.
How did you decide to start SUSTAIN? Tell us a little bit about the magazine in general?
RC: As soon as I started writing in fashion, I knew my end goal was to become an editor-in-chief of a fashion magazine. I remember asking myself why I needed to wait. When I realized nothing like Sustain was out there already, I decided to go for it!
What are your hopes for the future of SUSTAIN?
RC: I hope SUSTAIN is a platform for all who can use their voice to show their own sustainable lifestyle and to possibly see it in print (eco-friendly of course).
What is your favorite pump up motivation song?
RC: Currently it is “Hot Girl Summer,” by Megan Thee Stallion