Irene Kim Fritz has had many incarnations. From living in the shimmering deserts of the Persian Gulf to the frozen heartland of Canada; from being a lawyer to the Co-founder of The Genteel magazine to her current role, partner (with MT Meikle) in the style consultancy La Closette, this super-stylist has led a very interesting life, with many more surprises surely to come.
Here, Irene shares a few of her views on living stylishly green.
What is the earliest memory you have of being in nature?
I spent the first five years of my life switching between two polar opposite cities: Manama, Bahrain and Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. In the former, it was so hot, so the swimming pool at the Sheraton was the best thing ever! In the latter, we spent a lot of time playing, eating and sleeping in my grandparents’ backyard. It was a large backyard and my grandfather spent hours every day cultivating every nook and cranny of it. I have a lot of wonderful memories of it.
Which natural features of your home town do you most miss?
I consider my hometown to be Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, where I spent most of my formative years. Even though it’s Canada’s sixth largest city, it has so many parks and trails, especially around the Credit River and along Lake Ontario. I spent a lot of time as kid riding my bike and playing around.
What’s your favourite animal and why?
Well, anyone who knows me these days might think I’m Married Cat Lady, but really, I love all animals. I didn’t have pets growing up because my dad and brother were allergic, but in the last five years or so, I’ve realized how much I love animals. Had I known this earlier in my life, maybe I would have picked a career that was animal related! My husband and I are sponsoring at two-toed sloth at the Toronto Zoo and we volunteer feeding feral cat colonies in Toronto.
What are your favourite ‘green’ beauty, fashion or household brands?
I’m attached to the hip with my Nella Bella Filix vegan leather bag. The brand uses animal-friendly materials that feel so soft and buttery! It’s the perfect taupe colour and so practical. I can fit a laptop, my Dayrunner and iPad in it and it doesn’t look bulky. I also can’t stop eating Solar Raw Kale Chips! Using solar energy, the company grows its own organic kale on its family farm in Canada. The hemp cream & chive flavour is insanely good.
What’s the most positive thing you do for the planet?
Every day, I try to remember that I’m just a guest on Earth. In that way, I try to be conscious of the planet that I’m leaving for the next generations
What’s your greatest eco ‘sin’?
You know when you go hiking or camping and there are signs around that say, “Leave No Trace”? It’s impossible to not notice the “trace” we leave in the way we live now.
How would you like to change your work to be more eco-friendly?
As a stylist, my job is to help men and women look great, feel great and ultimately do great. But, sometimes people think that means they need to buy a bunch of new clothes or products which is absolutely not true. In fact, I always advocate a lean, thoughtful wardrobe – with pieces that can be used and re-used for years to come.
Which eco-issues are most important to you?
Every action by every person helps, but I’m interested in the solutions that can be adopted by society as a whole to live in a sustainable manner.
What should governments be doing to ensure the future of the planet?
The biggest global issue right now is global warming. Businesses and consumers are slowly moving away from a 20th century paradigm that assumed unlimited resources and promoted excess consumption, but we’re dangerously close to possible catastrophic changes to our ecosystem. Anything the government can do to promote, implement and compel businesses and consumers to reduce their global carbon footprint is vital.
For more information about Irene and her styling services, please click here.