By Chere Di Boscio
Rami al Ali is a Syrian born, Dubai based couture designer who shows in Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week each year. Amongst his many lucky clients are members of the opulently wealthy royal families of the Middle East, as well as global celebrities and high-budget brides.
In this interview, Eluxe learned about his dirty habits, his elephant (mis) adventures, and his love of Natalie Portman.
What’s the biggest change you’ve made to be Eco friendly?
I wouldn’t say that I have made any one big change, but I am much more eco-aware than before which reflects through my lifestyle choices. I make sure I reuse plastic bags, keep the lights off when I’m not at home, pay my bills online to avoid using too much paper and other small things that I think make a difference on a larger scale.
What’s your greatest Eco sin?
I don’t recycle.
How important do you think it is to eat organically?
Organic food is much more nutritious which makes eating organically very important. I think people tend to stay away from this because of how expensive it can be to maintain an organic diet; however, foodies like myself will know that organic food has much more flavour and stays fresh for longer – so it is worth the extra cost.
What’s your favourite place to be in nature?
I love travelling to places that have beautiful green landscape, as this is something that Dubai lacks. My recent trip to Thailand was exceptional, and while I didn’t quite get along with the elephants there, I loved the jungle hikes and white sandy beaches.
Who is your favourite ‘green’ celebrity?
My favorite green celebrity is Natalie Portman. From her vegan footwear line to her recycled platinum jewellery, she promotes an eco-friendly attitude through fashion.
Do you have any sustainable fashion or grooming brands that you’d recommend?
I don’t have any specific brands that I prefer to use, but The Organic Shop next to Oasis Centre has some great organic products that are both affordable and very effective.
What’s your earliest memory of the natural world?
The part of Syria I grew up in was more of a desert landscape – similar to the UAE – so my earliest memory of the natural world is when I first saw the sea. This was the first time I remember being interested in nature and all its elements.
What do you think is the best way to change people’s behaviour to be more sustainable?
I think the best way to change people’s behavior is to make it seem like less of a sacrifice and more of a gain. Many people don’t bother being eco-friendly because they think it takes too much effort and requires them to sacrifice a convenient lifestyle – but if they see that what they’re gaining in return is far more beneficial, I feel they would make the change.