By Chere Di Boscio
I’ve only just ‘met’ Noa from Style With A Smile online, but I can already see that she’s an adorable young woman with great ethics. I first came across this vegan blogger in a Facebook forum, and her dedication to vegan fashion, beauty and eating, as well as her upbeat, positive attitude made me want to learn more about her.
Here, in this exclusive interview, I asked the highly photogenic writer about her past as an animal activist, how she deals with the conundrum of sustainable vegan fashion, and her thoughts on dating – and eating with – non-vegans.
Tell us a bit about what motivated you to start your blog
I was very active working for animal rights for two years. I took part in demonstrations, presentations, marches and even helped my friends build a farm sanctuary. It was very powerful and fun, but also hard and overwhelming, and eventually, I stopped.
After a year, I found myself reading more blogs and really wanting to start one. I felt like vegan fashion isn’t a subject that gets enough attention, so I started my blog, Style with a Smile– and it’s all about vegan fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and travel. I wanted to share my (com)passion for writing and fashion with the world, and also to spread the important message of compassion and love to our animal friends – all in in a very positive, approachable way. I’ve been blogging for almost two years now and have built an amazing, supportive community that I’m so grateful for.
We all know that you love fashion, and of course it’s all cruelty free! But how do you manage the issue of sustainability in fashion? For example, how do you deal with the fact that so much so-called ‘vegan leather’ is just plastic?
I was actually exposed to this issue not so long ago and read a lot about it. For me personally, the most important thing is for items to be vegan. I’m much more aware of ethical and sustainable brands and I made huge changes in the way I look at consumption, shopping, and the true cost.
About vegan leather: When comparing to cow leather, which is one of the most polluting, non-eco-friendly industries in the world, this is way better. Yes, every product has an impact on the planet, but there is a scale. There are always better alternatives and better materials. None of us is perfect, but we are working to be better, do better and change for the better.
Tell us a bit about some of your favourite vegan fashion brands. And what about beauty brands?
Oh, It is very hard for me to choose as there are so many incredible vegan brands! I really like Colibri Paris for their beautiful, high-quality bags, Matt & Nat for their awesome range of vegan bags & accessories, Roni Kantor and Love Sofie for vegan shoes. For vegan beauty brands, I love Lavera (vegan-friendly) and Pacifica (100% vegan) for both vegan skincare and makeup products and Charlotte Tilbury‘s vegan lipsticks (vegan-friendly brand, Highly recommend their “Super Cindy” lipstick, It’s my favorite!). I also love the Petit Vour subscription box, it allows me to discover new vegan beauty products all the time.
Obviously, you also eat vegan. Can you share some of your favourite vegan foods, and vegan food bloggers?
Yes, I’ve been vegan for more than five years now and I couldn’t be happier! My favourite food is vegan chocolate, but if I have to choose actual foods, I’d say Italian vegan pizza, hummus, avocado toast or a warm baguette. Simple yet delicious! I don’t follow a lot of food-related bloggers, as I was blessed with the most amazing father, who is a vegan chef, and I just learn everything from him, whenever I visit. But I do follow random vegan food Instagram accounts and that’s how I discover new bloggers and recipes all the time.
How do you deal with going out for dinner with non-vegans?
Oh, that’s a good question! Sometimes, people realise it is hard for me to see meat, and just order meat-free dishes, but when there’s meat on the table I just focus on the person and not on what he/she eats.
Would you ever date a non-vegan?
As I have never dated a non-vegan guy, I don’t know how I would feel about it- it might be ok, and it might be too hard to handle for me, as it is a very sensitive and important issue for me. I guess seeing the one you love eating animals can be hard or complicated. I’d for sure prefer sharing my life with someone who shares my values and ethics, but I won’t just reject someone just because he is not vegan, as long as he is a nice guy, I guess. Don’t forget that there are horrible vegans out there, too. Being vegan doesn’t necessarily mean one is a “better” person. So I guess never say never is my answer in this case.
How do you handle the ‘eye rollers’ – that is, people who think vegans are crazy and who swear they ‘need’ meat?
I don’t get them, actually. I think most people do it because they feel morally uncomfortable or because they are connecting “veganism” to one person that they might have seen somewhere in the past and made them feel uncomfortable. Yes, there are crazy vegans just as there are crazy non-vegans. I agree. But I don’t judge people by what they eat. And about people who swear they need meat, I think most people say it out of habit, and not out of an actual need for meat. I’m not a doctor, but I do know meat is not needed for existence- there is so much medical research that proves this point, and that even state a vegan, plant-based diet is healthier for humans!
Your pictures on the blog are always great! Who’s your ‘Instagram husband?’
Thank you so much! I do put a lot of effort into my pictures and edit them myself (but never use photoshop to change my body! ). I love creating new, exciting unique pictures. To me, my pictures are my art, and I am taking it very seriously. Of course, I have a very special and sweet photographer.
Any last words?
I hope you enjoyed this interview and learned a bit more about me, and would love to hear from you and see you on my blog, Instagram, and other social media platforms! For the finale, I will end with one of my favorite quotes:“In a world where you can be anything, be kind”. It’s not just about veganism, but about many things!