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November 6, 2021

The Protector: a Moment with Nikki Reed

Nikki Reed’s strengths, talents and passions are myriad, but at the core of her gifts, she is a protector. Having lived many chapters of life as an actress, creator, animal advocate, business owner and activist, she is driven to inspire through the language of love. Now, with two companies under her guidance, she is working to lead by example in the realm of sustainability while sharing a message of compassion, awareness and care for Mother Earth.

Nikki is wearing The Caroline Dress In Lily of the Valley

Tell us about yourself

I grew up in Los Angeles, went to public school, lived on fast food, and had every bit of a conventional and unconventional childhood. I moved out when I was just 15 years old and looking back now, I can see so clearly the appreciation I have for my upbringing and the distance between who I was, and who I am now. Somehow, without having any experience in the acting space, I ended up writing and starring in a film when I was just 13 years old. That catapulted me quickly onto a career path that I loved, but always knew was just one of the many chapters of my life.

Nikki is wearing The Marlow Trench In Hickory

“We only protect what we love, so my goal is to fall more and more in love with nature every day and to teach my daughter the same”

What was the catalyst for you becoming interested in sustainability?

When I was 21, I was living overseas in Greece and introduced for the first time to a healthier way of living. I adopted a plant-based diet, started hiking and taking care of my overall wellness, and began connecting the dots between what we eat, and how the planet is treated by our choices. As I have grown into my relationship with sustainability is has expanded far beyond that, but this connection was the first step made between understanding our food system, and the health of our planet. I dove headfirst into activism because — as an animal rescue advocate — I had a burning passion to make a difference in the world. I view it sort of like a domino effect; once you know things you cannot un-know them and it continues to unfold. I realized quickly that simply adopting “vegan” habits was not the solution, as many of our vegan alternatives are incredibly harmful to the environment. I began connecting the dots between what we buy, how our products are made and the intersection between women’s rights and environmental issues. There isn’t a straight path towards any of this. It is a constant dialogue — a never-ending journey if you will. There is always more to learn, and if you pay attention, you will see that all areas of activism overlap and acting individually as islands doesn’t move the needle.

Nikki is wearing The Salem Set In Noir

You have a deep love for animals too! Tell us about your connection to them.

It started very young. Every little girl’s dream is being able to bring home puppies + kittens and my mom not only allowed but encouraged the rescue and rehabilitation of any animal in need. I had rescue rats, rehabilitated a raccoon and coyote, bottle fed baby bunnies and more. I’ve always felt close to animals but the older I get the more I realize life doesn’t really work without them close by. I used to spend big chunks of time in cities, traveling the world, and bouncing from place to place but now I just want the consistency and stability of being home with my animals and my daughter. I don’t want to pack my bags and move across the world if it means I cannot bring all my fur babies. My passion for animal rights and activism probably stems from the desire to see good in the world. There is so much we can change if we come from a place of compassion and love, and I believe animals teach that. br />
How have animals impacted your sustainability journey?

I think my love for animals helped me towards a path of understanding that all activism, all love, all life, and all areas of passion impact one another. You cannot care about animals without caring about the planet. You cannot fight for the wellbeing of another species without caring about human rights, which also directly effects the planet. They’re all connected.

Nikki is wearing The Mairin Dress In Chamomile Embroider

“Every little bit counts. Conscious consumerism is a journey. I’m on it too. Everything is connected, and every small effort is appreciated by the Earth. If we dissect every little thing and focus on perfection, we don’t move the needle. Start by doing things that feel doable, and then push yourself a little further.”

Tell us about Loci and Bayou With Love!

Bayou was born from the desire to create products I couldn’t find in the marketplace. We launched the company when I was 7 months pregnant, searching for chemical free low impact multipurpose products which led us to our partnership with Dell and creating fine jewelry with recycled tech gold. I am so inspired by the conscious community that has supported our journey and helped build this company to where it is today. I love that people are starting to care about how/where their products are made, and engagement rings are such a beautiful way to wear your morals and ethos with you forever. We create pieces using recycled gold and we also offer our customers the option to choose a traditionally mined conflict free diamond, OR a diamond grown with solar energy in California. Grown diamonds are molecularly identical to mined diamonds but without the human and environmental toll of mining.

Loci is another passion area for me. I jumped in as creative director and designer creating this beautiful shoe line that is made from recycled ocean plastic, natural rubber with a cork insole. Again, the theme is creating a world where luxury and sustainability can co-exist. I truly believe when innovation and creativity combine, the sky is the limit!

Nikki is wearing The Marlow Trench In Parchment

What are your personal sustainability practices?

To be honest it is all very second nature at this point, but there are always areas to grow into and improve. We use rain barrels to catch excess water, we compost, we only have reusable “paper” towels in our home to avoid paper consumption, I drive an electric vehicle, I only wash clothing or dishes on speed cycles, I turn down packaging when/where I can, I try to only buy from local farmers or in bulk, but there is so much more to do! The key is to not be too overwhelmed by it all because the truth is there's always a way to do more, but we can’t let it paralyze us into doing less!

What is your advice for others who are looking to incorporate sustainability into their lives?

Every little bit counts. Conscious consumerism is a journey. I’m on it too. Everything is connected, and every small effort is appreciated by the Earth. If we dissect every little thing and focus on perfection, we don’t move the needle. Start by doing things that feel doable, and then push yourself a little further. Hold yourself accountable. If you forget your bags in the car, walk out of the grocery store and go get them. Allow the voice in your head to chime in and tell you to keep trying, because we need to do this together!

How do you Honor Mother Earth?

I take time to care for her, to appreciate her, and to spend as much time as possible in nature. We only protect what we love, so my goal is to fall more and more in love with nature every day and to teach my daughter the same.

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@nikkireed