Former super model Elle Macpherson has carved out a diverse and purposeful career over the past 30 years and is a prominent figure in business, fashion, film and television. Elle is also the co-founder of Australian-based Wellness and Beauty company WelleCo. We asked her how we can all work together to safeguard people and planet but still allow business to prosper.
On your travels which country have you found to be the most aware and engaged when it comes to environmental issues?
I can talk about Australia, as the natural beauty of our country and our beaches are such a part of our DNA. We live outside, on the beaches, in the surf, and in a way we are born environmentalists – this is particularly so for the next generation, the connection is that strong. I believe Australian produce is some of the cleanest and most highly valued in the world – we are an island, and we don’t have many of the viruses and pests that other countries may encounter. We protect this fiercely – you can’t even bring a piece of fruit with you into Western Australia!
You are known for wanting to be in nature at any opportunity. Have you had any recent experiences that highlight the challenges facing our planet?
Last month I was humbled and honoured to witness whale sharks in the Mexican Ocean. This was such a privilege – I will always cherish it. It was an experience that heightened my admiration for the natural beauty we live in – and that we need to nurture and protect.
Can you share some favourite places to stay that you feel are doing something genuinely sustainable for people and planet?
In Mexico, I stayed at two wonderful places in Tulum. Nomade Tulum is a human-centered hotel, conceived as a temporary habitat for those ready to learn and share, ready to awake the soul, and free the mind. Then there’s Casa Malca, a home for thinkers and dreamers who believe in the liberating powers of creativity and self discovery. In Costa Rica there are also some great eco hotels too. It’s hard to know who exactly is doing a good job, but if we make the best efforts we can to support what we believe are sustainable businesses, then it will make a difference.
Do you think it’s important for ‘eco’ companies to prove they are sustainable, rather than just say they are?
Absolutely, accountability is the key. Consumers have the right to choose the companies they wish to support and make personal ethical choices based on open and honest information.
How does WelleCo address environmental and social sustainability issues?
We encourage Meat Free Mondays as a way to do our part in reducing the amount of global greenhouse gases, and our products are all-plant. All the premium wholefood ingredients in our SUPER ELIXIR, for example, come from natural, organic and whole foods which we carefully source from known and trusted suppliers, and they are hand made in Australia.
How dynamic is the wellness industry in addressing sustainability?
The wellness industry just keeps improving when it comes to addressing sustainability, and this needs to continue. By reducing our environmental footprint, we can operate more efficiently, which means a stronger focus on human health and wellness. If we invest in ourselves now, our futures will be brighter and healthier.
Is there anything specific you do when you travel in the name of sustainability?
I love supporting other socially responsible and ethical brands. I often pack pieces by designers like Stella McCartney who are committed to sustainability, vegan and animal friendly products.
If you had one hour in a room with all the world’s leaders this year – what would you ask them?
I would invite all the unknown heroes around the world who are lobbying governments to end poverty to accompany me. As a collective, we could all share conversations, knowledge, ideas on how we would work together to achieve this.