Interview with Elisa Navarro from Tropikelle!
Have we mentioned that one of us had a chance to swing by Singapore recently? Awesome place, but even more awesome people! While there, we managed to get together with Elisa Navarro, who is based in Singapore, and push some questions her way to find out more about her platform Tropikelle and life in general. Read on to know more!
Tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from, where did you study, and why did you choose to be based in Singapore (at least for now)?
I’m from Murcia, a city in the southeast of Spain and my background is in International Relations and Marketing. I’ve lived in a few different countries but came to Singapore for work and I love it so much that I’ve been here for almost 4 years already!
2. What's important to you and how do these values affect your professional choices? Tell us moreabout Tropikelle!
Living a more conscious lifestyle is very important to me. My father has always loved nature, so respect and care for the environment is something I grew up with. After I found out what is behind the fast fashion industry, I felt the need of talking about it and showing people that there are amazing alternatives, not only to fashion but also to beauty products, food and really anything we can consume. Tropikelle is the creative outlet I have to talk about all these things and I love to have a little corner of the internet where I can express myself. I can’t believe that it’s now two years old!
3. How would you describe the general eco-awareness of people in Singapore?
In Singapore there is an increasing awareness for the environment but the single use plastic is a huge problem. There are amazing organisations like The Wedge or Green is the New Black, founded by Stephanie Dickson [read WOMB’s interview with GITNB ladies here!) that do a great job on raising awareness here. Fashion Revolution Singapore with Laura Francoise [and here is WOMB’s interview with Laura!] is also doing amazing activities related to the impact of the fast fashion industry. And we can now swap clothes in Singapore instead of buying them thanks to The Fashion Pulpit. So there are more and more people doing something about it, but we still have a long way to go.
4. What about diet: do you reckon that people in your circle and community make dietary choices based on environmental awareness?
Yes, in fact, my boss is a vegetarian for environmental reasons. I see more and more people going vegan everyday and I myself have tried for almost a year. I ended up with my iron levels hitting rock bottom mainly because I wasn’t eating properly, so I’m the only one to blame. But I’m now figuring out the way of going back to it and doing it right this time. Singapore has a lot of veggie options and I find it way easier to eat out here than I do in Spain.
5. What's your personal battle? What do you do to live more consciously on a daily basis?
I find it very hard to dress in my style with clothes that are sustainable and/or ethically made and that I can wear for different occasions. There aren’t a whole lot of choices in Singapore aside from either basics or super colourful pieces with ethnic prints that you can’t really wear to office. I find some pieces on the Internet, but online shopping can be tricky and end up being way more expensive if you didn’t choose properly, which can happen sometimes, depending on the information the shop displays. So I find myself constantly finding the balance between style, sustainability and consumerism. I’m not a fan of extremes so for now I’m happy where I am, knowing that I’m doing the best I can and getting creative with my wardrobe.
6. Who are your personal heroes and why?
My mum is my super heroine. She has 2 degrees and raised my 2 brothers and me while working. That was very unusual at the time. When I was 3, she decided to quit and dedicate her time to raising us. She has gone above and beyond for us and it’s something you don’t realise until you are older. She is amazing.
7. What book are you currently reading?
I use the Kindle app on my iPad and I love that I get to have all the books I want in one place and carry them around without the extra weight and saving some trees. I always have 3 or 4 books rotating, there is usually a cookbook, a novel and something related to work. I like to keep educating myself and learning new things. At the moment I’m reading Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach and the Kellogg book on branding, both of which I’m finding super useful as I work on digital marketing. Deliciously Ella books are always there (own them all) but I’m currently obsessed with Elka Mocker and her cooking (sorry this one is in Spanish only) and current novel is Call me by your name from Andre Aciman.
8. What’s next for you?
I will keep building my career in marketing, continue learning more about sustainable fashion and a conscious lifestyle and sharing my findings through Tropikelle. Maybe one day I’ll build something of my own, who knows! For now, I’m just enjoying life and feeling thankful for the opportunities I worked for.