Marieke Eyskoot has been part of the furniture at Zoku since our second week. An author, host, speaker, presenter and consultant, she focuses on sustainable fashion and lifestyles, and used our co-working space to author her book ‘This is a Good Guide – for a sustainable lifestyle’ (our favorite!).
What path has your career taken?
I wanted to be a newsreader, so studied and worked in media (and volunteered for amongst others Amnesty International). I quit my job as I felt it was more important to dedicate most of my time to the movement for a better world. I then worked for the Clean Clothes Campaign to improve working conditions in the global garment industry, and now work as an independent sustainable fashion and lifestyle advocate. I wanted to answer all the questions from all these people who really wanted to make more conscious choices but just didn’t know where to start.
I arrived at Zoku the second week it opened, walking right into the open arms of the Sidekick-on-duty (Darryl!), and never left. I came to write my book, but just felt so welcomed and at home, and quickly made lots of friends (and I got to launch the book at Zoku too). It’s a very special place – where else do people introduce you with ‘Oh, that’s Marieke, she is part of the furniture.’
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
When I look back, I feel that I spent so much time worrying that I wasn’t good enough. That I was too big, or that I didn’t fit in. But now, I realise that these things don’t matter and that this was such a waste of time. I would tell myself that I am okay. I recognise that I’m not perfect by any means, but that’s fine! There is nothing to be ashamed of. We are all human, we all have a shape, a colour, and we all have flaws. Nothing we buy, can increase our self-worth and self-love. That is entirely ours. The regular fashion, accessories, beauty, gadgets, sports and diet industries beg to differ. You you don’t look like you’re supposed to look. Much of the messaging is specifically intended to make us feel bad about ourselves, to then offer the solution: their products. This commercialisation of our body image lies at the heart of our struggle to change our behaviour. We need to actively recognise and resist the way the industry makes us feel, to save both ourselves and the planet.