07 Jan A Chat With Madeleine Olivia
Madeleine Olivia is one of our favourite bloggers in the eco & vegan living space. Having had a YouTube channel for many years now, Maddie has now over 450k subscribers with people drawn to her page for her delicious plant based recipes, sustainable living tips and tricks as well as insights into how she is trying to minimalise her lifestyle. What we love about Maddie is her honesty and her message that none of us are perfect but that we can all make a difference, no matter how big or small.
With a big 2020 lined up for Madeleine, our co-founder, Ed, sat down with her over a (virtual) loose leaf tea for a chat to find out more about her journey in becoming one of the leading conscious living vloggers and Instagram influencers as well her next steps, enjoy!
I thought to start it would be good to go back to when you started to try and live a more conscious lifestyle and what the reasons were behind this. Did creating content and building your social media channels come after this point or at the same time?
My journey to a more conscious lifestyle started quite a while before I ever uploaded a video about it. However, social media played a huge part in influencing me to be more sustainable, minimise, go vegan and be more conscious of my lifestyle choices over all. Throughout my teenage years and into university I was the biggest shopaholic. I was totally addicted to fast fashion and buying new outfits for every single occasion. Then I went vegan in 2014 and everything changed from there. I started to research about the environmental impacts of animal agriculture, fast fashion, overconsumption, minimalism and everything in between. I was so inspired by people I followed online and wanted to make big changes to my lifestyle to feel more aligned with my morals and understanding of what was happening in the world. I started to make videos after I “decluttered” some big parts of my life in 2016: I quit my job, moved back home with my parents, stopped drinking alcohol, and strived to live a more simple lifestyle. I shared videos about vegan food, decluttering everything in my life, simplifying my beauty routine and living in Cornwall. I think the fact that I was at the start of my decluttering journey and shared all the gritty details online appealed to people and is what connected me with my audience. I had experience in living a conscious lifestyle, but was also open with the fact that I was still learning (and still am!) and that I’m certainly not perfect at it!
You've got the new book coming up, it would be great to hear more about it?
I do! Minimal: How to Simplify Your Life and Live Sustainably is coming out on the 9th of January, 2020 and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s essentially a comprehensive guide to living a sustainable and simple lifestyle, with chapters on minimalism, waste, fashion, beauty, food, home, travel and self care. We are facing an urgent climate crisis and it’s time we all took a look at our lifestyles to change them for the better. However, it can be a tricky thing to tackle, or know where to start. That’s why I was inspired to put everything I’ve learnt over the years into one book, hopefully making it simple and accessible for everyone. The aim is to allow people to minimise the areas of their life that aren’t giving them anything back and help them to discover a more fulfilled life, all the while taking care of the Earth at the same time.
Now available at Waterstones.
What culinary plant based delights were on the menu for Christmas?
I actually created my own nut roast recipe this year after a few years of trying other people’s recipes! I wanted something that felt meaty and textured, as well as full of Christmassy flavour and spice. I have the recipe on my website in fact! I always make this amazing hazelnut chocolate cheesecake too (also on my website) which is a recipe that my mum actually adapted from a Nigella recipe to make vegan for me!
You can watch Maddie's Christmas recipe video here.
It is inspiring to see how your social media channels has grown over the past few years, have you got any tips and tricks for budding content creators around sustainability and vegan space?
Thank you! My best tip is to be authentic and be yourself. Even I get wrapped up in comparing myself to others online, and it just isn’t ever worth it. I think the reason my social channels have grown is because I have just been honest along the way about who I am and what I do. People will resonate with that. Share tips, tricks and your favourite sustainable and vegan recipes, while making them your own. Plus, make your thumbnails, titles and images attention grabbing! Sometimes it comes down to a matter of whether someone is clicking or not, so make them click!
What would your top bit of advice be for someone who is just beginning their journey to living a greener lifestyle and doesn't know where to start?
Don’t overwhelm yourself and start slow. Maybe think of an area of your life that isn’t particularly eco-friendly and start there. Do you eat a lot of meat? Maybe cut back once a week, or have at least one vegan meal a day. Do you buy a lot of clothes (including fast fashion)? Try charity or vintage shopping instead. Do you fly a lot? Try getting the train somewhere instead or going on a staycation within your country for your next holiday. But mostly, buy my book! Because all the info is in there haha.
Any New Year's resolutions/big plans for 2020?
Slow down! It’s been a busy work year for me writing this book, buying and renovating a house and growing my business. So 2020 for me is about going back to a routine and minimising my life again. Even though I’ve written a book about it, it’s something I still continue to work on as life can get hold of you and wrap you up in all of it’s excitement and stress. I’m so excited to have written this book and can’t wait to have everyone get their hands on it this year too!
We hope you enjoyed this interview with Maddie as much as we did, for more information about her book be sure to check out her website here.