06 Nov Say hello to Daniela Degrassi and The Kind Bride Blog
1) Hi Daniela, Welcome to Verte Luxe! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and the story behind your blog,“The Kind Bride”.
Hello Laura, thank you for your interest in The Kind Bride. I’ve been around weddings for about two decades, first as a wedding photographer, then as a bridal-friendly fashion designer. Once I transitioned to a vegan lifestyle, I wanted to combine my expertise in the wedding industry with my need for vegan activism, and found a gentle way to promote a vegan lifestyle through The Kind Bride.
2) We love that everything on your blog caters to the Vegan Wedding. What was the motivation for creating a site that speaks to these facets? What got you interested in a vegan lifestyle?
I became vegan in 2014. For me it was an ethical choice, finally realizing that animals are sentient beings that have the same right to live their lives and don’t belong in our plates. Having worked in the wedding industry for so many years I saw the need to create a channel to help plant-based brides to easily find vegan resources to create the wedding of their dreams. The Kind Bride’s goal is to show that planning a vegan wedding can be easy, fun and extremely rewarding.
3) You started as a wedding photographer, then developed a beautiful clothing line. Tell us about your progression from a photographer, to fashion designer to vegan blogger.
As a creative spirit, I like to step into new adventures and challenges. I had a long and extremely gratifying career as a wedding photographer, mainly working in Northern California.
In 2011 I relocated to my native Italy (for family reasons), and after some time, my personal lifestyle change towards veganism led me to pay more attention to the sustainability agenda. I reflected on some aspect within the wedding industry that I had noticed even before sustainability was a global concern. My attention was drawn to wedding attire, and how, bridesmaids and bridal dresses, in our current culture, are considered disposable, one-time affairs. I never understood this concept, in fact, when I got married, I chose to wear a cocktail dress I proudly wore again and again. This gave me the input to start Annaborgia, a vegan and bridal-friendly capsule collection of minimalist yet glamorous styles that a bride and her bridesmaids could wear on the day of the wedding and carry on wearing many years after.
As for blogging, it has always been an important part of creating a connection with my public, in my photography and fashion days. Lately, I felt the need to create a specific platform to promote vegan weddings, and in February 2018 I started The Kind Bride as a side project. The public response has been so encouraging that I was inspired to expand the blog into a community-based platform, encouraging brides and vegan wedding vendors to actively participate to share their experiences, and create a Vegan Wedding Directory brides could turn during their planning stages.
4) What are the eco-conscious, ethical and sustainable elements and practices that you implement when working in this industry?
Sustainability is finally, gradually influencing weddings, renown to be one of the most splurging occasions in someone’s life. While my attention is focused on vegan-friendly options, I definitely prioritize products or services with a sustainable, or social mission. Luckily, vegan businesses are often promoters of sustainable practices, so it’s really a joy to showcase their stories on The Kind Bride. Also, The Kind Bride is a proud ‘green hosted website’. (Green hosting or eco-friendly hosting is Internet hosting which involves green technologies to reduce environmental impact)
5) What are some favorite vegan trends that you can’t live without these days? What ideas and products are inspiring to you?
I am extremely happy to see so many vegan food options and restaurants popping up everywhere! Traveling as a vegan can be quite challenging and being able to find places to dine, even when in the company of non-vegans is very comforting! Online resources are so helpful. When I travel somewhere new I always rely on the Happy Cow website!
As a fashion designer, I am extremely curious to follow the latest technologies creating interesting textiles from natural resources, like pineapple, mushrooms, oranges, grapes and even from plants like eucalyptus, bamboo, and nettle. One more link to show that veganism can go hand in hand with leading a sustainable lifestyle
6) How do you see your The Kind Bride helping not only a vegan bride, but any bride?
There has been a major shift in how a vegan lifestyle is perceived in the past decade. Fashion and food, the most popular vegan manifestos, have stepped up to the challenge with phenomenal stylish brands and delicious yet healthy food alternatives that makes it quite clear why veganism is now trending. I am very careful in featuring topics, brands, and companies that keep the vibe on the blog very stylish and modern so any bride can find our blog a trendy resource.
7) What are your favorite eco-honeymoon “must-haves” and “must do’s”?
I am thinking yoga-resorts just cause I am a yogaholic! Vegan hotels are on the rise, so I would definitely keep those on my radar, for a stress free vacation.
8) Tell us about some of the upcoming projects that you are working on for The Kind Bride.
This Fall we launched The Kind Bride Vegan Wedding Directory and in the next months I will be focusing on expanding our vendor list as much as possible (did I mention is free to join?). I will continue to welcome new blog contributors, from vegan brides sharing their wedding planning experience to vegan vendors sharing their expertise with our readers. Connecting with like minded spirits will allow The Kind Bride to be a constant hub for promoting vegan weddings in various forms.
9) How would you encourage our readers to “go green” and “go vegan” in their fashion choices?
If you have an urge to help the planet, you must consider more eco-friendly choices. We don’t really need that many clothes, we can reduce our consumption and spend only in quality pieces that can defeat fashion trends and become part of a functional capsule collection. Purchasing fair trade fashion in respect of the workers behind the production chain it’s another must for me. Vegan brands have stepped to the challenge offering amazing styles and I would just encourage you to explore them through the fantastic world wide web.
10) We love that you feature real life weddings. Tell us a story of your favorite vegan couple to date.
We fall in love with each vegan couple we feature! It’s so hard to pick because behind each wedding there are these amazingly giving human beings. Likee Kings Grooming Founder Blue O’Connor and is wife Dani for example. Within a year of meeting each other, they decided to quit their jobs and book a one-way ticket around the world. During a period of 18 months, they traveled and worked in places like India, Sri Lanka, and Australia and during this trip working and tending to animals Blue decided to become vegan and Dani vegetarian. Back in the UK, they got married and Blue focused his energies launching a successful crowdfunding campaign to finance a line of vegan aftershave that helps support men’s mental health projects and are committed to raising awareness around the subject. So inspiring!
11) Does The Kind Bride you work with any charitable causes? If so, how can Verte Luxe and it’s readers help?
This is one topic I would love to focus on soon. At present, The Kind Bride blog doesn’t make any profit (as I mentioned there is no charge to join our Vegan Wedding Directory) and the only way we can help charitable causes for now is by giving them voice through our website.