Meet Everything Sustainable: Your new guide to ethical shopping
For many of us, navigating the world of sustainability – what to buy, what not to eat, how to live greener – can feel a little overwhelming. There’s a mass of advice out there, and often it’s difficult knowing exactly what to take and what to leave.
Enter Liz de Vries (and family!) and Everything Sustainable – a platform dedicated to simplifying the art of sustainability.
In her former life, Liz was a personal trainer. Nowadays, she’s an expert in shopping sustainably. The de Vries family’s previous business, Sustainable Marketplace, saw Liz vetting and engaging with hundreds of ethical brands across Australia. She’d ask the hard questions, evaluate supply chains, consider packaging and investigate ingredients.
While the Everything Sustainable platform initially began as a marketplace in 2020, it’s since evolved into an education hub packed with interviews with ethical brands, how-to guides on going green and longform essays tackling the big environmental issues.
“We’d love to be an online community where people and businesses can easily come to find and give information… the community spirit is well and truly still alive, and people genuinely want to help one another,” says Liz.
This sense of community and shared values is exactly what prompted Liz to make the switch over to Bank Australia. “When we first started in business, we did what everybody else does and got a cheap bank. But then I asked myself – how can a sustainable business not have a sustainable bank?” admits Liz. “We all need to lead by example.”
Everything Sustainable is run by Liz and her two daughters, Elske and Kira, alongside designer Alex Baguley. Together they’re a formidable team of women passionate about making sustainability mainstream.
“To work with Kira, Elske and Alex – to be on this journey with them – it’s just really, really cool. We’re all learning, we’re all on this trip together, working it out as we go. But I feel quite privileged,” says Liz. “I mean, where would the planet be without young girls who want to change the world? I think the planet is in very good hands.”
“All the brands we work with – both at Sustainable Marketplace and now Everything Sustainable – are an improvement on the regular brands that we’ve all historically bought,” explains Liz.
“These brands are incredibly conscious, always seeking to improve and do things better with less impact on the planet and surrounding environments… there are so many sustainable brands out there and I love getting to know the people behind each brand. We all have a similar interest in changing the way we consume, and I’ve found that everyone is really supportive of one another,” she says.
When asked for pointers on how everyday Aussies can be more sustainable, Liz says that changing big institutions (like energy, super funds and banking) can make the biggest difference. But, she adds, not to forget the impact of turning off lights, shopping at thrift stores and making the effort to recycle properly.
“These changes don’t cost a cent. Being more sustainable doesn’t have to be expensive… if you rent, check if you can buy your electricity from a renewables supplier; if you own a house, check if you can afford solar; even shopping at a certain German-owned but carbon-neutral supermarket can be an easy change,” Liz explains.
When asked why she made the leap from the health industry over to sustainability, Liz puts it all down to family. “We have three children. We want the next generation to have all of the same opportunities that we’ve had,” she says. “I’d love for them to be happy, and to be confident in having their own children one day.”
A few local, sustainable brands that Liz loves right now:
• Tscudo: “They make sun shirts from recycled plastic bottles, and the design of the shirts is such that they’re suitable for both land and water activities. Locally made in Sydney and featuring sustainability at the forefront of every step of the business.”
• Clovo: “Sustainable tights from just the most thoughtful brand you can imagine. All women-owned and engineers and scientists, these women have thought of everything down to the nittiest, grittiest detail.”
• Yurali: “Artisanal whipped soap, made in small batches and with no preservatives. This brand is zero waste and packed with beautiful Australian botanical oils.”