Out of the Clouds
June 8, 2020, by Anne V Muhlethaler

#02 Eva Geraldine

On Good is the New Cool

Episode Summary

In this episode, Anne speaks to Eva Geraldine Fontanelli. They begin by discussing how Eva is coping with the lockdow then tells Anne about her meditation practice. She studies a form of Japanese Buddhist meditation which she discovered in her 20’s. While meditating, she recites the mantra, “nam myoho renge kyo” which she roughly translates as ‘I believe in the law of cause and effect.’ Through her meditation, she finds answers to questions from within herself and declares the practice to also have a practical aspect to the results outside herself.

Anne was curious to ask Eva about her start in the fashion industry and she discovers what brought her to a cover shoot with Gilles Bensimon for Elle US on the streets of NYC, the moment she discovered that being a fashion stylist could be (or would be) her career. Eva tells us about her journey from unpaid intern to junior editor and how her determination and being the only Spanish speaker in the fashion department really worked to her advantage. She also believes in her own unique style and sense of humor and explains how authenticity and honesty is at the core of how she works.

Then the stylish editor explains where her interest in sustainability began and the two discuss the Social Sustainable program, acting as a mentor for brands like the beautiful Orenda Tribe and the UN  Ethical Fashion Initiative headed by Simone Cipriani. She then tells all about Goooders, the platform she created to sell and to promote sustainable brands, like one of her favourites Parafina, and explains the meaning of the motto: “When you do good, you look good!”

Anne also ask Eva about conscious travel post-COVID-19. She is optimistic and shares this Italian proverb: “Non tutto il male vien per nuocere” which she translates as ‘not all bad things come to damage you.’ She is operating from a place of gratitude and sees the opportunities that this global event provides us.

The podcast concludes with Eva answering these questions:

1) What is your favorite word?

“Grazie. Merci. Thank you. So, basically it’s one of my secrets, because I have always been thankful and I try to be thankful all the time. Something really that keeps me happy. So, I’m really grateful for that time. So it’s one of the word I say most. Grazie, grazie, grazie, to people in the street to the vendors, friends. You know, a word I really, really love.”

2) What are you not good at?

“Laundry. Unless you like tie & dye style, I would avoid laundry”

3) What brings you happiness?

“I have a little gratitude journal where sometimes I force myself to write at least 10 things I’m grateful for every day.

So sometimes I come up sometimes with superficial things like my coffee but these days, I’m really, really thankful for my body and my health.“

You can find out more about Eva here: Instagram

You can find more about Goooders here: Goooders and on their Instagram

Selected Links from Episode

Eva’s zen buddhist community is SGI.

Eva’s book recommendations for meditation practice

And another suggestion for introduction to buddhism

Eva’s recommendations for sustainability resources:

To read:

This is a good guide

Harvard Magazine

Mission Magazine

To listen to:

The Minimalists Podcast

The Green Divas podcast

To follow: 

Bandana Tewari

Clare Press

Select Links from Eva on both Buddhism and sustainability: 

Eva’s zen buddhist community is SGI.

Eva’s book recommendations for meditation practice

And another suggestion for introduction to buddhism

Eva’s recommendations for sustainability resources:

To read:

This is a good guide

Harvard Magazine

Mission Magazine

To listen to:

The Minimalists Podcast

The Green Divas podcast

To follow: 

Bandana Tewari

Clare Press

Full Episode Transcript

Anne Muhlethaler:

Hi, hello, bonjour, Namasté. This is Out of the Clouds, a podcast at the crossroads between business and mindfulness, and I am your host, Anne Muhlethaler. 

So Eva, first of all thank you so much for being here and for doing this interview for Out of the Clouds. So to start, could you introduce yourself to our listeners?

Eva (00:28):

Okay, Eva Geraldine. And what I do, I’m a former fashion editor. I worked for many magazines, Vanity Fair, Glamour US, and I’m a fashion consultant. And now I’m also an entrepreneur. I started my first business one year ago. And it is a start up in sustainable fashion. I’m consulting for many different brands, small and big, and also for ethical initiative, some UN agencies. And I’m a mentor and an advisor for them as well

Anne (01:02):

Sounds like you’re really busy.

Eva (01:06):

Yes, my schedule usually… my lifestyle, it’s crazy. So that’s why I’m taking this moment of quarantine as a big opportunity to looking inside me and taking a little bit of a routine. I enjoy my life so much so I don’t complain about anything.

Anne (01:26):

That sounds wonderful.

Eva (01:27):

Yeah, I see blue skies and a lot of nature around me because I’m thinking about nature exploring outside my house. It’s one of my joyful thoughts. I’m taking the time to reset a little bit my life at the moment, like where I’ve been, what I’ve done. I mean, how can I restart fresh? How can I improve things I didn’t like? How I can do better? How can I enjoy more? That is very important. I try to make the most of the time I’m home. And I appreciate every single thing I do every day, from cooking… And I have to say I haven’t cooked in probably the last 10 years. Really, I enjoy making the bed. I enjoy looking into my closet and clean. And so that’s where I am right now.

Anne (02:27):

Wonderful. It sounds like you’re very much in a space of mindfulness, essentially.

Eva (02:30):

Yeah, totally, totally. But now I’m sitting on the floor of my meditating room because I meditate every day, twice a day. And this is part of my usual routine. I never miss my meditation.

Anne (02:43):

It’s great that you transitioned into this because I was going to ask you about your meditation practice. I know a little bit about it. So it would be really great to hear in your words how you found meditation and what type you do every day.

Eva (02:56):

I discovered this kind of meditation which is a Japanese Buddhist meditation when I was in my 20s, so probably 18 years ago. My approach was a curious approach. I was really looking for something. I needed to find myself. I was very rebel with family and with everything, with society and rules. I really needed some guidance or maybe something to discover who I am and what I’m supposed to do and how. And when I discovered this meditation, it really go me from the very first time because it tests you about your responsibilities in everything. So basically it’s not the fault of anyone, but it’s really about what you make with your life. And you can make everything with it. Infinite possibilities, it’s up to you. It’s based on cause and effect. So basically it depends on what causes you put in your life with your mind and with your actions and with your beliefs. And then you have these effects.

Eva (04:05):

And through meditation, you learn how to get the answer from your… Of course because it’s Buddhist it’s from your Buddhist side, but with different names, universe, God. I think more or less it’s the same thing for everyone. So basically through meditation, you get the enlightened answer from inside you and then you can put out the right actions based on right feeling. I have to say it’s been probably a struggle at the very beginning because I had to reset a little bit my life, the relationship with my family, and habits, and different things. But then right now I’m so into it because I’m probably a little bit enlightened, so it’s easier.

Anne (04:52):

A little bit enlightened.

Eva (04:53):


Anne (04:53):

That’s great.

Eva (04:55):

It’s still a long way, but yeah, I practice a mantra. In my case it’s called “nam yoho renge kyo” and that’s because it’s based on this Japanese Buddhism. And I read a lot. Part of our practice is of course the meditation, the study, but then it’s how you relate to others, how you respect every human being. It’s also very practical. Like, I mean if you are mad because you don’t find a parking space for your car. Like, there’s a way to reset everything and be like, okay, I’m so grateful because I have a car and so I’m identifying the parking spot. And I know it sounds funny, but basically-

Anne (05:32):

Less frustration, more optimism.

Eva (05:34):

Yeah, yeah, exactly. So I love this practice because it’s very practical. You don’t have to go on a mountain top to meditate for seven years, but you can meditate in your apartment and you can practice it every day. Even when I travel, I meditate. And it’s very effective. Like since the very first day, you see effect in your daily life.

Anne (05:55):

The mantra, would you remind me what it means?

Eva (05:57):

So the mantra is “nam yoho renge kyo” and it basically it says, “I believe in the law of cause and effects”. That’s like the most basic translation of the mantra. Then you have entire books about this mantra. But basically, that’s what it says. So when you say, “nam myoho renge kyo nam myoho renge kyo”, basically it’s like you try to polish your spirituality and you know, to bring out your Buddhist part and in believing in the law of cause and effect put everything in motion.

Anne (06:34):

Sounds amazing.

Eva (06:35):

Yeah, I mean, I just suggest to read a few books. There are some very simple one that you can at least read to understand a little bit more. You have some desires, and you’re like, “Okay, I want a new house, a new boyfriend. I want to help my mom achieve in her life, blah, blah, blah”, all that many things. And then you meditate with these desires and suddenly, there’s something that happens in your life and it guides you toward these desires. It shows a way. And then, I mean, it’s up to you if you take the direction and you follow that. But-

Anne (07:10):

It’s almost like a spark.

Eva (07:12):

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely, yeah. And then it’s also how you react to things. Like, especially, I mean, it’s been so useful for my career in fashion because like probably everyone has seen The Devil Wears Prada, that’s the-

Anne (07:31):

Yeah, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Eva (07:32):

Feeling of my career looked like. It wasn’t easy. I was in New York, an intern, which is less than an assistant, without my family, not much money, blah, blah, blah. It was very… It’s very hard. And I have to say probably this practice every time I was going back home, I was reset on the true meaning of life. This is the fashion world. I love it. I’m going to become anything I want. But the important things in life are others. So I couldn’t be angry to people because I was very compassionate. And I think this is so rare for a girl in her twenties, but this is probably something that really helped me for my career. And probably without this practice, I wouldn’t have come back. Because at some point, it became very hard. Through this practice, I was very encouraged every day to follow my dreams to the end.

Anne (08:29):

So that’s perfect as a transition because I was going to start by asking simply, how did you get into fashion?

Eva (08:37):

When I was studying at university here in Milan, I’d always been attracted by fashion. My family didn’t want me to study fashion because they though at the time… It was the early 2000’s, so 2001 they were like, “Oh, no, you have to study.” My mom wanted me to go to Sorbonne in Paris.

Anne (08:58):

Of course, a French [inaudible 00:08:59].

Eva (08:59):

Yeah, of course. And my grandmother, she wanted me to go to Bocconi to study economics. And I didn’t like any of that. And so I found a compromise. It was communication.

Anne (09:15):


Eva (09:19):

In the meanwhile, I was making my own jewelry. Like I started to really go like jewelry friend and I was selling jewelry items in my university. So basically when we were studying at the library, I was opening… rolling out my little thing with the jewelry and selling it.

Anne (09:39):

No way.

Eva (09:41):

And that’s how I was making some pocket money.

Anne (09:44):

Did you have a brand name?

Eva (09:46):

Yeah, Eva Geraldine. It’s still registered. If I want to make a collection, I still have the name. So-

Anne (09:51):

That’s fantastic.

Eva (09:54):

Oh, at some point I did things properly because I started to work with Japan. I was selling in Tokyo.

Anne (09:59):

No way. Oh, my God.

Eva (10:01):

I was really having fun. But a friend of mine went to a very popular store, a very trendy store at the time in Milan in the centre and she noticed with my jewelry. And they were like, who is making this jewelry? And so she took me to the store. And the store had a lot of Japanese clients at the moment. And some Japanese wanted to take the jewelry to sell in Japan. And-

Anne (10:26):

That’s incredible.

Eva (10:27):

Yeah, probably I made my… a little bit of money to start to go to New York.

Anne (10:33):

Oh, so can I ask you, what or how did you go to New York then?

Eva (10:38):

First I lived in Peru for one year-

Anne (10:40):


Eva (10:40):

Because when I was to go to New York on the 13th of September 2001.

Anne (10:45):


Eva (10:47):

Yeah, I really didn’t want to stay in Milan. Like I tried to change my ticket. And it’s a long story, but I ended up in Peru, in Lima.

Anne (10:58):

That’s a story for another time. I’d love to hear it.

Eva (11:02):

Yeah, exactly. Yeah, so I lived there for one year. I learned Spanish. I studied the culture a little bit. And then I came back to Milan. I finished my exams. And then finally I made it to New York. So basically, I started in New York with English classes. And then I… City of opportunities, I’m like, here I am.

Anne (11:25):


Eva (11:26):

Literally walking the streets. And I didn’t have many connections at the time. I had a few friends, but I was introduced to the society or something like that. I really start… At some point, through my jewelry again, an editor from Elle US wanted me to join her on the set of the shooting of the cover on Lafayette street. And Gilles Bensimon was shooting, I still remember.

Anne (11:52):

Oh, my God.

Eva (11:53):

Yeah. So I brought my jewelry. And then I was like, oh my God, that’s what I want to do. Because at the time, we didn’t have social media. We didn’t have Instagram. We didn’t have Facebook. I mean, it-

Anne (12:05):

I remember those times.

Eva (12:08):

I feel like a dinosaur. But when I started really, I was probably 31, 32, and yeah, no social media. So basically, I loved fashion but I had no idea what was going on behind the scene. And stylist, it wasn’t really a job title you applied for. I had no idea about these styling things. But when I assisted doing the set, I’m like, that’s what I want to do. Finally, I had great inspiration. And then everyone was like, “Oh, my God, you want to be a stylist. Forget it, no way. You don’t know anyone.” And then, “Oh, my God. No, no, no. That’s impossible, blah, blah, blah.” I’m like, “What?” So I started phone calls and emails. And literally, for probably three months I’ve been torturing everyone in magazine.

Anne (13:01):

That’s good.

Eva (13:02):

I really didn’t give up. I was convinced this is what I want to do, that’s it. Finally, the took me as an intern at Elle US. There I started. Because I have to say, America as a system is very rewarding. So they don’t care about whether you… where are you from, blah, blah, blah. It’s just you’re good, you go. So I was good.

Anne (13:23):


Eva (13:26):

I worked probably 24-7. And funny enough, my learning Spanish in Peru really helped me a lot. I was the only intern who could speak Spanish and talk directly to the couriers, delivery people, maintenance. And so-

Anne (13:45):

Wow. I mean, if you could see my face right now. This goes to show.

Eva (13:54):

Like I needed this year in South America to learn this language. But I mean, it was so funny. I was really like essential. Where is the intern who speaks Spanish?

Anne (14:09):

That’s incredible.

Eva (14:11):

Yeah, so anyway, then my career started. I got a job at Glamour US, was junior editor. And I was in charge of pulling the outfit for under $150, which is quite [crosstalk 00:14:27].

Anne (14:27):

Oh, cool.

Eva (14:29):

Because of course, I was always wearing vintage or cheap brands because I couldn’t afford the big brands.

Anne (14:36):

Sure, because you were an unpaid intern.

Eva (14:41):

Exactly, so I mean, the editor at the time was like, “What are you wearing? Where is it from.” I’m like, “Old Navy, Gap.” She’s like, “Oh, my God, you’re so good in putting together cheap stuff.”

Anne (14:57):

Oh, my God. I love it.

Eva (15:00):

[inaudible 00:15:00] so anyway-

Anne (15:01):

That’s a skillset.

Eva (15:03):

Yeah, yeah. But like I was saying, I was good but at the beginning like I was looking at different ways probably than some other fashion editor. Anyway, especially at Glamour US, then at some point I was assisting a senior editor for celebrities. And thought this was super, super fun. I was traveling all the time to LA and had been on set with amazing celebrities like Natalie Portman and many others. And so that was a part of my job I really, really enjoyed.

Anne (15:35):

Awesome. Was there a moment that you feel that you could qualify as your big break in fashion?

Eva (15:42):

When I came back to Italy, probably I became a little bit more famous in the business. Probably my cover stories for Italian Elle, that was a big break.

Anne (15:54):

That’s awesome.

Eva (15:55):

Especially because then I started also working for the International Elle, which means that you produce a cover story, but then it’s published on all the Elle Magazines. So sometimes it’s more than 30 issues. And so it’s been published-

Anne (16:11):


Eva (16:12):

All over the world. So probably those are the most popular or important works I did in magazines. And probably one of the most important was with Giselle Bundchen.

Anne (16:22):

Yeah, I would imagine that’s huge.

Eva (16:25):

Yeah, it was fun because she was basically talking on the phone with the Converse shoes.

Anne (16:32):

Awesome. I can feel your sense of humor in there.

Eva (16:34):

Yeah, exactly. So basically, yeah, I found my way because I had a very particular sense of style and humor mixed together. I tried to stick to it most of the time. So I made of my styling, something that was very recognizable. Can you say that?

Anne (16:52):

Yes, absolutely.

Eva (16:54):

Yeah, it was very hard. Because of course, sometimes they were asking me, oh, we’re wanting more minimal, or we’re wanting more feminine, or we’re wanting more ladylike. But I was always trying to have a flavor just to have a story. And so sometimes I had bad response about it. But then I had the capacity to stay true to myself and to my tastes. And then it was Eva, she has style and was anymore some kind of styling. I was called for things that I was good at. So style with a sense of humor, a lot of reportage. I’d been traveling so much for fashion stories. Like I’d been traveling really all over the world, in the States, a lot in Africa.

Anne (17:33):

I think I heard you say… I can’t remember if it’s one of the interviews I read of you online or whether you’ve told me this. But I think you mentioned that you became more interested in sustainability as you were styling for Elle and another magazine. Is that correct?

Eva (17:49):

Yeah, absolutely. I was really at the top of my career. So basically, I was styling cover stories with celebrities. Because I’ve been always trying to achieve more and more and more and more. So at some point I was like, “Oh, my God. And now, what I’m going to do?” Like, because, you know, that’s it? I had probably pretty dark days because I was really questioning myself. I wasn’t satisfied anymore, I mean, not 100 percent satisfied as I was before with what I was doing. And so I started questioning myself, what I’m bringing to the world, what is my mission in life. I was already in my thirties so I was really trying to figure out what I wanted to do as a grown up.

Anne (18:41):


Eva (18:42):

And I said, “Okay, I love fashion. I cannot be without it. So I need to find a way to find my purpose in fashion.” And that’s how the whole ethical, sustainable fashion came in my life. Basically, I was looking for something and this something came to me. So opportunities were popping up around me to work with [inaudible 00:19:05] initiative and ethical brands. Probably one of the first one has been mentoring for the United Nation programs in fashion and also consulting for Ethical Fashion Initiative.

Anne (19:18):

Could you maybe do me the favor to explain what sort of work do you do in terms of mentoring? So there’s two different programs?

Eva (19:27):

Yeah. The first one I worked for, it’s what’s called UNIDO and they were doing programs to sustain grants around the world that they’re doing social sustainable fashion. Mostly I was working for them as a mentor, which means they were selecting the brand, giving them different ways to sustain themselves. Sometimes it was money. Sometimes it was help in terms of manufacturing. And on top of I was a manager is the sense that I was trying to help them to make more probably collection with their brand and more appealing also brand.

Anne (20:02):


Eva (20:05):

Like I was working on the brand image and collection and everything. I remember one of the most successful and happy stories I mentored is a Jordanian brand called [inaudible 00:20:18] Tribe. They have a small collection of t-shirt and bags. It’s a very simple collection, but basically they had refugees at the border with Syria. And they tried to organize art workshops for the kids in the refugee camps. So the take the design, the drawing from the kids and they put them on t-shirts and bags and you know, all sorts of different things that they can use as a merchandising product to sell.

Anne (20:46):


Eva (20:46):

The concept was appealing, but you would never wear one of those t-shirts.

Anne (20:51):


Eva (20:53):

So every time, because I was mentoring them through video calls, I couldn’t go to Jordan. But every time I wanted to cry and I had goose bumps because the stories were so moving. But I had to be very strong and firm and honest what I told about the aesthetic of the brand. So and the person is a young very clever [inaudible 00:21:19] that started this brand, was really listening. So together, we built a second collection. And it was a success. So they sold in different stores in Jordan, and then Lebanon as well in different countries.

Anne (21:31):

Oh, that is so moving. That’s incredible.

Eva (21:37):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I discovered how with all my know how about fashion and aesthetic and how you can put things together and products I could really help small brands thrive, especially brands that tried to help with other causes. In this case it was the refugees.

Anne (21:55):


Eva (21:56):

And, yeah.

Anne (21:56):

I love it.

Eva (21:57):

Right, so nice.

Anne (21:58):

This is such a beautiful job. So tell me about the other UN program which I think you still work with, correct?

Eva (22:04):

Yes. Then I was called by Ethical Fashion Initiative, founded by Simone Cipriani. So they had different projects in Kenya, in Burkina Faso, in Mali, in Afghanistan. They have also a very beautiful website visit. Basically, what I’ve been doing with them, it’s the same kind of consultancy but I’ve been on site. So I was really able to work with the artisans. Of course, it’s much better because you are there and you see like the possibilities of what you can do and you talk to people. We did one in Mali with the Berber. We did one in Burkina Faso with the fabrics they make there. And now we are trying to do one in Afghanistan. I tried to make their product more appealing for a Western market, let’s call it this way, so they can sell not only to brands that… Because they work with big brands. Of course they place orders. But the problem is that when they don’t place orders, they have to find a way to be independent. And the only way is to sell, see and that’s what I’m trying to help them.

Anne (23:10):

That’s wonderful.

Eva (23:11):

They’re trying to develop the project. But me, when I work with them it’s like, oh, it’s snowed. Oh, now we have the flu and there is a terrorist tax and it’s like that’s why also not the way you really to be sustainable is probably not to be more slow and to adapt to the different situation.

Anne (23:34):

Of course, yeah.

Eva (23:37):

It’ll be unpredictable, different… the timing. It’s a bit unpredictable. But I mean, it’s so rewarding. You know, every time you do something with them you really help the community. You help the women in the community. It’s really amazing. And on the other side, we make beautiful products. If you buy from them, it’s really not charity. You’re really buying beautiful work.

Anne (24:02):

Oh, that’s gorgeous. So what is hashtag good is the new cool?

Eva (24:07):

So that was the-

Anne (24:09):

I like it. I think it’s very catchy. What do you mean by it?

Eva (24:12):

Good is the new cool, it was probably one of my first slogan when I started working in sustainable fashion. Because the first thing I noticed that was like being good was considered something cool. So like being good is something that’s related to charities, something related to beauty, shopping, you know. And I was like, oh my God, it’s not like that. We have to make it cool so people would be more attracted to the sustainable brands and the sustainable industry. So I know it sounds very superficial because you have a lot of serious issues around it, but at the same time, if you don’t sell it, if you don’t make people want to be in this world, you’re not going to be profitable. So even if I sounded… I’ve been speaking at different summits for UN as well. I sounded like the fashion guru. Oh, you have to make it cool.

Anne (25:10):

Awesome. I mean, I wish I’d been in the room, honestly.

Eva (25:17):

So for me, like good is the new cool, I use it as an hashtag with the… You know, I started working with Ethical Initiatives. Because I think that was probably the biggest contribute I could bring to this movement. I really wanted to make it cool. So I was a little bit considered as an influencer or a trendsetter or whatever you want to call. But in the fashion industry, people at the time were looking at what I was wearing, where I was going, like what I was doing in general. I was like, okay, I’m going to take this opportunity to make this goodness look cool, to make volunteering look cool, to make buying sustainable brands look cool. And still, it’s still what I’m trying to do. Yeah, I think it’s something that really works, to make it fun, to show the empowerment around this project and not only the set part. When you’ve set something that is sustainable, you really impact someone lives. And I really want to show how these lives are impacted. And they’re all beautiful and stories of [inaudible 00:26:20]. I think that’s really cool, yeah.

Anne (26:23):

Absolutely. But it’s interesting to consider where our conversation started. Because from New York where you were a fashion editor pulling the looks for the under $150-

Eva (26:34):


Anne (26:35):

Into the international covers-

Eva (26:37):

You didn’t know that.

Anne (26:37):

That’s a good one. Oh, but listen, I was probably reading the equivalent, because I couldn’t afford anything when I was in my twenties. So but I can see the red thread of how all of these things got you to Goooders. Would you mind just telling everyone listening a little bit about your new business and your new life as a sustainable entrepreneur?

Eva (26:58):

[crosstalk 00:26:58].

Anne (26:57):

Yes, the glamor that is entrepreneurial life?

Eva (27:04):

Exactly. Okay, Goooders came as an idea after consulting for a couple of years in the sustainable industries. Because I noticed that all those little brands and projects that were popping everywhere didn’t have a way to show themselves to a bigger market, and we didn’t have any tool for communication and marketing. So Goooders came as an idea really to give these brands another opportunity. Because I was making them look cool, a nice product, a nice brand image. But then what, they didn’t have the money to afford fashion make in Paris or things like that. Goooders started as a way to put together all those brands, initiatives, collaboration, I mean anything that was about social sustainable and eco sustainable fashion and beauty and [inaudible 00:27:58]. And so I started the platform and I was like, there is a missing part. How can I make it profitable? Because I don’t want to be a charity. I really want to help these brands sell.

Eva (28:09):

So I came with the idea to open temporary stores in luxury hotels starting in Europe. And that idea really, really worked. So basically, it’s the slogan of Goooders is if you do good, you look good. You do something good and buying into Goooders brands and products, you do something good because every brand and every item has a story behind it that is incredible, women empowerment, eco sustainability, taking plastic from the oceans and remodelling it in sunglasses, and helping Brazilian kids going to to school. And you know, there is a list that is incredible. So you do good, and somehow you have a beautiful product and you look good as well. Like you probably may have a beautiful dress, beautiful sunglasses, a beautiful bag, a beautiful face mask. This is a little bit about it. And I feel like many of our customers, every time they buy something, when they tell the story about what they’re wearing, it’s incredible light that Goooders give you.

Anne (29:13):

That’s amazing.

Eva (29:15):

Which is really true. And I had customers telling me exactly that. Like, I was telling my friend about this dress. It was made in Tunisia but women, they were victim of violence and now they have a new life thanks to me that I’m buying this dress, on and on.

Eva (29:36):

Yeah, it’s very, very sweet, but it’s really something that became a little bit like a trend because people are really proud to do good. But sometimes they think it’s something really far from their lifestyle. They’re like, oh my God, I have to travel to South African starve for two weeks in a camp to volunteer if I want to do good. No, I mean you just have to make the right choices and be informed and have fun at the same time. Goooders is really about cool and fun and colorful. There is nothing said about sustainability. And also because we are selling through pop ups and also online, you know the pop ups really works because people are on vacation. They have time to listen. They have time to touch and to ask. Goooders is a lot about the storytelling. Being an entrepreneur, it’s not an easy thing. Like sometimes I feel like I’m back in New York like an intern. Like, oh my God, I’m like 20 years back. Why I did that?

Anne (30:46):

That’s hilarious.

Eva (30:46):

Sometimes I go couriers and bring the boxes myself and prices and everything. Of course, it’s a startup. We have a small team. But-

Anne (30:55):

So can I ask you a favor? Is there one or two brands who’s story you feel like you really want to talk about? I mean, I know it’s really hard because you [crosstalk 00:31:06] lots of stories. And I every time I do any research on any of the brands that you carry, I fall a little bit more in love.

Eva (31:14):

So we have one brand that probably puts together all our pillars, like meaningful, beautiful, and sustainable. And it’s called Parafina. They make sunglasses out of recycled plastic or recycled cork, recycled different materials. So they do eco sustainability because they clean the environment and the recycle and up cycle. And they make a beautiful product. We are doing a collaboration with Goooders on sunglasses, special style for us. So the product is beautiful. I mean, I if I had to say anything, like it was maybe perfect. And then they also devote a percentage of the profit to a program in Brazil that aids kids going to school.

Anne (32:02):


Eva (32:02):

It’s called [inaudible 00:32:04]. So basically, when you buy the sunglasses, you have little pencil in the box with seeds on the top of the pencil that you can plant. And basically, this is like the little item that represent their NGO for helping kids going to school in Brazil.

Anne (32:20):

The seeds of learning.

Eva (32:21):

So I’m very proud of this brand because it’s a small brand. They are doing very well, and they’re filling all the boxes for Goooders, eco sustainable, they’re socially sustainable. It’s a beautiful brand. And I mean, they also have a nice business model so they are probably profitable as well.

Anne (32:40):


Eva (32:40):


Anne (32:42):

But so I need to ask though, isn’t it really hard to be sustainable in day to day life, especially when you work in fashion?

Eva (32:49):

It’s super, super hard. Sometimes, I’m really like, oh my God, that’s too hard. I want to give up. No, no, it’s true. But that’s why I highly recommend not to be too fanatic about being sustainable. And there is a phrase, I don’t remember who said that, but like it’s better to have one million people who are doing sustainability like how they can, not perfectly, than to have one thousand people who are doing perfectly.

Anne (33:14):


Eva (33:15):

So [inaudible 00:33:15] to be 100 percent sustainable, it’s basically impossible nowadays unless you go into the wild and-

Anne (33:24):

Unless you’re off the grid somewhere.

Eva (33:26):

Exactly. So I’m not 100 percent sustainable myself, but I try to improve my sustainability habits and rules. And also because right now, also friends are helping you to be more sustainable. I think we have to be all a little bit more sustainable so we will have more way to be… It’s, how do you say, a give and take.

Anne (33:50):

Yeah, it’s a give and take.

Eva (33:51):

Give and take, win-win game, call it whatever you want. But like for example, don’t use plastic bottles. But sometimes there are not ways to refill you water bottles.

Anne (34:02):

Yeah, I know.

Eva (34:03):

And but probably the more people are going to ask for it. Probably we are going to have more fountains, airports, or parks to refill our water bottle and not to consume plastic.

Anne (34:14):

That’s a big one for me, as you know, because we’ve talked about it.

Eva (34:17):

We are making water bottles carry on bags for the travelers for Goooders, so-

Anne (34:22):

That’s going to be very helpful for me.

Eva (34:25):

Of course. I mean, we try to solve little problems here and there. And we have like rules for sustainability, like as sustainable as possible, as soon as possible. So it’s also a way how we evaluate if a business is cool for us or not. When you have the possibility to choose for something good, like, and you do it. And you make a little effort in terms of money and time, I mean for me you are already a Goooders. You know, you don’t have to be 100 percent sustainable. Sometimes you are eco sustainable but less socially sustainable. You can improve that. But like trying to improve yourself and to improve your habits and to buy more conscious, it’s already something. If everyone was trying to improve his lifestyle at least a little bit-

Anne (35:19):


Eva (35:19):

Like turning of the lights when you don’t need them, I mean, we would save so much.

Anne (35:25):

Oh, my God. I think about that so often by the way. It’s strange you would mention. I try to be very conscious of my electricity consumption.

Eva (35:32):

Me too. But like probably six years ago, I wasn’t even thinking about it. I wasn’t reading the labels of the clothes I was buying. So right now I try to avoid acrylic, the really bad-

Anne (35:45):


Eva (35:47):

Materials. But for example sometimes I find something that is very expensive that is not probably 100 percent made of sustainable materials, but at the same times, I think okay, this is so beautiful, so expensive, I going to connect with it for my whole life and pass it to my kids or to whoever, so this is something that is sustainable as well, to try to buy less and probably more of quality and that is going to last more. It’s really-

Anne (36:14):

Oh, so it’s kind of like beautiful is sustainable, or very beautiful would be sustainable because technically you wouldn’t get rid of it.

Eva (36:22):

Quality and beautiful is sustainable. And usually it becomes also with being a little bit more expensive of course. Because if you have quality, it’s more expensive, also the aesthetic. But of course if you think that something, it’s really like precious and unique and I mean, they’re going to love it forever, maybe you are going to pass it to a friend a some point because this is sustainable, yeah.

Anne (36:48):

Yeah, of course. So in terms of support and resources available for people who are interested in learning more, we can add them into the show notes. Is there any special resource, book, website, that you found particularly useful?

Eva (37:04):

UN programs are very serious. It’s about the SDG goals and reduce poverty, so I don’t really suggest unless you want to get very informed to read into the UN-

Anne (37:20):

Fair enough. Fair enough.

Eva (37:25):

But at the same time, there are a lot of influencers and journalists and a lot of people I admire that are starting their own podcasts. And of course Instagram and social media are the new media so through their social media they’re passing by a very nice and fun message. So absolutely, I can make a list. You have people that are doing sustainability also with food, that they teach how to buy with less packaging, which is a big problem, and people that show you how to buy into sustainable beauty brands, also because it’s better for your skin. Little things that is like, for example, Bandana Tewari who is a journalist. She was [inaudible 00:38:12] and now she writes for Business of Fashion. I think she has a very light and engaging way to write about sustainability, so-

Anne (38:21):

Yeah, I love Bandana.

Eva (38:24):

Also very fun and very clever. I really like her tone of voice because it’s very entertaining. And so then you really get to know more about how to be sustainable. You have a few of them. And there is another editor from [inaudible 00:38:41] Australia who is writing guides about how to shop more sustainable, how to read the labels and things like that, people that travel are more sustainable. And many of them, it’s still a little niche, but it’s growing.

Anne (38:58):

I was going to ask you after this, how does this kind of positive activism, or enthusiasm rather, towards sustainability survived with traveling in planes and cars? But obviously right now, it is not much of a problem. Do you have any thoughts as to how you think or you think we should emerge from this sort of global quarantine in terms of… I should speak for myself first. I have traveled a lot like you for my career, and I was very privileged to do so. I was going from Brazil to New York to Tokyo, and I did think recently over the last sort of couple of years that I wanted to reduce my travel as much as possible. And still, I find myself on planes most weeks, even though I have less hours of work, let’s say. So it was a better pace of life but still a lot of travel. And now I’m really deeply rethinking this. I had made some decisions about how I want my life to unfold going forward, [crosstalk 00:39:57] which I’d made months ago.

Anne (39:58):

However, this said, I was booked on a flight on the second of May to go to Los Angeles for a [inaudible 00:40:04] retreat and to see one of my best friends who lives out there. And now I think I’m going to have to Zoom my [inaudible 00:40:11] retreat and swear off my mobile, and that [inaudible 00:40:17] is going to have to change their system. So how would you wish for us to emerge out of this crisis in a way that’s going to make us rethink our world?

Eva (40:27):

So I’m like very optimistic about the opportunities of this lock down. It’s really showing us how we can work and do things without jumping on a plane every day. So basically, I think these video calls and all the tools we are using these days to keep working, probably we could keep doing it after the-

Anne (40:52):


Eva (40:54):

[crosstalk 00:40:54]. Probably we are learning a new way of doing things also to slow down things as well. We are not going to stop traveling. That’s not possible, the same as we are not going to stop buying into fashion, because that’s not possible as well. A lot of people are working in the travel business.

Anne (41:14):

Of course.

Eva (41:14):

A lot of people are working in the fashion business. So you have to be conscious of that as well. Sometimes very radical sustainable people are like, “Oh, you have to buy vintage and wear your stuff forever until you die.” Like-

Anne (41:26):


Eva (41:26):

I’m like, “Of course. And all the poor people who are working in the fashion business, you know what I mean. What’s going to happen to them?” So I mean you have to be conscious as well about it. So in terms of traveling, if you… For example, now when I travel in Italy, I try to travel by train as much as possible. And even when I have to go to France, when I have the possibility to travel with the train, I try to choose it. And I know that they are improving in their overnight trains that for Europe, where we have short distance, it’s really nice. And then I think we will probably restrict all our long distance travels for something that is really meaningful. And maybe we will try to stay there as much as possible to do more things. Like for example, if you travel to LA, you are going to see your friends or your yoga school and maybe do a little trip for a retreat, blah, blah, blah. You stay there one month, probably so you don’t have to be back and forth all the time.

Anne (42:37):

Sure. That makes sense.

Eva (42:38):

I think it’s really going to be a different approach. Again, and even the travel companies are going to improve their impact on the environment. And yeah-

Anne (42:50):

I definitely hope so. They’re going to have to reinvent travel some ways, I think.

Eva (42:54):

Yeah, now I use an electric little car in Milan. I use my bicycle. I’m really aware. And where I can, and where it doesn’t restrain what I have to do in my daily routine, I will take flights at the better option of the time. So I think it’s probably what is going to happen for sure. There has been already a shift in human consciousness. Like people, we’re starting to feel there was something wrong.

Anne (43:25):

Yeah. [crosstalk 00:43:27] consumption.

Eva (43:27):

Consumption, consumption of everything, even consumption of relationships, everything, you know. People in general, I feel are not happy. So they’re starting to look to be a little bit more happy in some way. And for sure, one of these ways, all the psychologists tell you, that if you good somehow to yourself or to others, it’s the best way and the fastest way to be fulfilled in your life. I think during this quarantine-

Anne (44:01):


Eva (44:02):

I published on a post… I mean, I was laughing at myself I felt like we are all put in our rooms by nature for what we have done so far. So like-

Anne (44:17):


Eva (44:18):

When you are kid, think about what you have done.

Anne (44:20):

Oh, I love that. I can see that with the pointing the finger.

Eva (44:26):

Yeah, exactly. So I feel like we are all grounded and we have to, you know, make the most out of this time… I don’t see we are going to restart everything like as before. I’m sure we will now think more of what is our impact and how we can make our life better.

Anne (44:46):

I am nodding my head. Now, to move on to something ever so slightly different, you belong to a couple of countries. You’re half French, half Italian. You grew up in Tuscany, am I correct?

Eva (44:59):


Anne (45:00):

And obviously, we all know that Italy has been on the front lines of this quarantine and this outbreak. So I wanted to know if there was an ode to Italy you wanted to give us? Or a piece of advice?

Eva (45:12):


Anne (45:13):


Eva (45:14):

Like my grandmother used to say, [inaudible 00:45:20], which is like probably an Italian proverb that says, not all the bad things come to damage you. Which means-

Anne (45:30):

Oh, good.

Eva (45:31):

Yeah, which means like we have to see what is good in this bad situation, of course.

Anne (45:37):

Very appropriate.

Eva (45:39):

I have to say that Italians are very proactive and creative. It’s probably one of the most creative people on the planet, I think. So they have [inaudible 00:45:50] an amazing way to react to things and to reinvent their self. I am not saying they are perfect. We have other-

Anne (45:54):

I understand.

Eva (45:54):

Issues going on.

Anne (45:54):

You [crosstalk 00:45:54] saying it. I am not judgemental. That’s fine.

Eva (46:02):

No, no, no. But at the same time yeah, it’s probably even in the past we are really able to see the opportunities and good aspects of a unfortunate situation.

Anne (46:15):

I’m proud. I thank you. That’s a great saying.

Eva (46:18):

When we were put in quarantine, we started concerts on the balconies. And think that really represent what is the Italian spirit.

Anne (46:29):

I know, I’ve watched some of these and yeah, wept in love. So just to finish off then, I wanted to ask what is your favorite word?

Eva (46:41):

Thank you, I said, which is grazie in Italian, merci in French. So basically, one of my secrets, because I’ve always been thankful, and I try to be thankful all the time. It’s something really that keeps me in a peace. So I’m really grateful and thankful all the time. So it’s probably one of the words I say mostly, like grazie, grazie, grazie, like to people in the street, to the vendors, to friends, to… you know, a word that I really, really love.

Anne (47:13):

Fantastic. What are you not very good at?

Eva (47:20):


Anne (47:21):

Oh, I did not see that one coming. Okay.

Eva (47:24):

I’m actually very bad. And I said, unless you love Italian dye and a colorful mix of [crosstalk 00:47:32] like unless you like the psychedelic style, better it’s I avoid the laundry.

Anne (47:42):

That’s really good to know. What or who do you want to be when you grow up?

Eva (47:50):

I have a lot of people I look at admiration and people to look at me in the same way so I probably want to be an example in my own field. So I really want to find a way to inspire people. So probably with what I’m doing now, Goooders, I really want to be an example for many other initiative, or also for people that are looking for inspiration.

Anne (48:16):

I feel very inspired by what you do so I’m certain that others are going to find it as well. And just to close, tell me what brings you happiness?

Eva (48:25):

I have a new gratitude journal where sometimes I force myself to write at least ten things I’m grateful for every day. So sometimes, I come up with almost sometimes superficial things like my coffee or my… Probably these days, I’m really thankful for my body and like-

Anne (48:47):

Your heath.

Eva (48:49):

My health, exactly. And because I have time, I look in the mirror. I know as women sometimes we can find-

Anne (48:58):

Yeah, you noticed.

Eva (48:59):

You know, something wrong. But I’m really glad for my messy, super messy long hair that I cannot cut during these days. I’m very happy my skin and my body. And I’m really trying to love me, like [inaudible 00:49:17].

Anne (49:16):

Oh, my God. Do you know? I love this.

Eva (49:19):

Like kissing my heart, [inaudible 00:49:22].

Anne (49:22):

Do you know who I heard does that every night?

Eva (49:25):


Anne (49:26):

Diane von Furstenberg.

Eva (49:28):

Oh, really?

Anne (49:28):

Yeah, and I heard it several times because my old creative boss [inaudible 00:49:34]-

Eva (49:33):


Anne (49:34):

Several times… I can’t remember what the questions were, but several times he was asked about what’s really important in life, and he said it’s really important to love yourself.

Eva (49:44):


Anne (49:44):

And he told me and told the journalist that it’s Diane who taught him-

Eva (49:52):


Anne (49:52):

And that she apparently every night, she kisses herself and says I love you and yeah.

Eva (49:56):

I learned to love myself. I didn’t love myself when I was younger. So maybe yeah, I read a lot of books and I started to have gratitude and I really started to love every single part of myself. So probably during these days I really like being in my skin and having time to look at the mirror and to-

Anne (50:20):


Eva (50:22):

[inaudible 00:50:22] skin and take care of me. It’s something I really appreciate, yeah.

Anne (50:26):

That’s wonderful. So thank you so much, Eva, for your time. It was absolutely wonderful to talk to you. And obviously, I know you already, but every time we talk I learn something new and get more inspired. So I feel it was a very rewarding conversation for me, the interviewer. Can I ask you, where can people find you?

Eva (50:46):

You can find me on Instagram. It’s Eva Geraldine. I usually try to reply to all DM’s. So maybe-

Anne (50:55):

That is very charming of you.

Eva (50:57):

Yeah. No, no, I really, really try. And also, because people really ask me engaging questions and they really what to know. Sometimes I really take an afternoon free to reply to everything. So if you have need for anything, you can find more information on what we talked about on Goooders, with the three Os, dot com, or on the Instagram, which is Goooders.

Anne (51:21):

That’s wonderful. I will put the links in the show notes as well.

Eva (51:24):


Anne (51:25):

Eva, thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope that you have a wonderful night, and we’ll speak again very soon.

Eva (51:32):

Yes. Ciao, Anne.

Anne (51:34):

Thanks so much. Thank you again for listening. I hope that you have enjoyed my conversation with Eva Geraldine. You can find her, as she said, on Instagram at Eva Geraldine, or online at Goooders, that’s G-O-O-O-D-E-R-S dot com. Of course, all details will be in the show notes, including Eva’s suggestions for reading on Buddhism and on sustainability. If you have enjoyed the show, feel free to rate and review this podcast and subscribe. Until next time, thank you again for listening, be well, wash your hands, social distance, and all that good stuff.

Eva Geraldine and her dog Georges