Change-Maker Daisy Kendrick On London's 'Kooky' Style Vs Madrid's Classic Vibe

We sat down with one of our original members Daisy Kendrick, founder of Ocean Generation, Author and Environmentalist to talk all things sustainability, her attitude towards shopping and the true style differences between the cities she's living in. 

Daisy Kendrick Founder Ocean Generation

Where are you currently?

Currently in a little town called Javea, on the eastern coast of Spain. My mum lives here most of the year so it’s a place for our family to spend time together and disconnect.

Tell us a little bit about Ocean Generation, what inspired you to start it?

Ocean Generation is a non-profit that harnesses the power of social media and tech platforms to educate on climate change to Gen-Z and millennial audiences. We educate using methods such as music, mobile gaming and coding. We also expanded into grass-roots action with initiatives empowering young people from climate vulnerable communities on islands with new skills and host hackathon events to develop solutions to different ocean or climate-specific issues.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of running Ocean Generation?

The most rewarding aspect of Ocean Gen was seeing our on-the-ground programs come to life, working with young people from small islands. To date we have taught over 300 young people film-documentary skills and coding. Most people have always questioned why an environmental organisation would provide such activities to young people, it’s because if these communities may no longer depend on fishing or tourism because of a changing climate, future proofing them with alternative skills are imperative.  

You just wrote an incredible book! Tell us about it?

Yes! It’s called The Climate is Changing, Why Aren’t We? A practical guide to how you can make a difference. Available now on Amazon, Book Depository and in UK bookstores.

This book is not aiming to convince people that climate change exists, most of us agree it’s happening right now in the world around us. This book weaves together shocking statistics, inspirational stories and easy green switches to paint a picture of where we are today and what we can do as individuals to tackle climate change on an individual level. From the clothes we buy, plastics we use, food we eat, to knowing how to harness social media and technology to get our voices heard, this book is about humanising the climate story and inspiring a sense of optimism and action.

Daisy Kendrick founder of Ocean Generation, wearing a white dress
Daisy Kendrick, author and founder of Ocean Generation, wearing a holiday outfit

Do you have any personal life hacks for getting through the day in the most sustainable way possible?

For the past few years, living in a big city like London makes it almost impossible to adopt a 100% sustainable lifestyle. Where I tend to make the most impact in my own life is in my own home. From the products I use for cleaning and beauty, to the food I buy with minimum packaging and try to avoid food waste when cooking at home are some of the small actions I take. I normally always have a small reusable bag on me in case I shop anywhere, and I try to use a reusable bottle whenever possible (both of these tips always save money too!).

In an ever changing industry, where do you foresee the future of fashion going and have you noticed a shift in consumer habits? 

Obviously being into sustainability I would really love to say that consumers are demanding more sustainable and ethical brands, however when writing the book, I took a deep delve into the fashion industry and the data does not support what people are saying and the way they are shopping. While people tend to agree they would like to shop more sustainably, they aren’t actually spending their money in that way. One of the many reasons behind this, I believe, is because ‘sustainable’ options (and that definition is still yet to be refined, is a very broad word for different fashion brands) need to make these options more readily available and easier for consumers.

I would love to see fashion brands become more transparent with their supply chains – educating customers on where they buy their raw materials and who are the people along the way around the world, behind making our clothes. I think if we start to humanise the supply process, people will begin to feel more related to the garments they buy and value them more.

Lastly let’s move away from trends. I would love to see more people buy pieces just because they adore them versus because everyone is wearing a certain style right now. I’m not sure if that will happen anytime soon due to the rise of Influencers and Instagram, they advertise the latest clothing as their job influencing millions of people globally.

How would you describe your shopping philosophy? 

I definitely apply the ’30 times wear’ rule when shopping, if I don’t think I will wear it more than 30 times, I don’t buy. As I’ve got older, I find it more important to choose well and also I feel like I am more confident in my own style so it’s become easier to choose key pieces for my wardrobe. I also have a bit of an odd habit that I buy beautiful pieces without having a necessity to wear them right now but for a potential scenario in the future, or with the idea to pass them onto my kids some day!

You just moved from London to Madrid - what are the key style differences between the two cities? 

London has a kooky sense of style; I would say it is one of the most liberal cities in the world for the way people dress. You see anything and everything and people are not afraid to express themselves with their clothes. There is less judgement and I definitely dress according to my mood in London. Aside from the freedom, I would also say you see a lot more ‘casually’ dressed people. Madrid has a more classic sense of style; people are generally elegant and tailored. I see myself in Madrid sticking to more classic pieces there. 

Daisy Kendrick, author and founder of Ocean Generation, wearing a boho coat

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

1. A summer dress from a Vintage store in San Francisco bought on a road trip with a friend. It’s not, but kind of looks like a Missoni fabric, its' flowy, cream coloured and is perfect for any summer situation!

2. A handmade clutch bought in Agra, India close to the Taj Mahal. As that area is sacred, I found a lot of hand-made artisan pieces including bags by a shop owner that after an hour chatting, he ended up telling me about my energy and reading my palm. Some of his words still resonate with me today so I really cherish the bag and a piece of art I bought from his shop.

3. My Zazi Vintage coat – I bought it just over a year ago when they did a pop up in London but I have been following the brands' journey for much longer, and especially the Founder of Zazi’s story on social media. What makes their pieces so unique is their commitment throughout their supply chains to sharing the stories of the women from across the world that make their garments under fair and transparent conditions.

I love pieces that have a story behind them, they mean so much more and I also feel much more inspired on my days wearing them!

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

I used to live right next to Notting Hill in London, that is an area with a treasure trove of cool vintage places. I loved One of a Kind and 282 Portobello. My favourite vintage shopping though is when I travel and explore new places. I’m also obsessed with artisans and old techniques, so I love to find hand crafted pieces when travelling too!