Livia Firth On The Importance Of Failing, And Whether You Can Really Have It All

BY Olivia Phillips / Dec 15 2019 / 16:12 PM

We sat down with Co-Founder and Creative Director of Eco-Age, Livia Firth, to discuss sustainable solutions - both for the world, and for ourselves

Livia Firth On The Importance Of Failing, And Whether You Can Really Have It All

Can we have it all - and what does that mean?

“Sadly we can’t, because it comes at the expense of other things. But what we can do find a balance within ourselves that works. Perpetuating the myth that we can have it all is a recipe for a nervous breakdown."

Who’s your career role model?

“Every woman that combines a career, a family and a private life is always a hero for me, because there’s no such thing as the perfect recipe. I always think, ‘How on earth do you do it?!’”

What’s the book that changed your life?

On Life After Death by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. I read it when my best friend died sadly at the age of 43. Elisabeth interviewed over 2,000 people who’d had near-death experiences and they all said the same thing: that death is the most beautiful moment of life, and if we understood that, then we would celebrate it like birth. It really transformed the experience for me.”

Describe yourself in three words...

"Disciplined. Fun. Feminist."

What life-defining moment changed the way you think about everything?

“When I went to Bangladesh for the first time I walked into a factory and I can’t express how much of a shock it was to see women like you and I being slaves in the supply chain of clothes we wear every day. I thought, ‘As a feminist, I cannot let this happen.’ And that changed everything. It gave me a boost to start campaigning.”

The key to success is...

"Being able to say, 'What lesson can I learn?' when things go wrong."

What’s been the highlight of your career?

“Working with Chopard to launch A Journey to Sustainable Luxury, and then achieving a 100 per cent ethically sourced gold supply chain. No other company has ever done that. It’s really ground-breaking.”

What part of your work are you most proud of?

“The Eco-Age team – especially the fact that they’re (almost) all women, too. I read that companies that have a higher percentage of women are more profitable and efficient.”

Who or what feeds your soul?

"Three of four really special girlfriends of mine."

What are you most passionate about?

“Changing the world. I really want to be part of that change and make people think, ‘How can we do it?’”

What do you still want to learn and why?

“Every day at work feels like going back to university, but I want to learn how we can adapt to the future by thinking in ways we haven’t before. This economic model is just not sustainable anymore.”

Motto to live by

“‘Stop complaining, and start a revolution.’ It was a sticker someone on roller-skates gave me on Venice Beach 20 years ago. Now it’s in the bathroom at Eco-Age for everyone!”

From the December 2019 Issue of Harper BAZAAR Arabia