Meet this month’s Chick, Chloé Jo. A retired NYC party promoter, and now a champion for animal rights and eco-friendly living, Chloé now uses her impressive Rolodex to make the world a better place! We had a chance to catch up with this Green Goddess about how she got her start, the best way to get involved in a cause your passionate about, and her favorite eco-friendly brands!
Tell is about yourself, and what it is that you do:
Italian Elle called me a “Game Changer,” but I call myself an animal rights activist. I am the founder of GirlieGirlArmy.com – your Glamazon Guide To Green Living – which essentially is a one-stop-site for all things cruelty free, eco-friendly, and glamorous… and yes all things can peacefully coexist!
How did Girlie Girl Army come about?
GirlieGirl Army came about initially because I was a downtown NYC party girl (named Best Party Promoter by Village Voice back in the 90’s, yo!) who had a big following. When I changed my life and started caring about animals and the earth in a more profound way, I used my lists to help the other women I saw struggling finding a place for themselves between “off-the-grid greenie” and “hummer-driving-fur-hag.”
GGA now represents a niche—the same one I looked for when I had my own vegan “aha!” moment years ago. I wanted there to be a place for fabulous people who want to make a difference in the world via their activism, but don’t want to ditch having fun or looking great.
Do you have any favorite eco-friendly clothing brands?
Obvs! Shoes – I don’t want to/ can’t live without my OlsenHaus, Cri De Coeur/ Heart of Darkness , Stella McCartney, Neuaura. And Matt & Nat belts and bags are fiercely timeless and gorgeous. They make an epic diaper bag that is made from recycled bottles (you’d never know – it’s so chic!)
Clothing wise – I die for Lara Miller knits, Dalia gowns (yes, I own way more gowns than I do casual clothes,) Prairie Underground Hoodies. HessNatur makes really nice sustainable clothes that are affordable, and Blue Canoe [for] underthings.
What are three things that we can all do to practice “greener fashion”?
1. Stop buying animal bi-products and fibers (wool, leather, fur, silk) which all have a dramatically heavy footprint on the earth. Buy organic and sustainably made synthetics instead.
2. Green up your punim. Stop buying dangerous make-up and hair products which have been shown to not only affect your hormones, but have been proven to give you cancer. Choosing differently when you put on your eye shadow in the A.M. can seem like a simple step, but it’s a biodynamic gesture towards your body and your insides.
3. Clear the clutter. Have clothing swaps, sell off what you don’t wear at consignment shops or Ebay, and donate [the rest]. You will not only then consume less when you see exactly what is that you wear, you will also walk the world with more purpose. Clean closets mean clean minds, try it and see.
What advice would you give a girl who is passionate about a cause, but unsure about how to get involved?
Start small – even if it means volunteering at a benefit by working coat check or signing online petitions. As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Little things snowball into big, grand things! Tiny example: As a breastfeeding mother, dairy is of particular concern to me. Bet you didn’t know mother cows need to be impregnated constantly to provide dairy and that their babies are ripped from them minutes after being born –aka the veal industry. It’s a vicious cycle and mothers mourn and bellow for their young each time. Therefore, vegan pizza is the only pizza my family will eat. I recently popped into a local progressive chain in NYC expecting that they would have a vegan pie. I was shocked that they didn’t, so I shot a two second email over to the contact on their website. I was not only contacted by the owner of the pizza place, he had decided to implement vegan pies using Daiya (soy free) cheese into all their locations! Opening your mouth works! Though you may not have the funds to travel to Africa and volunteer or the time to regularly get upstate to Woodstock Sanctuary to muck the stalls, start at your desk with five minutes of your morning coffee. Start today. If we don’t use social networking for the greater good and to help animals, people, and the environment , the whole thing just becomes a time wasting high-school hierarchy.
Let’s change it up—what fall trends are you loving this season?
Navajo prints, late 70’s wide leg pants, Missoni print bell sleeved vintage tops, and muted pastels.
If you could have coffee with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?
Jim Carroll and Laura Nyro. Poetic heroes, radical voices. I’ve been lucky enough growing up in New York City to have met almost all my heroes. Some I wish I’d never met, some are my good friends! That said, two people I kept almost-meeting (and then they died) were those above. And those two are still the most listened to on my ipod and still induce the most goosebumps.
What is your very favorite piece of clothing?
The denim jacket my Mom wore to Woodstock. Doesn’t get more rock-‘n-roll than that!
You mentioned that you have 5 rescued pets. Tell us about them!
Tatiana and Twiggy are mutts (both spotted black and white) rescued off kill lists (over 800 pets per state per day get put down in our shelter system.) They are now 13 and 14, and I’ve had them since I was in my very early twenties. They’ve gone everywhere with me and always will. Both are pit mutts, one chubby and one skinny. Twiggy has breath that could kill an entire nation and Tatiana is the ultimate cuddler. Then came Tallulah, Pleoine, and Bowie – all rescued cats. Tallulah was rescued alongside her daughter Pleoine because I found out mother cats (and dogs) often get put down because nobody wants the mom, or to keep the babies with their mother. Watching Tallulah nurse her baby was the sweetest thing I’d ever seen. Bowie was thrown out of the window of a crack den in the Bronx and came to us via a rescue. He is a little redhead and a lot of trouble. And I mean trouble in the happiest sort of way.
Last but not least… what is your favorite thing about the month of November?
Food, of course. Us vegan bitches can throw down in the kitchen! Roasted brussell sprouts with fresh thyme and chestnuts, caramelized acorn and butternut squash, fresh rosemary breads, hearty warming soups, and hot apple cider! NYC in the autumn is incredibly romantic, and then the six months of crappy winter set in. I’ll enjoy this month as much as i can!