Donata van Rassel (38) is married to Paul and mother of Valentijn (almost 5). She is a publisher, concept developer and trend watcher and runs her own business AURORA concepts.

18-Donata_van_der_RasselWhat makes your wardrobe green?
About 80% of my clothes, accessories and shoes are secondhand. I live in Haarlem where we have a bunch of vintage and second hand stores that I visit regularly. I also bring my own stuff there when I’m bored with it or if it doesn’t fit me anymore.

What’s your favorite way to dress?
I love casual and comfortable. It has to feel good but at the same time still look feminine. I don’t like complicated clothing pieces. I wear a lot of tunics over jeans, sometimes a dress or a skirt, but you’ll rarely see me on a pair of high heels.

What do you love the most about second hand clothing?6-Donata_van_der_Rassel
I love looking for good second hand pieces. I know enough about brands and I love that you can find stuff from a couple of seasons ago or even brands that are not on the market anymore. I also think there’s enough clothing out there already and we don’t necessarily have to produce even more. I like the idea of clothing getting a second life through a second hand store.

Where do you find all these beautiful second hand pieces?
I have a couple of the same places I go to here in Haarlem; Toff, Zazoe en VIND. I also go to ‘the kringloop’ (similar to Housing works). You can find some real treasures there!

7-Donata_van_der_RasselDo you buy new things as well? And if so where?
When I buy new clothing I prefer to buy sustainable brands. Favorite stores are Brandmission, Charly+Mary. Favorite sustainable brands are Studio Jux, L’Herbe Rouge, People Tree, Miss Green. I also buy from Dutch brands that have sustainability on their agenda like Vanilia and Expresso. I’m a huge fan of APC, Isabel Marant, Filipa K., Minimum & Anecdote. I can get these brands at ‘the Bijenkorf’ (Famous department store similar to Macy’s) and then there’s also a store in Amsterdam (in the ‘nine little streets’ area) that I visit when they are having a sale (SKY). I love COS and & Other Stories as well.

How does money play a role during your shopping?
It sounds really Dutch (as in Dutch are known to be cheap…), but I choose to buy more expensive brands only when they are on sale. I actually never buy something full price, it’s just not necessary. Especially since I believe in classic pieces that can be worn through all seasons.

Is there anything missing in your wardrobe? 15-Donata_van_der_Rassel
I actually really need a wind proof parka for when I’m biking. But I haven’t found a good sustainable variation yet.

Are there things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I really love the French style. I think women in France always look perfectly casual-chic. They wear classic high end clothing that’s still comfortable.

Do you have a style icons?
Style icons are Isabel Marant, RIKA (also a beautiful brand by the way), Garance Doré and Stella McCarthy (If I had the money I’d buy everything from her!)

PART II

16-Donata_van_der_RasselWhat does conscious living mean to you?
For me conscious living is thinking about what choices to make when it comes to food (organic), clothing, care products etc. That you think about the impact your choices have on the world, but also that you see life as part of something bigger. Living from a feeling of unity. Because everything we do will effect someone else. Do you choose to have a positive or negative impact?

What does spirituality mean for you?
Because I was brought up in the ‘New Age’ spirit, to me spirituality is not something woolly and vague. My mom is an astrologer. I believe we are all spiritual beings. We are self-reflective and experience deep emotions. I think we are here to learn and to evolve, both physically and mentally. You can call that transformation or even enlightenment. In that sense spirituality is the bases for my life. I think I see my life in a context that other people might miss. It gives me comfort and purpose, but I don’t feel the necessity to convince other people of my ideas.

How are conscious living and spirituality incorporated in your company?12-Donata_van_der_Rassel
I work on projects that promote conscious living, for example books about conscious lifestyle, mindfulness or spirituality. I coach writers, but also help them with the publishing and branding of their book. I also work with entrepreneurs and smaller brands who promote ‘conscious living’ to help them make their image reflect their message.

What inspires you?
I get visual inspiration from online magazines. I’m a little addicted to pinterest, but I also love to read all kinds of books and I love costume drama’s.

What gives you energy?
I get energy from a beautiful assignment or project, but also from my son. And Yoga is another thing I love to do. It gives me energy.

8-Donata_van_der_RasselWhat were your favorite books in 2015?
Favorite books for 2015: poem collection North&South from Elizabeth Bishop (recent new find). Light is the new black by Rebecca Campbell. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell.

What do you wear with Christmas?
Didn’t think about this yet! Whoops!

Do you have tips for women who would like to have a green wardrobe?
1) Do a clothingswap with friends once a while (so fun!).
2) Go through your wardrobe on a regular bases and get rid of stuff you haven’t worn for two seasons. 3) Find a new home for it.
4) Buy more second hand!