Cover Story: Why now's the time to form the future




As she becomes Velvet’s first contributing sustainability editor, Caroline S. Asante - the eco and equality advocate and activist behind lifestyle brand Sustainable Diva - models her own conscious clothing and upcycled jewellery lines, and reflects on the repercussions of a year of seismic societal change

Opinion: Life is the space between events

OPINION Caroline S Asante CREDIT Elodie Giuge (47063422)
OPINION Caroline S Asante CREDIT Elodie Giuge (47063422)

As an eco and equality advocate, activist and social commentator, Velvet’s new contributing sustainability editor Caroline S. Asante shares her insight into the importance of becoming more conscious, prioritising self-care and embracing diversity as we emerge from the pandemic

We are finally out of lockdown and as I try to cram what seems like endless post-lockdown tasks into spaces which cannot fit them all, I reflect on the past year, the energy of the moment and our collective vision for a brighter future.

Currently, everything and everyone seems speeded up. A certain ‘animals escaping from a zoo in overdrive’ feeling is replacing walks in the countryside, as we frantically try to make up for ‘lost time’. All of this, of course, whilst simultaneously, at a deeper level, we are processing 18 months of tremendous personal and societal upheaval.

Exactly a year ago in June 2020, running alongside the global pandemic, some of the largest equality and anti-racism protests were taking place in cities around the world. And unless you found a large enough rock to reside under over the past 13 months, you no doubt will be aware of the public reaction against violence and injustice following the murder of George Floyd in the United States last May.

A tragedy witnessed by millions of sustained violence against another human being - crying out to the spirit of his deceased mother, knowing his last moments on earth were about to take place - although George Floyd’s death took place in the United States, approximately 4,000 miles away from Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, perpetuations of its energy were and are still felt, whether there is conscious awareness of it or not. Let me explain.

As human beings, we are no longer in the same dimensional energy vibration on earth as we were this time a year ago. Regardless of our generational stage of life or individual ethnicity, when one conscious life suffers, we all suffer and feel this unconsciously. This has always been the case, but now, in our modern time when there are no geographical boundaries and the world has been united by the shared experience of the pandemic, it’s more profound than ever.

Some people have become more aware and conscious of this energy shift in our awareness - children, adolescent and very elderly people in particular - with greater telepathy and emotional understanding of difference and diversity becoming the norm as we move towards a post-pandemic phase.

As we become more conscious of unconscious bias, have greater awareness of social and environmental injustice and prioritise the importance of diversity, our future as a human family will be more cohesive. Appreciating ourselves more, uplifting those who feel marginalised and making individual and collective mental and emotional health a priority will ultimately create happier communities and society. We are ultimately all made of the same ‘stuff’, visibly different or not. And if one suffers, we all suffer; if one lives in joy, we can all share in that abundance.

The Covid-19 pandemic, as brutal and chaotic as it is and was, threw a wrench into how life use to be. It has made us accept dramatic changes we thought would never happen. Notions of identity, community, freedom, what we value and what really is important to us now stem from the quality of our health and lifestyle, rather than from material objects. I’m an optimist by nature, therefore I always seek choices that bring me most joy, and sometimes this is not easy by any stretch.

The last year and a half continues to teach us lessons of having greater awareness of others, embracing differences and giving ourselves permission to pivot career-wise. I certainly have. Over the past year I’ve embraced more of myself as a multi-talented woman of colour. For decades I’ve been a secret astrologer and clairvoyant; finally, I’m merging my esoteric life with my creative life and business. My love and connection to family, friends and people is stronger than ever, and my appreciation for mother earth and nature has reached a new level of adoration.

As we move towards a post-pandemic future, I believe we will value our own talents, accept difference in others and seek personal freedom with renewed importance. No more unconscious daydreaming through life, believing if it is not happening to me and mine, then it is not happening. If we don’t like the life circumstance picture we have created, we have the freedom to change it, and know embracing change gives fear no power. A different way of looking at a situation, person or problem prevents stagnation and this is a vital part of living life with joy, versus surviving it.

It is my belief we are one collective family weaving our own diverse contributions into the beautiful tapestry called life, and none of our challenges and growth over the past year will go unrewarded.

Visit carolinescosmiccafe.substack.com for more.

Makeup product list:

Eye shades: MMMithcell in Moody Mitch, Mega and Modest

Glitter: Barry M Biodegradable Glitter Cream Palette

Blush: Shiro Shea Cheek Butter

Lips: Kjaer Weis Lipstick in Sincere

Sustainable Style

Caroline has created a new line of sustainable and upcycled jewellery. In collaboration with a national accessory retailer, her own-designed, handmade-to-order, limited-edition line of jewellery will save thousands of new, yet broken and discarded, pieces from landfill and incineration. Showcasing pieces made bespoke for Velvet’s cover shoot, here she gives us a sneak peek of the collection. Both dresses featured in the shoot - the asymmetric pink Ankara and blue Ikat Disc wax-print gowns - are also designed and made by Caroline as part of her forthcoming conscious clothing line. Follow @sustainablediva for updates.

Makeup product list:

Eye shades: MMMithcell in Moody Mitch, Mega and Modest

Glitter: Barry M Biodegradable Glitter Cream Palette

Blush: Shiro Shea Cheek Butter

Lips: Kjaer Weis Lipstick in Sincere

Earth Mother

EARTH MOTHER Caroline S Asante Credit Elodie Giuge (47064543)
EARTH MOTHER Caroline S Asante Credit Elodie Giuge (47064543)

Caroline is already known to Velvet readers as the author of the magazine’s clean beauty, ethical fashion and eco living column, Sustainable Diva, named after her lifestyle brand. For this month’s instalment - a rundown of the must-have products Caroline currently has on her desk - visit the latest e-edition by clicking 'read magazine' top right of the homepage.

Makeup product list:

Cleanse: Sukin Micellar Cleansing Water

Base: Caroline's own magic skin serum

Primer: Becca Velvet Blurring Primer and Cover FX Mattifying Primer

Foundation: Urban Decay

Concealer: Hourglass Vanish Crème Foundation in Chestnut

Highlighter: Nabla Pressed Highlighter in Sundance

Blush: Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush in Iridescent Flash

Brows: Blink Brow Bar Brow Pomade in Indian Chocolate and West Barn Co. Brow Soap

Eye Primer: Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Primer

Eye Shades: MMMitchell Pressed Pigments in Mental and Mr H.

Eyeliner: Anastasia Beverly Hills Waterproof Crème Colour in Jet

Mascara: Zao Volume Sheathing Mascara

Eyelashes: Ardell Pre-cut Lashes 901 and Black Lash Glue

LIPS: Kjaer Weis Lip Tint in Passionate

On the Cover

Makeup product list:

Cleanse: Sukin Micellar Cleansing Water

Base: Caroline's own homemade 100% organic skin serum

Eye cream: Zero by Skin Academy Rejuvenating Eye Cream

Primer: Becca Velvet Blurring Primer and Cover FX Mattifying Primer

Foundation: Urban Decay

Concealers: Hourglass Vanish Crème Foundation in Chestnut

Highlighter: Nabla Pressed Highlighter in Sundance

Blush: Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush in Iridescent Flash

Brows: Blink Brow Bar Brow Pomade in Indian Chocolate and West Barn Co. Brow Soap

Eye Primer: Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Primer

Eye shadow: MMMitchell Pressed Pigments in Mixer, Mental and Mr H.

Eyeliner: Anastasia Beverly Hills Waterproof Crème Colour in Jet

Mascara: Kjaer Weis in Black

Eyelashes: Ardell Pre-cut Lashes 901

Lips: Beauty Made Easy Le Papier in Rouge and Kja

Meet the Team

Model & Stylist: Caroline S.Asante: @sustainablediva

Clothing & Accessories: Caroline S. Asante: @sustainablediva

Photographer: Elodie Guige: @elodiegphotography

MUA: Jennifer Lo: @lolocouk/@consciousartists

Many thanks to Jen Bird founder of @consciousartists – a make up agency which represents professional makeup artists who only use 100% natural, vegan and cruelty-free products.


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