We met Elena at a conscious fashion event she produced in Sydney. It was such an honour to be invited by Elena and see the incredible shift and movement towards a more conscious community in something that we love so much like fashion. I've always believed that things can be very similar to how we live now but with that all connected conscious touch impregnated into every thing that we produce & consume. In fashion & beauty there's no need for us to all shift to unwashed hair and ill-cut conscious friendly-fashion (unless of course that's what you want). Raising a more conscious community to me means infiltrating, educating & divising ways we can operate & exist in our cities supporting brands and products we love (or newly love) who have shifted into or simply endure a conscious way of production. Then we met Tim - one of the co-founders of Take 3 Clean Beach, a non-profit with a simple message to take 3 pieces of rubbish from the beach every time you visit. Another conscious movement we are so incredibly inspired by. Once we figured out Elena & Tim are actually one consciously connected couple we just had to get their take on what it means to live this lifestyle which they both work so passionately hard for. 


Elena - Tell us about New Future PR & why you started it?

After working in PR and Marketing for over 15 years in fashion, art, and events, I really wanted to create a business that allowed me to work on multiple projects whilst working with companies that I had a personal affinity and passion for.

New Future PR was launched in 2013 to work with bold, creative and change-maker brands that are best-in category, innovative or ethical. We specialise in a number of areas including consumer lifestyle, food & beverage, fashion & beauty, arts & entertainment, NGO'S and ethical companies.

This year, we are working on some exciting new projects which will see us diversifying our services and working in different sectors. I love variety so this suits me down to a tee!

In addition, we also produce an online magazine called the Future Magazine which tells stories of change-maker brands and products around the world. I love putting the magazine together as there are always so many inspiring people and stories to tell! You can see our latest edition here:

Tim - Tell us about Take 3 & why you started that ? 

I’ve always been passionate about protecting the natural environment and seeing our species develop better relationships with the world in which we live. I grew up on a beautiful 25-acre bushland property on the Central Coast NSW with stunning beaches everywhere.

My mum is a very conscious person and instilled important qualities in me growing up. I studied sustainable resource management at university and worked for non-profit conservation groups throughout my 20’s but the biggest teachings for me were my travels through developing nations, particularly India and countries in SE Asia.

I couldn’t believe the levels of pollution I witnessed from mountain villages to ocean shores. I realised that the pristine ocean I valued so dearly was under attack. I started rallying other surfers to help clean beaches in 2009 and in the process was introduced to Amanda Marechal and Roberta Dixon-Valk who already had the idea for Take 3 – A Clean Beach Initiative.

I loved the simplicity and jumped right on board. We started slow and very local for the first 2 years until we won a $50k grant in 2011 from Taronga Zoo (Sydney). Since then we’ve matured into a strong voice on plastic pollution and have helped influence the Australian government, industry and community to acknowledge the severity of the problem and take serious action to prevent it.

How did you guys meet ? 

TIM:

It was at the opening night of Flickerfest at Bondi Beach in January 2012. I featured in a short documentary called ‘One Beach’ that was showing at the festival and was flying solo on the night. I spotted Elena in the crowd and thought she looked stunning and interesting. When it came time to take our seats there was a spot next to Elena and I seized the opportunity. I’ll let Elena explain that she was supposed to be on a date with another person that night but chose to hang out with me instead haha.

We connected immediately and haven’t stopped building and expanding each other’s minds since. Ask anyone who knows Elena and they’ll have nothing but great things to say about her. She has wisdom garnered over a challenging lifetime (or perhaps more) and willingly offers advice to all she cares for. She is a beautiful person inside and out and I’m humbled everyday that we get to share the journey of life together.

ELENA:

We met at the opening night of the 2012 FlickerFest, my good friend Alyssa McLelland was one of the ambassadors that year and she invited me to come along.

I was actually supposed to be on a date with someone else that night and I was going to meet him there, but we didn’t manage to meet up before the films started so I took a seat with Alyssa and her friends. Sitting at the end of the row with one seat next to me, I started to settle in to begin watching the films. Next thing I know I am being asked whether the seat next to me is taken or not, by none other than Tim. We spoke throughout the entire sequence of films and all I wanted to do was keep talking to him. 

Strangely Alyssa disappeared about half way through the night and texted me that her sister had gone into labour and she had to bail but told me to make sure I get Tim’s number before I left!

Afterwards we went upstairs to the opening party where we continued talking and haven’t stopped since!



Do you ever work across some projects together furthering conscious lifestyles ? How have you helped each other in both your careers? 

TIM:

Yes, definitely. I’ve found Elena to be the most incredible ally in my career and growth as an environmentalist. I was an average guy working in an average not for profit agency in Newcastle until I decided to quit in 2011 and start my real journey.

I embarked on a sailing trip to study the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and pursue the growth of Take 3 in July 2011 and have faced constant adversity since. Elena’s worldly experience and skills in marketing and PR have provided immense clarity on how to navigate the challenges, position myself and deliver messaging for maximum uptake.

We’ve both undertaken a genuine journey in learning about each other and the things that motivate and inspire us. I’m very pragmatic and Elena is more spiritual so together we find ourselves in a wonderful middle territory. We’re always bouncing ideas off each other and scheming plans that will help further conscious living and enable people to live lifestyles that reduce harm to people and the planet.

I am inclined to come at issues with a fundamental streak and Elena is brilliant at deciphering the problem and sculpting it into a palatable format for the masses. I’ve learnt to become more rational with Elena. For example, I’m a real psycho when it comes to waste, I hate that our society thinks it’s acceptable to waste so much energy and resources given the evidence of harm it causes. Elena has helped me focus my energy on what individual and societal change is realistic and achievable. She helps me maintain my enthusiasm and prevents me getting bogged down on the small stuff that used to preoccupy me.

ELENA:

I always thought of myself as a bit of an alternative thinker, questioning systems and rules and feeling quite isolated by my own view of the world. Given I was brought up in a very strict religious household, and abandoning its beliefs and doctrines in my early 20’s, freedom of thought is a luxury for me I don’t take for granted. 

When I met Tim and we started on our journey together, we discussed all things including world politics, religion, sex, the environment, and of course philosophical theories and debates on just about everything! The freedom we have to discuss anything and everything continues to be a key pillar in our relationship. 

Inevitably we started to discuss our work, our purpose in life and the legacies we want to leave on this planet. Suffice to say, the conversation has never stopped and it guides us in all our thinking. We constantly help each other navigate dilemmas and problems, choices and strategies for both our careers. We have the same end-point in mind, but we often have a different approach.

Tim has a huge amount of business nous that just comes very naturally to him. He is very pragmatic and grounded. He has some incredible insights and I love learning from him. Equally I love helping Tim on his projects, being a sounding board and using my life and business experience to offer a different perspective.

Essentially though, Tim and I are on the same path, we are both really passionate about driving change through society to improve human behaviors that effect the planet and people.

Recently we have just started working on some really exciting projects that is a little hush hush at the moment, so stay tuned! 

What are you top 5 tips for living more consciously with the earth at home and in the city?

TIM:

1.    Be aware of your impact. We all have a footprint on this planet and cumulatively it adds up. It’s very easy to lighten the weight of your tread by embracing simple changes in your life. Reducing the waste you generate (eg. disposable plastic) is a simple way to start.

2.    Never lose your connection to the wild. No matter what your beliefs you can’t deny the fact that we are living, breathing animals hanging out in a giant, complex and freakishly accommodating biosphere. There’s a reason we feel alive when we experience wilderness and raw natural beauty. We naturally protect what we love so desperately need more people to ‘love’ the wild.

3.    Educate yourself. Always. Knowledge is power and we need more people with the power to make positive differences.

4.    “Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.” Thoreau knew the power of this word so he repeated it, twice! You don’t need 90% of the bullshit stuff youre sold everyday so ask yourself before you buy, “Do I actually need this?”

5.    Know your food. Food and sustainability are inextricably linked and we need more people to understand our food system and participate in changing it for the better. Try growing your own food, shopping at farmers markets or helping at a community garden for a start.

ELENA:

1.    Your community is everything, and can make living either a nightmare or a pleasure. Take the time to get to know your neighbours either in your apartment building or your street. Make the effort to talk, share a meal or run an errand for them. There is a richness of community in Bondi where people genuinely connect and bond and I think that makes for a brilliantly conscious way to live. 

2.    We are of course passionate sticklers for minimal waste, we aren’t perfect but we have a compost in our park next to our house, we recycle as much as humanly possible, we purchase mostly everything second hand (everything in our house, from our furniture to our clothes are about 90% second hand) and we buy locally where possible.

3.    Nature is our best teacher, we both love the ocean and walking in the wilderness. Connecting to nature is always my leveler, it seems to systematically file all the nonsense in my mind and remind me of what is most important. I need this regularly.

4.    Someone once told me that a true yogi is someone who takes the philosophy of yoga and practices it in everything they do. Attempting to practice that theory in every element of my life, from the mundane tasks to the important conversations, enriches each moment and creates a calm in me. 

5.    Commit to loving fully, deeply and properly. Love yourself, your work and those around you because the rewards outweigh the risk and as Anais Nin once said “People living deeply have no fear of death”.

How have you seen the conscious community grow over the last year across both your work? 

TIM:

I feel it’s on a positive growth curve but still has a ways to go. One of the challenges I face in feeling ‘connected’ to a conscious community is all the nonsense that seems to come with it. I’m a bit of a loner when it comes to my consciousness, only discussing it with people I feel connected to and who (quite selfishly), can help me expand my knowledge and understanding.

On one hand it’s definitely worth celebrating the popular culture aspects of the growing ‘conscious community’ but that doesn’t make one immune to the ‘face-palm’ frustrations that come with it. I live in Bondi so I’m constantly exposed to new trends, programs and philosophies that promise so much but often miss the real point. We have an incredible opportunity to expand the conscious community now and make great advances for the future of our species. But we need to steer this ship in the right direction or risk losing this opportunity to the marketing ‘gurus’ who will sell the illusion of consciousness to anybody for a quick buck.

ELENA:

I feel like the word consciousness is no longer a trend, but a way of life that is seeping into every facet of living for a lot of people.

In my work, I see that consumers are demanding more transparency about the products and services they purchase, but I also see a change in the management of these organizations, adopting a conscious leadership approach which sees them making commitments and decisions that are better for the longevity of their business, their people, their customers and the environment.

Of course not all businesses are ready for that change in thinking but I do believe it has started to get on their radar. 

As the theory of consciousness grows globally and into peoples personal and business lives, I hope to see a world in which everyone thinks twice about their actions and that implementing ethical ways personally and professionally becomes part of a philosophy they live by and teach their children.

Where do you think its heading next? 

I’m passionate and indebted to the sustainability issue so I’ll talk to that, after all, individual consciousness is a sorry indulgence on a dying planet. If we’re going to have a real chance at maintaining a healthy biosphere for human habitation so future generations can enjoy this beautiful journey we call ‘life’ then we need to move towards a truly circular economy in the next few decades. The circular economy represents a visionary model where our economy can grow and prosper without the inherent abuse of people and planet that is attached to our current linear economy. Read into the work being done by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/) if you’re interested or sign on to the Circular Economy Australia project that I’m involved with. www.circulareconomyaustralia.com 

The shift to a circular economy will be painful, inextricably complicated but beautiful. I have complete faith that we can do it, because we have to. Humans are capable of anything when our backs are against the wall and the coming generation’s most certainly will be.

Our generations’ actions and those of our forbears will be reflected upon as complete lunacy. The generations, which despite confounding, repeated evidence, continued to soil their bed and procrastinate sensible changes in light of obvious benefits. I’m passionate and committed to being a part of the movement that sees us exit the delusional and embrace the sensible. I’d like to hope many of your readers feel the same.

ELENA:

I feel we have a long way to go, and that we have only just hit the tip of the iceberg.

I used to be quite skeptical about putting my name down for causes, but the more significant social media outlets play in our society, the louder our individual voices get and the larger the impact in the whole scheme of things. 

I’ve seen the way that industries such as food & cosmetics are pioneering natural, organic and ethically sourced products which is really encouraging, but we still have a way to go until we reach critical mass about how we are poisoning ourselves and slowly strangling the planet, so in that regard we have a huge race on our hands. 

Change won’t happen rapidly without education, which is why working on projects that are based on educating people about better products and services and innovative ways of doing things has a real place in society and that’s only going to get bigger.


Visit New Future PR + Take 3 Clean Beach: 

www.newfuturepr.com

www.take3.org.au

www.timsilverwood.com

Photos + interview produced by thebharanieffect - our talented photographer is Maclay Heriot