Artist Archive: Robin Williams

Actor, comedian, father, husband, inspiration, genius. These are just some words to describe the late Robin Williams. Most well known for his acting and comedy, there was a bigger role he played offscreen and offstage—an activist. We’ve all at some point heard the interviews he gave, watched the characters he played and felt joy in watching and hearing him perform. We can all place a memory with watching Aladdin as kids and reflect on all the good he did in the world, using his status to help those who truly needed it.

Image: Getty / Disney

Even before his unexpected passing, stories have stood out in the minds of his fans and friends, one being his continuous work to help shelter dogs. He rescued one of his own dogs, Leonard Bean, from a New York City shelter. He posed with Leonard in one of the last photos he took to show his support for Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. Williams maintained his social media account on Instagram with continuous photos with himself, his beloved dogs and even the animals that he looked after whilst on set for his movies. Perhaps most notably, he befriended the monkey that starred alongside him in Night at the Museum (2006). Producers of the film stated that if he wasn’t found in his trailer or with the other cast members, he could’ve been found with the animals, the monkey in particular.

Image: Fanpop

His early life was quite normal, being brought up in family household in Chicago, Illinois, living with his parents and two older half-brothers. He excelled in all aspects of his schooling, from being on the school soccer team to becoming class president. At the age of 16, his father maintained an early retirement and the family relocated to California where he dropped out of college to pursue acting. With his natural humour and charm, he attained a full scholarship to the Julliard School of Performing Arts in New York City. To no one’s surprise, Williams left Juilliard during his junior year in 1976. It was said that there was nothing more the school could teach him and that the classical style of learning didn’t suit him. He moved back to California and began what would become one of his greatest talents; stand-up.

Image: Sony Records

From being a Juilliard trained actor to practicing and producing stand-up with television and Hollywood behind him, he honed his craft. He used all he could to truly put his mark on the world and make it a better place wherever he could, to whomever he could. His activism first started as political. He had no interest in becoming a politician, but he knew the rights for the people and the country. He travelled to many hospitals, war zones and took part in a non-profit organisation for the homeless (where he raised $80 million), which was the start of his charitable works in his still successing legacy. He had a passion off-stage and outside our television screens; a passion for animals. He was never seen wearing leather or wool, which was a big statement, going against red carpet trends at the time.

Image: John Shearer / Getty

The San Francisco Zoo were in many stories and articles after Williams’ death as they named a howler monkey in his honor. This was a beautiful sentiment to the legendary comedian as he helped raise money for the zoo’s causes years before. They wanted to thank him somehow for all his compassionate efforts.

I will forever be inspired and influenced by Robin Williams. All he worked and strived for, for the people and for himself will always remain an achievement.

Image: Easy Rock

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”
– John Keating, Dead Poets Society (1989)

 

Written by: Darcey Weaven

References:
www.takepart.com/article/
https://www.telegraph.co.uk 
www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/robin-williams-article

Introducing Happs: A Vegan & Preservative Free Wine

It happened one Friday night when my friend declined her drink, saying that it wasn’t vegan-friendly. But wait a second…isn’t all wine vegan? From my limited knowledge on wines, I had assumed that its grape base solidified it as a vegan drink. However, I was obviously way off the mark. Although a wine’s main ingredient is fermented grapes (or other fruit, if it’s not a grape wine), the production of wine involves the addition of a fining agent. As you can guess, this fining agent is made from animal products. The most frequently used fining agents are casein (a milk protein) or isinglass (gelatine derived from fish), as well as a host of other animal products such as chitin, egg albumen and even blood and bone marrow.

Image: The Kitchn

Now before you get put off wine forever, let me explain why fining agents are commonly used in its production. One of the main reasons is to retain its clarity and colour. Overtime, sediment may fall into the wine and without fining agents, the wine will become muddy with suspended solids. These fining agents can also reduce any astringency and bitterness, creating a flavour that is pleasant to the palate. It works by creating a bond between the agents and the suspended particles in the wine, producing larger particles which are then easily precipitated out of the wine.

Image: Wiki 

So, the question remains for all wine lovers out there; do you have to give up wine drinking to pursue your vegan journey? Not necessarily. Nowadays, other alternatives such as bentonite and carbon are being used. Since veganism has gained more traction, various non-animal-based agents such as vegetable gelatine and protein from peas and potatoes have been created as well.

And voilà! The vegan wine is born, and we need to look no further from our WA home to find the perfect source: Happs Wines.

Image: Happs

The family run winery is nestled in the beautiful Margaret River region and produces more than thirty grape varieties to date. They cater for every palate imaginable, with its uniqueness coming from the family’s artistic flair. Each bottle is artfully designed to fit different personalities and tastes, and their ongoing patronage of the arts only adds to this creativity. Not only a vineyard, the Happs estate is a hub for artists, jewellers, potters, sculptors and musicians alike, all who have gathered at the onsite gallery to showcase their talent.

Image: Margaret River Wedding Directory

The wines are an embodiment of the imaginative yet down-to-earth couple behind Happs. Erl and Ros were inspired to plant in Margaret River following Professor John Gladstone’s prediction of the region becoming much like the world class wine region of Bordeaux. Since then, they haven’t looked back, and have embraced their natural calling to create great wine. They go by the motto, “Great wines are made in the vineyard”, and their entire range is produced by the fruit grown from their own estate. Their two vineyard locations allow for a diversity in soil type and climate, creating subtle nuances between their wines. Happs focus not only on great quality, but on the cultivation of a more organic harvest by implementing an environmentally sustainable management regime and avoiding the use of herbicides. This practice allows for soil microorganisms to thrive, resulting in little to no addition of sulphite in the wine-making process. Essentially, they are able to create preservative free wines!

Image: Happs

Their wines can be divided into three distinct ranges, all recognised and exported globally:

  • The Happs Estate Range: evolved over thirty-five years to represent the layered landscape of the Northern Capes region.
  • The Three Hills Collection: embodies the cool climate and elegance of the Karridale vineyard. Only the very best fruit are selected, from the very best sections of the vineyard.
  • The Indigenous Series “iSeries”: an expression of the ancient land from which they are created, embodying a unique sense of place.

Image: Happs

Below is a list of the vegan and preservative free wines from their range. Their vegan wines are fined with a pea protein, ensuring that no animal products are used in its production. Preservative free wines are amazing for those prone to allergies and are completely free of all processing aids, including sulphites. Happs even boast of creating wine with the lowest content of preservatives, and it is no wonder that they are as well-loved as they are.

Vegan and Preservative Free:
Happs PF Red
Happs PF White
Happs Reds
Three Hills Reds

Preservative Free:
Happs White
Three Hills Whites

Image: Your Margaret River Region

So what are you waiting for? Find out more about this amazing wine at https://happs.com.au/. Don’t be afraid to grab yourself a few bottles, or even better, head down to their winery just 2.5 hours’ drive from Perth city.

Thanks to Happs Wines, we can now all enjoy our glass, guilt free!

 

Written by: Tiffany Ko

References:
https://happs.com.au/
https://www.thekitchn.com/as-it-is-vegan-week-136676

An Interview with The Owner of Chew No Moo

Veganism is really taking over the busy streets of Perth and we couldn’t be happier. Recently, our team sat down with the lovely Charlotte, who is the owner of Chew No Moo.

Tell us about yourself:  My name is Charlotte and I am the owner of Chew No Moo. Before Chew No Moo was the main event, I worked in the mines as a cleaner and then at Swan taxis until April 2018. I started working on Chew No Moo in May of last year alongside work until April 2018, when I decided it was time to Make Chew No Moo my main focus!

 

How to did you come about with these great pizza recipes? I am actually self-taught! I have always loved making food, so I started making pizzas out of the love of it. Being a vegan, I found that the options were limited so I took my passion to the next step! After registering the business in 2017, Chew No Moo stocked it’s first pizzas in IGA Baldivis!

 

What are some of your menu items? We currently produce 5 pizzas, it used to be 12, but now we have cut it down to our 5 most popular ones. We also sell garlic bread and gluten free pizzas.

 

In your words, can you please describe the importance of veganism? People aren’t above animals in anyway, we live alongside them. The history doesn’t matter, what matters is the present, it is not fair to think we have some sort of right over other life! I have been vegan for 2.5 years now and vegetarian for 2 years before that.

 

Where can we find your pizzas?  We are stocked in 24 different stores including:

O’Connor Fresh- Kalgoorlie

Kinross IGA

Harvest Health

Candlewood IGA

Doubleview IGA

Brighton Road IGA

Herdsman Fresh

The Good Grocer Leederville

2nd Ave IGA

Fresh Provisions Mt Lawley

Taylor Road IGA

Jacks Wholefoods Claremont

Helena Valley IGA

Rossmoyne IGA

East Victoria Park IGA

Boat Shed Market Cottesloe

Farmer Jacks Subiaco

Rockingham IGA

Baldivis IGA

Farmer Jacks Halls Head

 

What does your average week look like, do you have any help? We sometimes produce up to 400 pizzas in a week, and sometimes up to 80 per day! My FIFO partner helps me on his weeks off by picking up stock for me and often making pizzas with me until the wee hours of the morning. He’s helped at my markets too and orders me packaging etc while he’s up at site.

 

What is next for Chew No Moo? We have just started delivering on UberEats! Also, we recently just sent samples to Adelaide and hopefully we will be stocked in Adelaide by the end of year. We are also looking to expand to Queensland in the future. Other things in the works include the possibility to produce other menu items.  Stay tuned!

Photography credits: Lepak Media 

The Boldest Fashion Statements in Protest History: PETA

Whether we accept it or not, what we choose to buy and wear speaks a lot about who we are on the inside. As many of you hopefully know, the fashion industry has become more involved in activism throughout recent runways and shows. For lots of us, it is easier to buy cheap new garments without thinking of any downside. Through these purchases, we are sending a message of support to big fast-fashion, unsustainable, money orientated companies.

Image: Timur Emek / Getty Images

Well, praise the politics and open opinions of this society. Some designers and labels are out there, taking a stand against the irresponsible fashion industry model and reminding us why it’s so important to put our hard-earned money towards the positive side of the industry. Companies like PETA are not afraid to have tough conversations and extreme campaigns to highlight what they believe in. They tend to tackle the big world issues and launch the controversial ads, lines and collaborations that are not even in their best interests. It is becoming clearer that statements on and off the runways are getting the most attention, so to the brands who are doing it to get their name out there, not cool. But to those who have been supporting the good for years and truly believe in what they’re creating is for the greater good, I absolutely appreciate your work and bravery.

Compiling the most influential, extreme and boldest fashion protest statements in history has been a challenge but here are some of the best. I hope this written series changes the way you think of fast, cheap, cruel impulse buys.

Image: Huffington Post

PETA’S ANTI-FUR MODELS 1994

Sometimes, to make a statement, you need to recruit a few of the era’s top models and pose in no clothes at all. PETA revolutionized the 90s protest when the organization began to release their anti-fur campaigns full of completely naked models. The ad wrote ‘We’d rather go naked than wear fur’. Supermodels like Naomi Campbell, Chrissy Turlington, Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford and Elle McPherson were all photographed under the slogan stripped down to take a stand alongside PETA. This became one of the most iconic and influential advertisement of the 90s.

Image: PETA

This was all coming off a fur epidemic, where all through the past decades, most notably the 80s, fur was the ‘it’ item and the statement piece of women’s wardrobes. PETA’s anti-fur campaigns weren’t the first of their efforts to stop humanity and the fashion industry to stop the use of fur. PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and was founded in the 80s where the founders would organize small protests starting in the US. Before their clever campaigns, PETA and its affiliates worldwide gained a reputation for controversially bizarre street theatre. In 1992, activists for PETA were known to throw paint at people who were wearing fur and at one stage a giant ‘sheep’ followed the Australian Prime Minister at the time around to protest the cruelty in our wool industry.

Image: PETA

PETA’s ‘We’d rather go naked than wear fur’ campaign was incredibly powerful, whilst still many ladies sadly continued to strip the lives of animals to remain in the fashion game, many high-profile brands like Armani committed to going fur-free and have continued doing so to this day. Shortly after, a survey went out around America and it was said that after only one in five women still owned a fur coat.

 

Written by Darcey Weaven

References:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/nov/03/peta-cruelty-to-animals
https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1994/04/01/the-year-the-fur-flew/3b8ff4a7-b665-419b-882f-6e103b4fe04c/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0d01bfb8258d

Balmain Bringing ‘Beychella’ To Our Wardrobes for UNCF

After Beyoncé herself provided the world with one of the greatest performances Coachella has ever seen this year, the valley festival was (unofficially) renamed ‘Beychella’. Dressed in custom Balmain garments, the French brand then teamed up with Beyoncé for a once in a lifetime collection, pledging to donate 100% of the proceeds to the United Negro College Fund.

Image: Vogue France

The charitable range all started while Beyoncé and her back-up dancers were rehearsing their Coachella performance in their Balmain-made looks which were originally inspired by the marching band uniforms of America’s historically black colleges and universities. Oliver Rousteing, the creative director for Balmain stated, “When she saw all the dancers loving the outfit — and she was loving her own outfit — she realised that what we were creating on stage for her, for all the dancers, was something really impactful. It then clicked for the two creatives, why not create a Beyoncé X Balmain collaboration range that could start a movement of its own for all Beyoncé’s fans buzzing for a piece of history? Not only was her performance inspirational for the audience, it was inspirational for the world. She was the first ever black female to headline the California festival, where she used her opportunity to not only celebrate the culture of black colleges, but also feminism, activism and her family.

Image: Oliver Rousteing

Oliver Rousteing, head of the Balmain label shared the strong opinions Beyoncé was expressing during her performance.  After people in the industry doubted his ability to make any success out of the French house, he pointed out the serious lack of inclusion and acceptance of people of colour in the fashion industry. Rousteing has openly spoken about his disapproval of ads such as perfume posters. “You never see black girls, and if you do, they use Photoshop so much that they almost look white. It’s just wrong. People post on my Instagram that they are so happy to see black boys and girls. I’m happy that they see to and don’t think that fashion belongs to white people”.

Image: Beyoncé

Their unique collection dropped on July 13th at Balmain’s flagship store in Paris and sold online from the 14th for those not in the area. It consists of the yellow and pink hoodies Bey wore onstage during her set at Coachella in addition to a black tee with the same graphic print. The prints featured on all the pieces include the singer’s initials written in Greek letters, highlighting the theme of black fraternity/ sorority life.

While it is stated in various headlines that the historical collaboration clothing profits are being donated to UNCF, the prices are super steep. The intention was to share the pieces with Beyoncé’s fans and to give back to the colleges and universities, the t-shirt let alone will be setting you back a hefty $290, where the hoodies are ranging from $550-$1790. For the intensely dedicated fans, the price tag is worth it in the end to get their hands on a piece of history that is going towards something bigger than a new piece of clothing to take space in their wardrobe.

Not only did Beyoncé bring the collaboration to life, but she has already donated $100,000 to four historically black colleges after her set.

The UNCF is an American organization that is known to fund scholarships for black students and general scholarship funds for 37 private historical black colleges and universities. For more than seven decades, they’ve raised more than $4.8 billion and helped more than 45,000 students attend college, thrive, graduate and become the leaders.

Image: Beyoncé

Beyoncé is one of the biggest influencers to ever exist and with her platform she has the ability to make any difference she sees necessary. This is just another way that proves not only can she communicate with people through her music but communicate through clothing and culture.

 

Written by Darcey Weaven

References:
https://www.vogue.com/article/beyonce-x-balmain-coachella-collaboration
https://www.uncf.org/about
https://www.thecut.com/2018/07/beyonce-coachella-balmain-collection.html
https://www.bustle.com/p/when-does-the-beyonce-x-balmain-clothing-collaboration-come-out-you-can-buy-the-hbcu-sweatshirts-from-beys-coachella-set-9716345

Luxury Vegan Sneakers: An Interview with VFL’s Designer, Kelly

Tell us a bit about yourself and your brand: After being a vegetarian and then vegan for approximately five years, I struggled to find any local products that were fashionable.  That’s when I took matters into my own hands and thought – I could make my own!

When did you launch VFL? I started the company in early 2017 and we launched in October 2017.

What was the reason behind you creating VFL? During my vegetarian days I was completely unaware of animal cruelty and I hate to admit this now but I would only buy designer items of leather/silk/cashmere etc thinking that they were the best natural products you can buy. Let’s just say when I transitioned  to being a vegan I got a very rude awakening, especially in my closet. I felt so awful and ignorant and couldn’t believe how unaware I was. I kept the products for quite a while afterwards as they were all so expensive, but I did end up selling what I could for very cheap. I couldn’t bear to even keep them in my closet anymore and it’s a bit hypocritical for a vegan to carry an LV bag and wear Louboutin’s. So I let go of my ego and fell in love with real cruelty-free materials and products. I swapped all my expensive perfumes and cosmetics for home-made or cruelty-free brands and have even started to make my own shampoo now. When you become vegan it’s more than just a diet, it’s about taking a look at all aspects of your life and making changes to better the planet where you can. I originally created the brand as a high end fashion line to hold status, but were importantly – also comfortable.

What are some of the materials you are using for your shoes: The current line is made of high quality micro-fibre which mimics and breathes like real leather.

What’s next for VFL? ? As I personally evolve, the business is definitely evolving with me. The new line I am working on is bespoke handmade shoes in Australia that will be plastic free and hopefully we can experiment with pineapple leather (pinatex), linens and cotton canvases, corks, recycled tyres ​and native materials. I am really excited for the future and can’t wait to show you what I create.

 

How can we purchase your gorgeous shoes? You can purchase the shoes online through https://vflvegansforlife.com/ and we are working on getting a store in Bondi this year. I am happy to give Vashti readers a discount code for 20% off with the promotion code: vashti.