Julia meets with Rebecca Dayan, model, actress, and activist in her new NYC apartment.


There is something about Rebecca.

Rebecca Dayan is a relaxed blend of French roots, LA chill and NYC vibe; she oozes a quiet confidence and current sense of contentment, having recently settled into her own Lower East Side abode after living a rather nomadic lifestyle. With a lingering French accent and a recently dyed auburn bob, Dayan moves about her whitewashed wooden floors barefoot, offering us water and tea.

“I’m a little OCD so I’m constantly cleaning and reorganizing,” she says with a slight smirk. Her home is quite white (hence the constant need to clean away the NYC dust and grime) but comfortable, inviting and inspired, much like it’s owner.

Dayan was born outside of Paris and studied art, fashion and design before finding modeling and acting. She is currently shooting another film and investing her downtime in philanthropic initiatives, including co-founding Mother Lover, a non-for-profit aimed at supporting the US maternal health crisis.

On how she helps the environment and reduces Earth’s destruction in everyday life

Im very far from being zero waste but I definitely try to be mindful. I am careful of how much water and electricity I consume, i try to avoid single use plastic, and walk or take public transport as much as i can. I also started eating less meat.

On Mother Lover, her not for profit

Mother Lover is a non-profit Paula Goldstein and I founded in order to raise awareness of the maternal health crisis through the arts. The documentary feature Born Free is the first project we are supporting.
We are still in production and as the film is taking shape, it seemed crucial to go beyond informing and educating people about the crisis, and to really start a movement. This is how Mother Lover was born. (Pun intended)
With the help of Frankie Shop, we launched a limited edition t-shirt on Mother’s day as our first awareness campaign. Those shirts are by the way made fairly in solar powered facilities in California from 100% recycled cotton and using very little water. The t-shirts are for sale on Frankie Shop all proceeds go to the Mother Lover non profit.

How she became Less is More

I don’t know if it’s cultural (France vs. LA vs. NYC) really so much as  how moving a lot has kind of forced me to have a “less is more” approach. Living in small apartments and being a tiny bit OCD is also definitely helping being more minimalist.

Moving a lot has kind of forced me to have a less is more approach.

How she reduces waste in everyday life

I mostly buy vintage clothing. I usually find great things on Etsy. I also love Live Live & Organic on 10th street for organic beauty products.
Growing up in France, I got used to shopping for fruits and vegetables in season and eating only wild caught fish. I will say it’s harder to shop for groceries in the US, so I try to go to smaller organic markets in my neighborhood. I also recommend getting a water filter, if you can’t install one directly onto your faucet, the Big Berkey water filter is the next best thing, in my opinion. So you never have to buy bottled water.

On recently renovating and furnishing her home

The key is to buy things that you will want to keep when it comes to clothing or furniture. My place is small so I don't have a lot of furniture. Most of it is vintage or sustainably made, my couch for instance is from Cisco Brothers, they’re a really good company from California.
As far as household products, I also use mostly organic and non toxic cleaning supplies: walnut sponges from Full Circle, clean laundry detergent (I love The Simply, Biokleen and Molly’s Suds), dish soap from Murchison Hume it’s made from plants and smells amazing, and the packaging is beautiful. I just started using washable/reusable paper towels from Kitchen+Home made from bamboo. It was a lot of research but once i find the right product it’s really great. A lot of those also come from smaller, family run companies which I prefer.

On using her platform to do good

I collaborated with Frankie Shop and No More Plastic on their reusable, biodegradable and entirely made of plants cans, along with other artists. I am currently developing two projects, one is a capsule collection with a friend’s brand that will be completely sustainable, locally sourced and artisan made. The other one is a video and photoshoot i am producing and art directing with Cecile Winckler for her magazine Unemployed, to promote Dead White Men’s Clothes, which is an art/fashion project by my friend, Ghanaian artist Jojo Gronostay, DWMC is a way of re-inventing upcycling as an effort to support local Ghanaian designers.
I think educating yourself on how to be more mindful is the best way to start, also knowing that you don’t have to live naked in the forest to make a difference and that little things do matter.