A MOMENT WITH NICOLE WARNE SHADBOLT
TEXT: LOGAN VERLAQUE IMAGE: MASHA MALTSAVA
The blogger and influencer joins Julia for coffee and a stroll through Washington Square Park.
Nicole Warne Shadbolt oozes both airy Aussie vibes and newfound New York sophistication. The force behind what once was the popular vintage inspired blog garypeppergirl is now a full time social media influencer and splits her time between her home coast and her new Williamsburg abode. When she joined us at Julia’s apartment (her Brooklyn loft was mid reno), we couldn’t wait to hear about how she lives a sustainable life while being a world traveling influencer.
On growing up in Australia and how her upbringing influences her life today
I grew up in a small country town called Pingelly in Western Australia before moving to a few places and settling in North Avoca on the Central Coast of NSW as a teenager, so I’ve experienced the dry heat of a rural town and the beauty of living by the seaside on the other side of Australia. We’re blessed with mostly warm weather all year round, so growing up in Australia meant my childhood was spent mostly outdoors, playing sports, swimming, riding our bikes, climbing trees. Basically what life was like before mobiles existed. We’re a very active country and take pride in keeping our country, its land and its waters clean. The quality of life is exceptional, and we have some of the cleanest air in the world. For me, having such an enriching childhood connected to nature in Australia has shaped who I am today and my relationship with it. I respect and cherish the environment as much as I respect the people around me.
On traveling and how she packs
I’ve got a pretty good system now when it comes to packing. Half my suitcase is toiletries and shoe boxes to protect my shoes, a quarter is wardrobe essentials I always travel with no matter what, and the last quarter is a mix of seasonal pieces depending on where I’m traveling to. My wardrobe essentials are very simple and can get me through any type of event; a suit, jeans, tees, evening tops and an LBD – everything is mostly black and white. For my carry-on suitcase, I always pack 1-2 outfits incase my luggage goes missing, jewelry, supplements, protein powder, electronics like my laptop, hard drives, camera and chargers, and a small bag of toiletries and make-up.
On balancing seeing the consumer and material culture but not necessarily buying into it; and on using her platform for good
When I went on a plant-based diet three years ago and started educating myself on where and how food was produced and becoming more intuitive with what I was eating, is when I decided to be just as mindful and disciplined with what I buy. I swore to myself I wouldn’t buy high street brands anymore, like Zara, H&M or Topshop and would support sustainable and eco-friendly brands when I could. Instead, I’d consciously invest in one quality piece that would last decades rather than purchasing ten fast fashion pieces.
I’ve always been conscious about my audience and grateful for the platform I’ve created, so I try to balance my involvement in the fashion industry with causes I’m passionate about. I’m an ambassador for Adopt Change and constantly use my platform to spread awareness, support and action for charities directly linked to the environment, animals and human rights. I recently did a beach clean-up in New York with Take3forthesea, which my husband is an ambassador for, and find my charity work is the most fulfilling part of my job.
On buying vintage
I don’t have as much time as I used to look for vintage, but I still have my archives of my favorite vintage pieces. People assume I have a big wardrobe, but for the past few years I’ve really focused on building my wardrobe of essentials, which means buying less but spending more on quality. I don’t like clutter, so I always curate my wardrobe every year and donate pieces I haven’t worn enough. My wardrobe is small so as I’ve grown up, my love for vintage clothing has shifted more to a love for vintage furniture for my house in Australia.
On living a conscious and sustainable life
I’m constantly faced with the opinions of others critiquing me for being plant-based yet flying for work or working in the fashion industry, as they contribute large amounts of co2. What I will say is it’s impossible to be perfect and as long as we are all trying our best we should encourage and uplift each other. I sleep well at night knowing I consciously try, every single day, to live a more sustainable lifestyle. I am plant-based, I grow my own vegetables when I’m back in Australia, I use reusable bags when I go grocery shopping, I use a moon cup, I say no to single use plastics, and I try to eliminate as much plastic and chemicals in my household and everyday life as possible. There’s always going to be more I could be doing, but for me, as long as I’m trying to be the best version of myself and encouraging others to do the same is a good start.