Mix the brains of Sofie Senden, a 21 years old passionate vegan from Belgium, with her love for nature and all things eco friendly and fair trade and in comes her brand new webshop Zaralima where you can find fair T-shirts and accessories. And all this to raise money for local animals in need. Let’s meet the beautiful girl behind Zaralima:
How did you come up with the idea of starting your own vegan webshop?
I am always looking for ways to push myself. I get bored very easily so I always need something to excite me. Starting my own webshop seemed complicated, challenging and hard so that’s why I chose to go for it. It’s the perfect combination of spreading a message and raising money, all for the sake of the animals. We use the money to protect, save and take care of local animals in need. Since the launch of Zaralima, we have already rescued one sheep from slaughter. It’s amazing how we can accomplish such amazing things thanks to the support of our customers.
Why is fair trade and sustainability important to you?
I think fair fashion is extremely underrated. I would never want to make money off of someone else’s back. If a person does something valuable to your business, pay them. Many people are unaware of who made their clothes and in which circumstances it took place. Big brands want to cash in as much money as possible, leading to very low wages for their workers. I think this is very unfair and disrespectful so I do not take part in such practices. This is a very important issue to me, simply because I am human. I do not believe I am more important than anyone else. Everyone should treat each other equally, because the idea of inequality is the root of all that is wrong in our world.
Was it easy to find the right garments? What other struggles have you experienced?
It was so much harder than what I initially had in mind! Finding good quality clothing that meets your standards is hard on it’s own, throw in the words organic and fair trade and everything becomes 10 times more complicated. It took me weeks just to find a brand I wanted to use, but I am very content with the one I chose. The clothing is of very good quality, feels super soft and checks all the boxes I had in mind. One struggle came after the other but I guess that’s just how it goes when you start a business. Everything was very new to me and I had to learn everything by myself. I would say the biggest struggle so far has been dealing with suppliers. It can get very stressful when deadlines aren’t reached.
You’re also a vegan vlogger, how do you combine it with your new webshop and taking care of the animals?
It’s actually surprisingly easy to combine because I vlog about the webshop and animals. During the day, I just vlog my day-to-day life and when the day has come to an end, I turn all the clips into one video. It does take up a lot of time, but I enjoy it very much so it doesn’t feel like something I ‘have’ to do. It’s something I ‘want’ to do.
What are your ambitions?
My dreams and ambitions are quite simple actually. I want nothing more than saving as many animals as I possibly can. To make the sick ones better, to heal the wounded, to help the little ones grow and to give the old ones the peace and rest they all deserve.