Julia Sullivan, dubbed “The Queen of the Southern Sea” is a British-Indonesian model, surfer, and now face of Dior Parfums ‘Tales of the Wild’ season II series.
Her inspiring connection to nature and the ocean is one story that Dior has managed to capture in their latest short film, ‘Tales of the Wild.’ This film in celebration of Earth Day is directed by Clément Beauvais and produced by Arthur de Kersauson and follows both Sullivan and Wes Larson, an American biologist, who dedicate their lives to environmental conservation.
Dior relates the values of these “nature watchmen” with the soul of their latest Sauvage Eau de Toilette fragrance, which has been reinvented into a refillable bottle that is sustainable, and respects the environment. Although a small change, this gesture has a big impact on the industry and the Earth. As Sullivan points in the Dior film, “We are all living on the same planet, we are all connected and what’s happening on the other side of the world does directly affect us.”
Dior’s switch from plastic to aluminum truly makes waves and in an exclusive interview with Julia Sullivan, CR gets an inside look into the new heart and soul of Dior.
Bali truly looks like a beautiful place to live, so after growing up and exploring different parts of the world, what made you come back and permanently call it your home?
“I was born in Bali so I always had a sense of home with the island. Bali and the outer islands represent a sense of freedom for me. A melting pot of friendly and open people from different places enjoying a tropical abundance, happiness is more important than material things, yet it is a place where creativity and design are unlimited…being born into a mix of Indonesian and English cultures and living in Bali gave me a wonderful way of looking on the bright side of all life offers us.”
You have been an amazing advocate for sustainability, from doing your part to rid the ocean of pollution to sharing resources for healthier, eco-conscious living. Did you always have this type of environmental awareness growing up?
“Not amazing at all! I am doing my part and that is what it is all about. No superpower hero need or amazing will. I am just doing my reasonable share because I care. What I do is nothing extraordinary. I am so grateful to have people in my life doing the same, caring for and loving the planet and our environment. Wherever we can give that is a gift in itself. It makes sense to take care of our communities where we can and share positive energy where we can…when I was younger I noticed how humans behaved to animals and we often had to rescue animals then release them back into the wild, perhaps that was what encouraged me being more curious and compassionate towards other living beings we get to share this beautiful planet with.”
Was there ever a main turning point in your life that made you realize you needed to be a voice and a teacher to local and global populations about environmental preservation?
“I never wanted to be a teacher or a voice for environmental preservation. I was observing the destruction going on all around me on a daily basis and felt completely powerless. There was a moment where I realised we needed to start telling more of a positive story about our environment. Focusing on solutions and innovative yet simple ways to solve global problems through simple solutions…fresh air, clean water, a healthy earth and a thriving ecosystem to me are the biggest luxuries and something I would want everybody to have and enjoy.”
How has surfing allowed you to become closer with the ocean? What are ways you could recommend society to become closer to nature?
“Surfing is a lot of fun, nature is a wonderful and humbling teacher. When I am in the water it feels like a dance between my body and the ocean, constantly confronted by fear but as we learn to push through those fears, we learn to let go and trust…I believe if society spent a little more time detoxing from the technology and use that as a tool rather than an addiction, get outside of our comfort bubbles and to balance that by connecting more with the energies of the natural world, perhaps if we do this we may start to look at things differently and feel happier as a global community.”
How do you hope this partnership with Dior will impact the everyday lives of consumers?
“We don’t have to sacrifice beautiful things in order to be more eco-friendly, we can evolve our current systems to be one that is more thoughtful in the way we consume, create and indulge. Dior is doing their share. They are not saying they are changing the world or saving it. They simply say we can do better and step by step we can still make a difference…Clément Beauvais and Arthur de Kersauson, the director and producer of the Tales of the Wild films, in their work, are showing that nature is not just a location, it is also a character in each story. It is easier for people to care if they have an emotional link to nature.”
The launch of the refillable Sauvage fragrance is an important step towards a more eco-conscious industry. How do you think brands can continue these efforts and follow in the footsteps of Dior?
“Reduce, reuse, recycle is a rather simple concept that can be replicated throughout many industries. To refill a bottle cuts out additional energy and resources that would be needed to produce new bottles that then end up in landfills if it isn’t disposed of properly. If everyone looks at their supply chain and figures out ways they can better their systems and we all take responsibility for our part, brands and consumers, then we are slowly moving in a better direction. We just need to act from a place of love, be open to change, a different way of doing things and see where that will take us.”
You’ve started to share your journey in building a farm and have taken courses on Permaculture. How has that process been? What do you believe are the fundamentals of this essential living you think others should know?
“In permaculture there are two principles: 1. care for the Earth 2. care for people and reinvest back into those. It was not my plan at all to take a permaculture course or to start to put this into practice but it just happened and I have started to build a farm and a space for creativity. A space where people from the local communities are welcomed to eat the organic food we grow, learn new skills, create textiles that reconnect back to a heritage of doing things naturally. I am very much interested to explore how we move forward to create sustainable businesses and livelihoods yet doing it in a way that gives more than it takes.”
For those who want to be more sustainable but don’t know where to start, what would you recommend their first steps to be?
“Spend time in nature and with animals. Meditate more. Get present, slow down, let go. Take time for yourself and do things that connect you with yourself. Develop your creativity, intuition, trust in life, express, communicate, listen to someone that may not have the same point of view as you.”
Are there any philosophies or beliefs you life your life by that you think more people need to follow?
“Life is beautiful. You are enough. Follow what makes you happy. Equality. Appreciation. Gratitude. Love more.”
You once shared a quote that said “Just cause we don’t see it…doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.” With the production of “Tales of the Wild” and the Dior Parfums, the conversation for worldwide change has become more of a necessary topic. What are ongoing ways we can keep this conversation alive?
“As humans we are the stewards and the guardians who inherit the planet. Education and reconnection to what is important. Sometimes we have this idea that someone else will take care of it so we do not have to do anything and perhaps that is true, somebody else will eventually take care of it but it does take a global community of respectful and caring people all over the world to look after the planet. If we want a fairer, happier and healthier future, we have the ability to create and part of that is collectively taking on a global responsibility by taking simple local action.”
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