Reading Time: 6 minutes

MODELING CONSCIOUSNESS WITH KAREN FLEISCHMANN

@karenfleischmann

November, 30th 2020

In 2014, after years of working between Mumbai and Cape Town, Karen Fleischmann’s modeling experience served as a wake-up call that made her leave the conventional fashion industry behind and embrace social media as a sustainable ambassador.

Words By Hillary Ribeiro

Coming from an international background, Karen Fleischmann followed her heart and went abroad to pursue a career in modeling. It was not long, however, until Karen decided to diverge from this path. Simply being a model was not enough. “If you want to be a model and still do something, you have to switch to social media,” says the Swiss-Filipino. “And if I’m going to do something with social media, I want to have a voice,” she continues, telling us she did not want to be pushing herself in the same direction as before. She realised that through social media, she could make a positive and meaningful contribution in society.

From that moment on, her main goal has always been to encourage people to care for each other and Mother Earth, and be aware of sustainability. One of her current projects is named bcozwecare, a platform where she promotes sustainable fashion by connecting people with brands that share the same values. Besides the website, she explores all of life’s greatest questions in her podcast, Let go flow. Opening conversations with leaders, entrepreneurs and artists, Karen delves into love, success, energy healing and finding inspiration. “I believe that our future should be more about creativity and expressing ourselves,” says Karen, describing her podcast as a destination for growth and self-empowerment.

@karenfleischmann

Telling us about the main message she hopes to spread in the world, the Swiss-Filippino influencer explains how she wants to use sustainable fashion as a tool to promote humanity. Five years ago, she had a pivotal moment that changed her whole mindset, leading her to change her generic approach to modeling and direct it towards sustainable fashion and digital platforms.

Being an influencer can be a real challenge. Karen is aware that constantly exposing her life online can open doors to negative judgment and criticism. From her perspective, she considers such challenges to be part of a learning process helping her grow. “Whenever I get challenged, especially on Instagram, I try not to take it personally,” she says. As a sustainability influencer, she does not bow down to the judgments of the public like many mainstream influencers. “I’m not a people pleaser. I’m not here to follow existing ideals. I’m here to change where we are.”

@karenfleischmann

Sharing knowledge to educate others is how Karen responds to the negative reactions from followers on her social media. ‘‘I am for transformation, I am for change, but for change and transformation, we need to let old things go,” she continues, telling us about a wave of criticism she received for using a hashtag about circular fashion in an Instagram post related to Piñatex.

When asked about what inspires her to keep fighting for a conscious, circular world, she says that she does not want to portray herself as a fighter, but rather as a reliable source of inspiration that does not point out people’s flaws. Leading us on a path of sustainability and enlightenment, Karen shows us how this journey can be an enjoyable journey rather than one filled with judgment and accusations.

Over the years, Karen has learned not to fixate on the past or obsess about the future and having an exact image of herself five years from now. Instead, she lets the present moment define her path: “I feel what direction my heart and soul want to go, opening myself up to all the possibilities in the universe and letting it work with me.”