Ella Liascosis a talented sustainability writer, passionate environmental conservationist and founder of Sun Juju; a plastic-free, non-greasy mineral and plant-based SPF50 sunscreen, that is enriched with Kakadu Plum and free of chemical sunscreen filters to protect both our skin and our reefs.
Tell us a little about yourself - who are you, where are you based and what do you do?
I’m based in Byron and currently working on Sun Juju. I’m a writer so I’m still doing some freelance work. I’m not sure how to answer “who am I” so for fun I’ll share my sun sign (Cancer) and moon sign (Saggitarius). I identify with both Cancer being a home-body and Saggitarius being a traveller. I’m not sure I believe in astrology, but there you go!
What led you to create Sun Juju? Can you share a little something about your journey?
When I was mainly writing, I tried to write mostly on sustainability because it’s what interests me the most. Everything from deep ecology, the regenerative potential of kelp, Indigenous wisdom and how it can help us combat climate change. I also kept a blog on living low waste and the one thing I couldn’t find was a non-greasy sunscreen that was also plastic-free. I wanted to directly contribute to the movement towards a circular economy beyond just my writing. Sun Juju felt like the perfect thing. Everything about it is informed by my knowledge of sustainability, including the fact we donate 5% to plant kelp to sequester carbon. The ultimate goal is that the business gives back to the earth more it takes. Not just planting kelp, but working on supply chains and reducing carbon output.
How do you like to start and end your day?
With a coffee and sometimes some journaling. I’m getting back into meditation and breath practice and making time to move my body in the morning or evening depending on how I’m feeling. At night I try out new recipes (as I love to cook), burn some incense and read a book.
You’ve launched a business during an incredibly challenging time. How do you practice self-care; through rituals, movement, mindfulness, or by doing things you love?
Yes! I actually launched my crowdfunder the same month Covid hit which slowed down the launch by quite some time. Walking the lighthouse is probably the thing I turn to the most often to clear my head. The monotony of my feet moving, the fresh air and nature is therapeutic. Surfing brings a lot of joy. Staying connected with friends, listening to what I need on any given day. It might be yoga, breathing, meditation, a book, a phone call with a friend, or cooking a meal while listening to a funny podcast.
You’re incredibly passionate about environmental conservation. What practices do you have for living a more considered and sustainable life?
I eat mainly plant-based and buy mostly secondhand clothing. I don't shop a lot and if I do I buy basics and timeless pieces. I’m a serial outfit repeater basically haha. I don’t buy a lot of stuff in general. My skincare routine is minimal and I avoid single-use plastics where I can; but use the plastic I do have because it’d be wasteful not to. For example, I buy shampoo in an aluminium bottle and use a metal razor, but refill the plastic dish detergent bottle I already have. I compost and recycle properly, use the short cycle and the clothesline. I’m not perfect with it, but I do what I can and guilt isn’t helpful or realistic on this journey.
What are your favourite local spots for coffee, food and activities in Byron Bay?
I love Folk for coffee, Ciao Mate for dinner, surfing, yoga at Creature, walking the lighthouse and taking road trips.
What sustainable, local or small brands do you love and support?
I just saw this new plastic-free makeup brand emerge that looks amazing called Flavedo and Albedo and will definitely be buying from them. Also, Hakea Swim is amazing for sustainable swimwear and Arcaa Movement for sustainable activewear and basics.
What are you currently reading and listening to?
I just finished reading Girl Woman Other, a beautiful book following the lives of multiple generations of black women in the UK and how their lives intertwine. Listening to Sun Juju radio and browsing recipes.
Lastly, where can we find you?