Fashion & Shopping

Ethical Curves Ahead! Q&A With Charlotte Doering

January 29, 2019

She’s gorgeous, she’s vegan and she’s Canadian! Read our Q&A with curvy model, kind lifestylist and entrepreneur Charlotte Doering below (her insights into body positivity and going veg are tops)! —Noa Nichol

charlotte doering

Hi Charlotte! Tell us a bit about yourself to start 🙂

Hey loves! I am Charlotte Doering, a 36-year-old curvy woman, professional model and entrepreneur. I embrace my curves knowing that I am perfectly imperfect. I hold my head up high with confidence and grace. I love ALL animals. Three years ago I became a curvy ethical vegan, shattering stereotypes from left to right. This has been a huge inspiration in my life. Not only to consider the well-being of animals, but where things come from and how they affect others. Are people treated with kindness dignity and respect in the production of consumer goods? Is the environment considered? How can we lower our footprint by the consumer choices we make? This lead me to align with my business partner and fellow animal advocate, Rachel Venner. We are currently in motion to launch a fully vegan, fair-made, eco-aware, style-forward fashion and beauty store for the modern woman. We are thrilled to have a hand in bringing cruelty-free living into the mainstream. Our store, Virtuous Collection, isn’t just for vegans, it’s for ALL who love great style, quality garments, luxurious accessories and clean beauty.

Modelling: has it always been on your radar? How did you get into it?

I started modelling in my senior year of high school after I had lost 60 pounds over the summer. I was a size eight and nowhere near the size of a typical model. I was asked to do some fun gigs for a few local businesses in the small town I grew up in. I didn’t really take it too seriously. Back then women were looked down up for not being thin; there were no professional curve models in the mainstream. I remember Miss America had her crown taken away because she had gained weight (to a size 14). This was the norm in the late 1990s and early 2000s. When I moved to the city I was told by a friend from L.A. that I should get into plus-size modelling as it was taking off there. I couldn’t even understand what that was; we didn’t have social media back then! Finally, when I hit 28, I sent my photos to a modelling agency, which told me they wished they would of found me 10 years ago! I was still signed even though I was no longer a junior model (which most agencies look for in curvy and all models today). For a while I thought maybe my ship had sailed. But by embracing social media, working with smaller business and building my own brand I was capable of creating a name for myself. After seven years of learning the ropes I feel my career in modelling really taking off! Persistence, hard work dedication and constantly putting yourself out there pays off.

Plus-size modelling: love the term or hate it?

This seems to be a hot topic of debate. I am not too attached either way. A name or a title does not define me. Plus-size model or curve-model is an industry term that helps clients and agents communicate the type of model they are looking for to promote their brand or products. It’s like saying is he or she blonde, brunette, European, African. It just is. For behind-the-scenes terminology, it’s needed. When I simply say of I am a model I’ve found the majority of people give me a sideways look. Then I feel the need to explain myself. Often I find myself just saying I am a plus-size model to avoid the whole confusion and stunned looks on the other end. But I have heard, "Oh you shouldn’t say that, you should just say you are a model," and that I agree with. It would be like saying, "Oh I am a blonde model," or "I am a European model". LOL. It is time to liberate the word model to include all shapes and sizes. No need to explain and define myself to others. Bye-bye "plus-size" in my day-to-day.

charlotte doering

What does it mean to live a wholly vegan lifestyle? Does it go beyond what you eat?

I mentioned before that I am an ethical vegan, which means that I don’t use animals in any way for food, fashion, beauty or entertainment. Animals exist for their own reasons and they are entitled as we are to lead their own lives in peace and harmony. In fashion I do not wear or model any fur, leather, wool or silk. If it’s made from animals I do not wear or promote it. In beauty I check ingredients to make sure my skin care, makeup, eyelashes, nails are not made from animals and are never tested on animals. I believe using animals for entertainment is wrong. I stand against circuses, zoos, aquariums, dolphin or elephant riding, horse racing or any activity where animals are harmed, held captive and enslaved to the will of people. I do support animal sanctuaries, rescue centres and helping animals who can no longer live and survive in the wild.

What are your top tips for people who want to go or are thinking about going vegan?

First, educate yourself. What do animals go through in the production of consumer goods? Watch documentaries, keep inspired as to why you are doing this. Is it for your health? For the animals? For the environment? When you look at meat or dairy, what you will see will be different because you have a fuller knowledge and awareness of what that is and where it comes from, the amount of suffering that was a part of bringing it to table. Second, you don’t have to become vegan overnight. You can start by cutting down eating meat, cutting out dairy, finding great artisanal vegan cheeses (get the cashew-based ones!). Incorporate more plant-based meals. Start following amazing vegan foodies like Erin Ireland for inspiration. There are thousands of free vegan recipes online. You can literally veganize any dish! Third, if you’re not into cooking and you live in Vancouver, then you’re lucky. Join the Vancouver Vegans Facebook page and find out all the great places to eat cruelty-free. If you’re travelling and you don’t know where to get vegan eats, I use the website Happy Cow, which lists all the vegetarian and vegan restaurants in cities around the world. Lastly, if you’re feeling lonely, like you’re the only one of your friends or family who is going vegan, reach out to your community of vegans. There are many vegan community events happening in and around the city and country. New friends are coming your way!

charlotte doering

What other movements are you passionate about? How do these play into your modelling/career?

I am passionate about the self-love and body-positive movement. The vegan movement and the eco- and fair-fashion movements. These have played into my modelling career as I have signed with an ethical modelling agency, Role Models, which aligns ethical fashion brands with likeminded models. Role Models believes that models have a voice and represent the brands they work with as ambassadors. This has helped me to blossom my career beyond looking beautiful for the camera. It has brought a depth of meaning and cause to my efforts.

How do you use your platform, as a model and on social media, to be a voice for the causes you care about?

I often find myself saying I love social media. It’s such great way for people to connect and inspire one another. I use my platform by sharing images and stories and that are meaningful, authentic and aligned with my values.

Your favourite thing to model? Super-stylish vegan fashion.

Your favourite vegan meal? Vegan tacos!

Your favourite animal? Elephants, then cats.

Your favourite non-food vegan brand? Cult of Coquette for my vegan shoe obsession!

Your favourite restaurant in Vancouver? Heirloom!

Follow Charlotte on her blog and Instagram. Top photo and Beauty; second photo by @pinupperfection for @vokra Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association; third photo by @toshalobsingerismyphotographer for @peacepeopleproject.


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