CULTALKS with Sophie Thorpe - culthread

CULTALKS with Sophie Thorpe

Sophie is a London based model and fitness instructor who went vegan 6 years ago. She's modelled for us since the beginning and we love her outlook on sustainability. Read on for her advice to anyone considering becoming vegan and how she incorporated sustainability into her daily life.


  1. When did you become a model and what made you want to make this career move?


I got scouted when I was quite young at 14 but didn’t really pursue it or take it seriously until much later when I moved to london at 19 after finishing muscial theatre school. I sort of fell into modelling really! I initiallyI wanted to be a dancer but found that I got a lot more modelling jobs and became more successful as a model than a dancer so it was a natural drift. 


  1. What would you say are the peak and the pit of working in this industry?

I love the variety of modelling and doing something completely different every day, I’m someone that gets bored easily when doing the same thing, so modelling is great for making every day interesting. You also get to meet new people all the time and work and collaborate with all sorts of different and talented creatives which is really cool.

I’ve made some of my best friends through modelling.

I would say the worst parts about modelling are that sometimes people do forget you are an actual human being and not just a clothes hanger. The majority of people are lovely but I have had some pretty bad experiences where I’ve been made to shoot in freezing cold temperatures for hours or to stand in shoes that are cutting my feet open. There’s also the body image aspects that come with modelling. The first few years of working I was constantly told or it was insinuated that my hips or thighs were too big. I used to constantly panic about not fitting in the clothes and being sent home. Luckily this has got better in recent years but it is still there in the industry.



  1. What does being sustainable mean to you?


To me it means trying to live in a way that causes the least amount of harm possible to the planet and it’s current and future inhabitants. Taking care of the planet so that it can take care of us. 


  1. Do your sustainability and veganism ethics impact your work as a model? If so, how? (i.e. are there certain things within the modelling industry that you take into consideration before accepting a job?)


My ethics have definitely impacted my work as a model.  When I was working in Shanghai I was sent home from a job because I refused to wear fur. When I was younger in the industry I didn’t really feel like I was able to speak up when I disagree with something but as I’m getting older and more experienced and comfortable in myself I am more confident to say that I am not happy to wear leather or other animal products either. Sometimes it isn’t entirely possible, for example not all makeup artists use all vegan makeup, but the industry is slowly becoming better and more understanding. I have had to make some difficult decisions in the past where I’ve been asked to work for some brands which don’t quite align with my ethics and I have had to turn them down. 


  1. How do you incorporate sustainability into your daily life? Are there any particular swaps you have made?


I changed my diet to a vegan one around 6 years ago which is the single biggest thing anyone can do to reduce their environmental impact on the earth. I also try my hardest to buy less in general, especially clothes, and to not buy from cheap fast fashion brands. I use a reusable coffee cup and water bottle and carrier bags, make sure to buy the unpackaged fruit and veg where possible in the supermarket, and am super conscious about recycling home waste. 


  1. Do you have any top tips when it comes to shopping sustainably?


I’ve personally been trying to spend more money on less things recently. Things I know I will love and want to wear for years, so quality is important. 


  1. How long have you been vegan for and what made you become vegan?


I’ve been vegan for around 6 years now. My parents brought me up as a pescatarian and taught me to love and be kind to animals. So as soon as information and documentaries like conspiracy started to come out highlighting the horrors of the dairyand egg industry, I realised that my actions weren’t aligning with my morals and that it wasn’t enough to just be vegetarian.


  1. What advice would you give someone thinking about going vegan?


 Take your time, It doesn’t have to be an overnight switch. Some people can do it overnight and that’s fab, but for the majority of people it is hard to completely change your diet so suddenly. This also gives your body chance to adapt to what you’re feeding it. Maybe start off with red meat, then perhaps fish and chicken, then cheese or eggs etc etc. Also start off by making meals that you already like and know how to make, and just veganaise them. There are so many good alternatives now in supermarkets that it is honestly so easy to just do straight swaps for the vegan version. 

I’d also say to follow vegan influencers on Instagram for inspo and ideas for recipes, places to eat out and for vegan fashion and beauty etc. 

Lastly dont beat yourself up for any slip ups! They happen and it’s not the end of the world! You’re still doing amazingly and more than most by starting your journey to be vegan. 

  1.   What is your favourite culthread piece?

I have an Artesian and I absolutely love it. It is cool but classic and goes with everything! It’s also ridiculously warm! I also love the Oxford, love a bit of faux fur, so luxurious! 



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