Filmmaker and video editor Madelynn De La Rosa is passionate about French Cinema. “I love how clever French New Wave films are,” explains Madelynn, who lists Pierrot le Fou — Jean-Luc Godard’s dazzling 1969 masterpiece — among her favorites. “There’s something so quirky and charming about them, and the color palettes are exquisite!” The 26-year-old is equally passionate about veganism, sustainable fashion, feminism and cruelty-free beauty, using her platform of nearly 300,000 followers on Instagram to “educate people with compassion and kindness” about each cause. “I hope the people who follow me and watch my content learn to be more conscious consumers,” Madelynn explains, “and question why everything is the way that it is and to challenge it.”
Where are you from? When and why did you move to Los Angeles?
I’m an army brat that moved around every two or three years, so I’ve lived all over! I was living in D.C. before moving to Los Angeles three years ago for a job at a large makeup company creating video content.
When did you first become interested in filmmaking?
I remember watching Pierrot le Fou at the Silent Movie Theater and I was in awe. I couldn’t believe that films could be so fun. I specifically remember the scene where they are driving and end up breaking the fourth wall — genius! This movie in particular really got me excited, and a couple of years ago, I started experimenting with shooting super 8 and 16mm film myself.
When and how did you first get interested in sustainable and ethical fashion?
A year after I went vegan, I completely cut out fast fashion. I’d already seen The True Cost when I was in college, and gave up Forever 21 and H&M, but I was still shopping at Zara and Topshop. In my mind, I was doing enough. It took a little while for everything to click, and for me to realize that my views on feminism, veganism and sustainability weren’t completely aligned.
What were the first steps you took to becoming a more conscious consumer?
A huge part of me becoming more mindful was taking an Animal Rights as Ecofeminism class in college. I was able to easily connect with being a woman and learning about the exploitation of animals. All of these “isms” we know of, such as speciesism, sexism, racism, etc. are all interconnected. At this point, I became vegetarian, which led me to only buy cruelty-free products, which eventually led to veganism, and then I ended up where we are today which is the inclusion of slow fashion, consuming less, etc. I’ve dabbled in zero-waste as well, but that’s definitely taking me a little longer to figure out!
How do you shop more mindfully? Where are some of your favorite places to shop for sustainable and ethical clothes?
It’s easier than ever now because more and more people are being educated on these things. My friend Alyssa has an online shop called New Classics where everything is sustainable and ethical. I think stores like this are an excellent place to start because every item has a breakdown of what exactly went in to making that piece, whether that’s being made in the USA, eco-friendly, vegan, recycled, etc. Another online store like this is Nois New York. This one is particularly exciting to me because everything is vegan and ethically made. As of late, I’ve been on a huge Depop kick! I’m always checking Depop for inexpensive thrift finds. My favorite shop right now is Avec Desire Vintage — her picks are gorgeous and I love the way she styles everything. Totally gushing over her!
For someone new to sustainable living, what is your best piece of advice?
My biggest piece of advice is to not get overwhelmed and to start small. This doesn’t mean getting rid of everything you currently own to replace it with ethically made items. Slowly start incorporating things while appreciating and using what you already have. The whole point of all of this is to not contribute to more waste and suffering, so do the best you can and know that you’re helping out in bigger ways than you can imagine by just being more mindful.