Let me introduce you to María.
María Abajo is an inspiring woman. Instagram influencer, she is a born communicator, for her it is a way of being, living and working. Specialised in communication for sustainable brands, two years ago she decided to create The Dualist Agency, a communication agency in Madrid for brands with the same values. What inspires her the most is nature and that has led her to find a way to take care of the planet and live in harmony with it. She practices conscious life, loves to travel, do yoga, meditate and cook under a plant based philosophy and that led her to create Less & Conscious, a platform that gives visibility to sustainable brands and helps people to lead a conscious life more easily.
Hi Maria, since the creation of LESS & CONSCIOUS comes from your own hands, would you tell us something about the process and development that you were going through while creating this platform?
The truth is that the creation was totally unexpected. I am a very active person and due to confinement I saw a large part of my work in my agency “The Dualist Agency” paralysed, so I looked for a way to continue doing things that I was passionate about and at the same time contribute something positive. Many people wrote to my personal profile asking me for advice on sustainable brands of things that even I did not know and thought ... There is no place where if I want to buy "x" things but that is sustainable, I can go there to look for it.
And that's where Less & Conscious was born.
Can you share some personal ideas with us that come up in that process?
At first I wanted to do some sustainable travel but then I realised that people needed something more, or that's what I felt. What I needed was a reference site where I could go to look for brands or advice and even learn new things to be able to live with the least possible impact. I have too many ideas for this project that sometimes I go crazy just thinking about them all at the same time, but I know that everything will come and that for now (for the 3 months that we have been) it is very good, and I am happy.
Did you always know that you wanted to create and support a more minimal and conscious world as you do now, or was it a natural development that led you in this direction? And how did it start?
No, I think the first step that opened my mind was the fact of becoming vegan, from then on I began to investigate how I could be more sustainable in other areas of my life. In September 2019, a friend told me, I think I'm going to try not to buy "fast fashion" and I thought, come on, me too I can do it - and today, 1 year later, I have not bought anything fashionable that has not been sustainable , and surprisingly enough, I have saved money, I promise.
Why do you think it is so important to create platforms like LESS & CONSCIOUS?
I think there are many problems to give visibility to that are not given by official platform. There is a lot of money and interests that move many strings and prevent people from knowing the importance of living in a more conscious and less consumerist way, for the good of all and for the planet. This entails for me, supporting a series of brands that put their efforts in doing things well and I believe that people should know these brands, value them and choose them in their purchases.
Like us, you are vegan. How was your path until this change in your life?
I started with health, I realised that today what you buy in the supermarket is disgusting. You are eating things that you should not and that today's diet is far from what it should be. So, I started by eating a plant-based diet and buying organic fruit and vegetables. Once into veganism, you begin to see and learn what is behind each "steak" you eat and it is really creepy, you become an animalist, a nature lover in your own right and you begin to see that stop eating animals. It's not only to save them, but it also saves you and the planet.
We have a great passion in common which is travelling. If you have to choose a destination, what has been "THE" unforgettable trip and why?
Travelling is without a doubt one of my passions. There are many destinations that come to mind, but I think I would stick with Bali, the way they live there, I think is very in line with my values. I'm sure that if you live there, it's something else, but the 15 days I was there, it seemed like paradise, I even looked at rental flat agency, with that I tell you everything ...
Do you have any tips for travelling in a more sustainable way?
That every decision you make and every choice you make think about what it entails behind. When I travel by plane for example, I always take my food, my cutlery, my glass or my cup. These also serve me for other moments of the trip. And then there are more and more hotels that seek to be sustainable or that promote a different way of traveling, so I try to find them wherever I go.
As an influencer, can you share with us what is your own definition of beauty? Who are your beauty icons?
For me beauty is balance, it is feeling good inside and out and that starts with loving you, taking care of you, appreciating you and valuing you as a person. I am a big fan of natural beauty, I wear makeup only if it is strictly necessary, the less prejudice you have against you, the less the rest of the world will have.
My idols are Gisele Bundchen and Vanessa Breuer for how they bring natural beauty both inside and outside to such an interesting way. Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton for knowing how to handle age so well and so naturally.
What is the best advice you ever received for skin care?
That less is more, that the skin is an organ and you have to take care of it like any other and even more.
And that the skin externalises how your body is on the inside, so the better you are on the inside, the better you will be on the outside.
If you had three books to recommend us, what would they be?
If my father was reading this interview, I would think, how is Maria not going to recommend this book hahaha, but it changed the way I see life, and I read it whenever I am a little off or cannot find the way, it is called " You Can Heal Your Life ” by Louise Hay, and I highly recommend it. Others that I liked, "Eat, pray, love", during confinement I read it again and it was my way of travelling those months and finally I am going to tell you two "Zero Waste at Home" helped me a lot when I started on the path of leading a more conscious life at home and Osho's “From Medication to Meditation”.
You seem so positive and relaxed as a person. What do you do on days when you feel stressed, to calm yourself down and stay in that positive place?
I'm glad you think that, my mother sure would tell you something else hahaha. Sometimes I get stressed easily, then I breathe, I count to 10 and it goes away. I create stress myself, I am obsessed with planning and order and that sometimes happens to me bad plays, but I am working on it and meditation helps me a lot.
What advice do you have for the young generation to come?
Let them think that life is a gift, and that being alive is a miracle. That everything they do, they do it thinking of a common good and not only of themselves. We are all a whole, I do not believe in the individuality of people, and that they enjoy and appreciate every moment that life gives them, because it is the key to abundance.
What is your passion, hobby, talent or skill that we would love to hear from you?
I love crystals since I was little, I have a huge collection. I collected them because they seemed beautiful to me and when I got older, I understood their power and their possibilities, now I use them a lot, especially in meditation and I give them to special people. An ability ... If you asked my love partner or my business partner they would tell you that I have the ability to see the positive and good side of all things, the truth is that I think it is because I feel too lucky for everything, and that is a gift .
We are a skincare brand with wild ingredients and we love to know which is the wild spirit animal of each woman we interview, which is yours?
I think it would be some marine animal, I love the sea, I have a very strong connection with it. Whenever they ask me "if you had a super power, which one would you choose" I think ... Being able to live under water. And my animal, wild or not, has always been the dolphin.
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