For nearly two decades the Hilfiger name has been synonymous with fashion, American style, and making an influential mark on a younger generation. These days Tommy isn’t the only one with a vision. His 25-year-old daughter Ally and 24-year-old niece Jaimie have joined the cause in living eco-friendly lifestyles, a movement they strongly believe in.
“My generation is very aware of the environment and knows that if we don’t take part in doing something to change it, our world will never be the same,” says Ally. Her journey to live a clean and sustainable lifestyle started in the beginning of 2010 when she began to change her habits to live a simpler existence. New York City has been home to Ally for many years and when her cousin Jaimie received a phone call asking her to move in and help rearrange her life, she just couldn’t resist. “It was something I waited for her to ask me for a very long time,” says Jaimie. “I knew it would happen soon enough.”
Jaimie has been living a green lifestyle for almost two years. She is an organic pescetarian—a vegetarian who also eats fish—recycles everything in her home, uses all-natural products, does not use plastic bottles, and lights her Los Angeles apartment with energy-efficient light bulbs. She has served as co-host to Brian Au of “The Eco Chef,” has been a reporter at an awards ceremony for the Environmental Media Association, and recently hosted the 1st Annual Neuro-Recovery and Health Conference of Northern California, a conference Ally spoke at.
Jaimie’s most pressing environmental concern deals with the types of food she eats. “The things that we put into our bodies really have everything to do with the way we will end up for the rest of our lives,” she says. Once Jaimie moved in with Ally, both of their earth-friendly and healthy practices began to take precedence. They rarely ate out, choosing to cook organic options such as curry lentil soup, using fresh vegan and organic ingredients. They also don’t eat any packaged food, and read every label before consuming. Much of Ally’s transformation happened because she was looking to cleanse herself before she began homeopathic treatments for Lyme disease. “I wanted to make myself stronger because without your health you can’t do much. After changing my eating habits I feel much cleaner inside,” Ally says.
In addition to changing their food intake, the young women reduce their carbon footprint in other ways while living in New York City. “I ride my bike everywhere. Not only is it convenient, but it makes a huge difference on the environment,” Ally says. “Ecofriendly living has become part of the norm. It’s strange if you don’t jump on.” Much like Jaimie, Ally has also lent her name to helping the environment by becoming an Ocean Council junior council member of Oceana, an organization which focuses on ocean conservation. She helps raise awareness and advocates protection and restoration of the world’s oceans.
Living this consciously isn’t always easy though. Jaimie works as a model, spokeswoman, and television personality, often having to wear makeup and hair products full of harmful chemicals. “I wish it could be easier, but unfortunately, that is not the case,” she says. In her private life, however, Jaimie prefers products such as Ava Anderson Skin Care, Ahava body wash and lotion, Jacob peach scrub, and Alterna caviar shampoo and conditioner. In addition, Jaimie tests all products she uses on an Environmental Working Group site that will rate products for toxic content on a scale from zero to 10, ranging from low hazard to high hazard.
Ally, who works as a consultant for designer Nary Manivong, hasn’t exactly turned her wardrobe into hemp heaven, but did turn her father, Tommy, onto organic cottons. “One day when I own my own clothing line, I will absolutely be mindful of the materials I use,” Ally says of her wish to start designing once her 17-year-old sister graduates from college and can join her in this venture.
Ally’s goal is to continue living a healthy life, “completely and thoroughly.” She says she doesn’t feel the need to take on a million projects at once, like she has in the past. Despite the attention she receives from living with the Hilfiger name, Ally says she has matured and strives to live a less stressful, slower lifestyle. “I don’t think a hectic life is a happy and peaceful life. I’m just looking to keep things very simple,” Ally says of her future. For now, she will continue to spread the word of ecofriendly living to friends, family, and anyone else who is willing to listen. She says she believes there are two ways to convince people to go this route: tell people how harmful it is for the environment or tell them how harmful it is for their family and health. “You have to just put it out there either way and hope people catch on,” Ally says.
Jaimie, on the other hand, chooses to let people talk to her about this way of life first, before advocating these practices. “I made a resolution this year to myself that I wasn’t going to make anyone feel bad or push it onto someone,” she says. “This is a lifestyle choice someone must make on their own. But it is never too late to change.”