#MyRevelation: Cancer Survivor and Sustainable-Living Advocate Kara Ladd
At Follain, we decided to start 2019 by leaning into revelations we’ve had rather than setting unrealistic resolutions, and we asked our community of green beauties to join the conversation. Among the many inspiring stories we’ve heard is that of Kara Ladd.
Just a few years ago, Kara was working in fashion in New York City, first at magazines and then at a consulting firm specializing in sustainable fashion. “I was living a very fast-paced lifestyle,” she told us. “I was working too hard; I was playing too hard; I was stressed too much. It was just a lot of everything.”
But at age 25, Kara had the revelation of a lifetime when she was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. It started with a tingling sensation in her foot and, after many doctor’s appointments, physical therapy sessions, and an MRI, she eventually learned that she had a tumor behind her left knee. Though tests originally found the tumor to be benign, Kara listened to her intuition and had it removed anyway. Thankfully, she did, because it turned out to be cancerous.
Kara’s Revelation: Sustainability is a Lifestyle
“I wouldn’t wish cancer upon anyone, but it was a really enlightening journey for me,” she said. Though she was already a staunch supporter of sustainable fashion, Kara’s experience with cancer helped her see that sustainability is about much more than what products you buy: “It’s an all-encompassing lifestyle” that includes what you bring into your home and who you spend time with.
“[My cancer diagnosis] had a huge impact on me and it was a tipping point for me,” Kara said.
Since her diagnosis, Kara has become an even greater advocate for sustainable and healthy living, including clean beauty. The latter was inspired by a visit to the Follain Soho pop-up shop in April 2017. (For all our New York-based beauties, we now have a permanent location in the West Village.)
“I started to learn so much about clean beauty—that it’s not only about turning the bottle over and looking at the label; it’s also about finding what works for you and your body, because some non-toxic and all-natural products can make you break out even more than the toxic stuff. So it really is just finding what works for you.”
Kara’s Favorite Clean Beauty Products
During her chemo treatment, Kara had a few favorites, including OSEA’s bath salts (“I was in this deep mode of healing, so baths were really big for me,” she said) and non-toxic hair care products from Intelligent Nutrients, which she credits with helping her hair grow back more quickly.
Another favorite? Red lipstick from ILIA. “I lost my eyelashes and my eyebrows, so I focused on big, bold-colored lips to make me feel sexy and powerful and in control and more like myself again,” she explained.
These days, Kara is busy building her brand as a sustainable wellness entrepreneur, using social media to share her revelations about living sustainably and build a community of likeminded individuals.
“Sustainability is such a loaded term and I think people are intimidated by it as well as by clean beauty,” she said. “Having a lifestyle that is meant to last, to me that’s what sustainability really is. And it doesn’t always have to relate to the products that you have in your life; building a sustainable lifestyle is also about how you’re viewing your own mind and body, you know, having seven or eight hours of sleep a night. It transcends beyond the physical realm, if that makes sense. It’s mental and spiritual, too.”
A huge thanks to Kara for sharing her story with us. Let us know what your revelation is on social media using #MyRevelation and #LiveFollain.
January 17, 2019