5 Conscious Female Entrepreneurs

a list of 5 by Shenelva Abigail Booij

1. Freke van Nimwegen - co-founder Instock restaurant

Every year, Trouw brings out a list named the ‘Sustainable 100’. This year, number 21 belonged to Freke van Nimwegen, the co-founder of Instock. In 2014 she started the company with three colleagues from Albert Heijn. Over the whole world, about a third of the food is going to waste which is having a huge impact on the environment. Everyday Instock collects food products from the supermarkets that cannot be sold anymore, but are also not expired. With these products the chefs in the restaurants improvise a new breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday to serve their guests. An absolutely stunning initiative if you ask us! In 2014 and 2015 Instock has already saved more than 350,000 kg (!!!) of food from going to waste. Within the company, Freke focuses on the marketing, communications and HR. In this role Freke is solving the problems of modern day society one meal at the time.


2. Willa Stoutenbeek - founder and director of W.Green and Art Director 

Born and raised with both of her parents working in the fashion industry Willa was bound to end up where she is now. Her passion for fashion has always been a big part of her life. However after working in the fashion industry as a teenager she came to the realisation that the industry became more and more superficial to her. Willa wasn’t satisfied with the way things went down in this industry. She is convinced that products should be aesthetically pleasing and ethical at the same time. That’s why she started her own communication and branding agency to give sustainable businesses a platform, and in order to show the world that sustainable living can be “cool”. W.Green is ready to clean up the fashion, cosmetics and lifestyle industry in an aesthetical manner, and does so with brands like Fjallraven, Afriek and Yoni.


3. Dena Simaite - founder of Noumenon

Dena is a fashion graduate from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. This is where she learned about the environmental consequences of the fashion industry. Her awareness and interests in sustainable fashion resulted in her founding her own vegan and cruelty free fashion brand: Noumenon. Noumenon is a fashion brand that is aiming at changing the world by providing it’s customers with beautiful ethical clothes made in her motherland Lituania, and recently also in the Netherlands. Dena’s motto for Noumenon is: “Change the world, and look amazing while you do it.”


4. Marieke Eyskoot - Keynote speaker, author of ‘Dit is een goede gids’ and ‘Talking dress’

Marieke is a ‘sustainable fashion and lifestyle-expert and lover, speaker, presenter, author and consultant who loves reading out loud and is crazy about campfires’. The consciousness of her company rises from her admiration for sustainability. According to Marieke, durability isn’t a burden, it’s inspiring, innovative and fashionable. She’s changing the game with her books ‘Talking Dress’ and ‘Dit is een goede gids’ on how to change any lifestyle into a sustainable lifestyle. At the moment she is working on the English version of the latter so she can expand her reach.  Marieke has presented at multiple events for organisations like ASN Bank, H&M and Max Havelaar. The list goes on though, she influences different brands and gives them consultancy on sustainability. Some call her the ‘lifestyle-expert of Holland’ but we think the title ‘sustainable superwoman’ fits her just perfectly.


5. Laura Snijder - Owner of Take it slow, Blogger

In the summer of 2016 Laura started her online blog ‘Take it slow’ which represents simplicity, equality and transparency. The ‘Take it slow’ webshop officially opened in the summer of 2017 and enables people to easily find sustainable fashion of various brands. Her webshop was a product of her discovery about the complexities in the fashion industry. Just like Dena Simaite this discovery and realization found place while studying fashion in college. Laura didn’t want to be part of the misery behind the trendy clothes you see in most of the stores in Amsterdam’s ‘Kalverstraat’. Her mission now is to help people get the same realization she had back in college. Most people don’t think about where their clothes are coming from and in what kind of circumstances these clothes are being produced. Through ‘Take it slow’ Laura is not only able to spread knowledge and awareness but she’s also able to give people the right tools to act on it.
It’s time to make conscious choices; it’s time to take it slow.”