In the world of fashion, Gracie Carroll hangs with the cool kids. She cut her teeth in publishing at Teen Vogue and ELLE UK before returning to her hometown of Toronto to lead the ranks of Canada’s top bloggers—a distinction notably bestowed on her by international style authority, Refinery29.
A trendsetter in everything she does—as her online retail shop, the Chic Canuck, attests—Gracie has a well-curated “cool list” that happens to rate changing the world at number one. (The 200,000 young global citizens in attendance at WE Day, spread across Canada, America and the UK, this past year would agree.)
“Often what I do is based on talking about products and the different things you can buy… but, I think a really important message that I would like to share is: be aware of your own footprint,” she tells us during our interview on set for the “WE are Canada: Future 50” portrait shoot.
Change begins with small thoughtful everyday decisions, she says, like investing in a reusable water bottle. “There are many ways to reduce your carbon footprint; it takes time and discipline, but it ends up making a big difference.”
Waste is something Gracie is determined to eradicate from her own lifestyle and see replaced with charity. “You don’t have to be rich to be charitable,” she notes.
During the past four years, she has been a zealous champion of New Circles, a community service that aims to help low income families “meet their basic clothing needs.”
“If you have spare clothing, there are people that need it—don’t throw it out,” she urges. “There are so many families that are new to Canada, who just don’t have winter clothing. If you have extra, pass yours on.”
Taking her cue from the 18-and-younger bracket in her extended family, Gracie is inspired by the values she sees honoured in the next generation. From her perspective, the kids are more than all right; they’re today’s leaders. “I’m always amazed by how bright, talented and aware they are of what’s going on in the world. They’re so conscious of the environment they live in,” she says. “I have a lot of hope for the future because of them.”
Read on to learn more about the role generosity plays in Gracie’s ideal Canada.
Why is “we” stronger than “me?”
There’s power in numbers, and I love an inclusive rather than exclusive mindset.
What is the kindest action you’ve been on the receiving end of, and what about the gesture touched you personally?
A friend commissioned an Italian collage and gif artist to create a customized gif of me as a gift to celebrate one year of working for myself. It was so thoughtful and touching. I love that modern art can be fun and affordable with help from the internet and technology.
Describe the core values of your ideal Canada. Welcoming, accepting, encouraging, and inspiring to everyone. And safe, too!
What small action have you taken in present day to help secure a brighter future for our country tomorrow?
I’ve always made an effort to use my online platforms, such as my blog and social channels, to help spread word about charitable initiatives and to encourage others to get involved.
Nominate one person you believe is working to positively change the future of Canada.
My boyfriend’s niece is blessed with the most gorgeous hair—it grows like a weed. After losing a young friend to cancer, she grew her hair to be the required length and donated it to a charity for children with cancer. She was just 8-years-old then, now she’s 12-years-old and has grown and chopped her hair to donate for the second time already. Witnessing this act of kindness from such a young child was incredible and inspiring. Even my boyfriend ended up growing his hair and donating it!
As we work to make Canada a better country, what is one action you would like people to take?
Everyone in Canada could make more of a conscious effort to be generous, especially living in the city, where you aren’t immediately open to talking to strangers or helping people. Take time out of your own schedule and help someone else—reach out to people in need.