Sara Vaughan on why she turned saving the planet into a career

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  • At Marie Claire, we’ve always been committed to creating global change. Here, Sara Vaughan, our first - ever chief purpose and sustainability advisor, explains her hopes for our new Start Somewhere campaign

    It took me a while to Start Somewhere on my purpose journey. Working on the launch of Forevermark, the ethical diamond brand was a turning point in my life, when I realised I wanted to create powerful brands and movements for positive change that addressed and solved the worlds most pressing issues. That led to a role at The Body Shop, where I worked on the Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People campaign. Then, I went to Unilever, where I looked after such brands as Dove. Today, I have my own consultancy, working with companies wanting to be purpose-led. I also (partnering with truly amazing people) create and/or catalyse positive global movements for change, such as stopping single-use plastic with A Plastic Planet.

    I am inspired on a daily basis by the incredible people I am fortunate enough to meet or come into contact with- mend and women, in person or through social media, well-known, like the amazing Greta Thunberg, or unknown like my sponsored sister Maboba, a survivor of war from Afghanistan bravely rebuilding her life. The common theme between them is their passion, purpose, courage and care for others. Qualities I greatly admire. I look forward to introducing you to some of these special people in my Start Somewhere podcast, which will launch later this year.

    The one person who has undoubtedly inspired me most is my mother, who died just over a year ago. She always encouraged me to be courageous and inspired me with her extraordinary love, generosity, warmth , kindness and compassion. She continues to be my guiding light, and I am incredibly grateful to her.

    Marie Claire has been a trailblazer in the purpose space for over 30 years. My role here, in the Start Somewhere campaign, is to help give you lots of fresh ideas and inspiration for making positive environmental and social changes; for you to know just how influential you are.

    Small collective actions can become very powerful global movements- The Body Shop’s sex trafficking campaign generated more than seven million signatures and effected real change in trafficking legislation and the lives of those trafficked in over 20 countries. This is people power in practice.

    Together, we, the Marie Claire community, can make a very big, positive difference in this world. Just think, if all of us gave up single-use coffee cups and switched to reusable ones. As Anna Lappé, the writer and activist reminds us, ‘Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.’

    We also wish to celebrate the many of you who are already taking a stand. So, if you are actively campaigning for a cause- thank you for doing this- we would like to hear from you about what you are doing. Please email me at

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