Model And Beekeeper Georgah Crane Is All About Mindful Consumption

by: Lucy Jones | 2 months ago | Features

Image: Nic Dowse from Honey Fingers.

Georgah Crane (aka Local Honey) could talk about bees for days. "They are endlessly fascinating and there are so many intersections between humans and bees," she explains. The Melbourne-based model, studio assistant and beekeeper has always had an affinity for winged insects. As a child, Crane would strike up conversations with the bees in her backyard so that they wouldn't sting her (smart). These days she's part of a local beekeeping collective called Honey Fingers. Caring for bees has given Crane a deeper understanding of the ways in which humans and animals rely on each other. It also brings her a lot of peace. It makes sense then, that she believes in minimising her impact on the planet by consuming food and fashion thoughtfully. We caught up with Crane to chat about mindful consumption and her favourite honey recipes, read on for the most delicious meal idea ever. 

Lucy Jones: Who are you and what do you 'do'?
Georgah Crane: Hello! My name is Georgah Crane. I live in Melbourne where I am currently working as a studio assistant and beekeeper!

How did you get into modelling?
I started in 2014 after being scouted on Instagram. I was very lucky to meet some wonderful people in the QLD scene who I still work with today. 

What does 'ethical fashion' mean to you?
Ethical fashion means looking at the entire process to ensure there is transparency and fairness. From where you source your fabrics and what they are made of, to making sure everyone has been paid fairly for their work through to the design of the garment and the waste you produce. When someone is doing it well, I am so impressed because it’s not easy. It is expensive and time-consuming to go the extra mile so we should support labels making that effort. I think a lot of labels use ‘sustainable’ or ‘ethical’ as a marketing term without really applying that philosophy to their business. To be ethical is to have an absolute commitment to all of those things.

Georgah in action! 

Are there any ethical practices that are important to you?
My main focus lately is just consuming less overall. I have trained myself and my partner to live a bit more simply, haha. It’s a process and of course it’s okay to use plastic occasionally or buy something that you want but don’t need. Sometimes you don’t have a choice and nobody is perfect but just being more mindful of your consumption is important.

How do you incorporate these ideas into your work and life?
I try my hardest to consume more thoughtfully by considering what I buy, whether it’s clothing or beauty products or groceries. Is this an item I will love and use for a long time? Is the packaging recyclable? Do I even need it in the first place? Plus all the small things like using KeepCups and tote bags and cooking at home rather than eating out all the time. My wardrobe has become a lot more thrifted and refined as well. There are so many amazing Australian and NZ brands that I love to support!

How would you describe your relationship with bees?
Beekeeping began late last year for me through an urban beekeeper I met on Instagram. It progressed from a hobby to an actual job, which I never thought I would be doing but I’m so glad I am. I have learned that it can be a very mindful practice because for an hour or so you are only focusing on what the bees are doing and on how you are interacting with them, much like focusing on breathing in yoga or meditation. Being calm means the bees are too and it is a really relaxing experience. 

Beekeeping in Melbourne is seasonal so during the winter the bees are snug in their hives, eating the honey they made in the summer. This also means three-four months with no beekeeping and I really miss it!

 

Sugar ahh honey honey @hotter_irl

A post shared by Local Honey (@georgahcrane) on

Where did your fascination with bees come from?
Bees have always been interesting to me. When I was younger I remember talking to them and asking how their day was going so they would see that I was very polite and wouldn’t sting me, haha. Since then I have learned not to be afraid, when we beekeep it’s usually without gloves. They are endlessly fascinating and there are so many intersections between humans and bees. Every time I go out to visit a hive I learn something new.

You are part of a local bee-keeping group right? What does that involve?
I am! Honey Fingers is run by Nic Dowse and it’s a collective of artists and friends who meet throughout the season to do beekeeping. Everyone is at different stages of learning and there are always new friends joining which is really fun. A typical day means meeting up and heading to the hive, which is usually in a backyard garden or rooftop. We might be doing a spring hive inspection or harvesting honey. Sometimes we finish with a picnic.

I'm assuming you consume a lot of honey, any favourite recipes?
I always use honey in my coffee or tea but my absolute favourite is a piece of sticky honeycomb with some beautiful soft cheese and fresh figs.

Georgah beekeeping in her First Date tee! Get the look here

Yum! Has beekeeping changed the way you see animals or the natural world at all?
I have definitely become more aware of how big a role bees play in our environment and food chain. Without bees our farming systems would crumble and we wouldn’t be able to enjoy so many fruits and vegetables that rely on bees for pollination. Modern farming has had a huge impact on bee populations through using pesticides and not having variety in their crops. Bees need a solid and varied supply of food throughout the season to thrive and in return they give us better quality fruits and veggies, flowers and honey! 

Is environmental conservation important to you?
Of course! It should be important to everyone. I have grown up learning about the effects of deforestation and pollution in school. There is no excuse to not care about climate change and waste.  

What is one thing you'd like to see humans achieve in your lifetime?
So many things, I can’t pick just one. Gender equality, racial equality, progress on climate change.

 

The last days of bee keeping for the season • listen to the bee's hum @honey_fingers

A post shared by Local Honey (@georgahcrane) on

What's coming up for you work-wise?
Work-wise I am helping to set up a creative space in Collingwood, which is really exciting, as well as a busy season of beekeeping among a few other things. This year has been really different for me so I am excited to see what the next few months bring.

If you could change one thing about the fashion industry what would it be?
I would absolutely change the fast fashion mindset that everyone seems to have. Somehow it’s spiraled out of control to where customers expect new designs every day with no regard to how things are made, who made them and what they should actually cost. When you can buy something for that cheap it means someone has been taken advantage of along the way. Support local labels and designers, shop thrift stores or swap with friends!

What's your life motto?
I don’t really have one but something my mum told me once has stuck with me and always seemed relevant: “everything in moderation”.

What a honey!

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