Looking into her bathroom mirror as she sweeps powder over her face, Regina says “I’m working on the UN Global Compact. We encourage companies to implement our 10 principles on human rights, environment, government, and labor. I am currently managing the Asia portfolio.”
Monje reflects on what inspired her interest in sustainability in the first place.
“It started many years ago. I’m originally from Bolivia and I lived in Argentina for many years. Argentina is well known in South America for its fashion industry. One day I read an article exposing Argentinians exploiting slaves from Bolivia for labor in the fashion industry. That happened maybe 10 years ago, and it really touched my heart, of course. So I started learning more about what issues the industry had.” Truly, the fashion industry is one of the biggest culprits of modern slavery.
She dives deeper into what keeps her motivated to do what she does. “What really inspires me is hearing stories from small to large companies doing great things in developing countries.” Monje, having lived in a developing country, highlights the importance of paying craftsmen in those countries a living wage and not exploiting them.
Although she now lives in New York and has so for a couple of years, Monje finds happiness and humility in her Bolivian roots and in traveling. “New York can be materialistic so I try to forget where I am as I travel. If I’m in my native Bolivia or in South America I feel inspired by how less you need to be happy. I always try to keep that in mind.”
When asked about her latest sustainable purchase, she says “I bought a portable coffee mug three months ago, I realized as a good New Yorker I was drinking a lot of coffee every day and creating a lot of waste. I decided to bring my own mug around with me everywhere I go, that’s a small thing I can do.”
Whenever I’m in New York and I feel stressed about a random email or meeting, I focus on what really matters and appreciate what I have.”
After our conversation, Monje takes me to her beautiful rooftop which looks onto the East River for her photoshoot. She is wearing the Malaga shirt and Hermosa skirt styled with white sneakers and delicate gold and silver jewelry.