3-Where do you see your role in helping to shape the future of fashion ?
In both my personal and professional life, I aim to educate people by showing them that supporting ethical fashion doesn’t mean making huge sacrifices. From a professional’s point of view, I’ve spent a long time debating on how to brand my business and get the message across that I support cruelty-free, waste-free fashion. I was advised to change my visual branding so that it looked more “ethical” but that isn’t really what my brand is about. At Online Personal Stylist (my blog) my tagline is “where inspirational stories are told through fashion and where conscious fashion is mainstream”. The sole focus of my fashion blog and styling business is to showcase eco-friendly and vegan fashion and beauty in an authentic way. I like to show off beautiful products that I know others will love too before telling them “oh and did you know that this is cruelty-free and sustainable?”
In 2017 I set up a free challenge called The Ethical Style Project where I pledged to give up shopping for fashion items for an entire year in order to see how easy it would be to revamp and upcycle items I already owned. I succeeded and it was a real learning curve for me as well as for those who got involved. I learned how to turn placemats into handbags, I made my own slogan t-shirts, and I fixed my damaged clothing to give it a new lease of life!
I am very firm in my beliefs but I don’t like to take the aggressive approach to encourage sustainable fashion. People believe what they see, which is why I do my very best to make sure the products and advice that I promote never disappoint. I offer a wealth of convenient, professional tips and advice on my site, teaching people how to choose the right items for them and how to wear what they already have. By learning how to select colours, styles and fits to suit your individual physical features, you are less likely to waste the items you buy. These newfound skills will also enable you to make better buying decisions when shopping. Before trying to implement any other sustainable fashion habits, focusing on minimising textile waste is a must!
4-What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue a career in sustainable fashion or simply wanting to make more sustainable fashion purchases without compromising on style ?
The most important thing for you to do first is to establish and understand your own style first. If you’ve not yet figured out your fashion style, you will have a tougher time when trying to create a business or personal style in sustainable fashion. There’s this common misconception that being sustainable in fashion means dressing in tie-dye and artisan prints. Of course, this isn’t true. Like in all forms of fashion, this way of dressing is not “ethical fashion” but just a style – like it can be in mainstream fashion too. I love classic winter colours: black, white, red, fuchsia, blue, grey, and green. Knowing what I like and what suits me makes it easier for me to find suitable equivalents when shopping from sustainable brands. If you choose to shop online for your fashion items, it could be worth learning about ecommerce so you have more knowledge when it comes to the world of online shopping. It’s just as easy to compromise on style in mainstream fashion as it is in the ethical fashion world. The secret ingredient to overcoming this issue is understanding what you like and what suits you!