Emma - Jane of Sisterhood of Style; 'Styling and the importance of a more conscious consumer choice'
EJ, You are such a charismatic and beautiful woman... and it goes without saying you have a gorgeous sense of style. I can imagine that given the opportunity to be styled by you, this would be so incredibly fun and rewarding on so many levels... ! I would love to ask you some questions so that our Outliv followers can learn more about you, your thoughts around sustainable fashion and how you see this translating through your role as a stylist.
Most of us at this stage would have heard someone talk about Marie Kondo, even if they hadn't seen the Netflix show themselves yet. The KonMari Method of organising has endless amounts of waste being dumped at charity stores and as a result of this landfills are growing rapidly moving into 2019. When you take on clients for 'wardrobe' styling this must involve getting rid of garments that have ‘had their day’ to make room for a few new additions? In terms of the next destination and life for these unwanted items of clothing.. what do you advise your clients to do with these pieces?
Great question Amy, as I know that no two "charity stores" or second hand stores are created equal. When I first started I offered to take my clients old and unworn clothes away for them and I would put them into one of the blue bins for charity, often in supermarket car parks or schools, but something never felt quite right as it was so impersonal. This was juxtaposed with the very personal process of my clients letting the clothes go (and hiring me) in the first place. My clients are letting go of their past, their old 'selves'. It's a very personal experience for them and I feel honored that they let me share that. So when I discovered @everlasting, I knew I had found the place these clothes and my clients memories, deserved to go. They all go to Anna and her team, who create incredible pop up stores during the year, selling second hand and some new clothes. Anna has created such a special volunteer-run event - every first item is $10 and $5 thereafter and all proceeds go to Charity. It's an absolute delight to get these clothes to her and she now has an arrangement of free postage, so you can send her your clothes via NZ Post, for free!
The importance of a more conscious consumer choice became such a huge talking point last year. The 'Fashion Revolution' alone has encouraged thousands of people and brands worldwide to look at ways in which they can themselves make better choices going forward for a more transparent industry valuing people and the future of this planet. How has this movement effected the way you think about styling and about fashion?
It is playing an increasingly more important role. I love style but not at the expense of peoples livelihoods, lives or the planet's well-being. But I am no expert and that's why I wanted to work with you more, to show me how I can be more sustainable and how to help my clients and people who follow me, be more thoughtful in their fashion and style. I want to be able to share with the Sisterhood that you can make a concerted effort but it doesn't have to be a massive change all at once. So for me, its affected my thought process around buying, made me more conscious of not buying more, but buying better and lasting products and most importantly schooling myself up on buying second hand....this is a new frontier for me!
“So for me, its affected my thought process around buying, made me more conscious of not buying more, but buying better and lasting products and most importantly schooling myself up on buying second hand....this is a new frontier for me!”
When your new clients book you for some 'personal shopping' or 'power shopping', what might this look like? Can you walk us through this experience and would this include some second hand shopping?
YES! I would love to include second hand shopping in my services - but that's where you come in, guiding me on the best places to go and how to curate this successfully for my clients. The styling experience I offer is a uniquely personal one for each client, but with a strong structure in place to help them make the most of their time with me. I do a lot of pre-work, finding out all about their taste, their budget, why they need my services and what they want out of it. This means that when we meet to shop, we are focused on their budget and task of finding the pieces they want/need. My focus is always to buy items that mix and match well with other pieces they already have or buy on the day. I try to avoid 'wardrobe orphans' where possible - those pieces that can't be worn with anything else in the wardrobe and are often a rash purchase, regretted later! So to shop exclusively at second hand places would have to be considered more, due to time and what my clients were after. It's an education process that I hope my client's are curious about, for me to offer more.
How often do you shop second hand... and where are your go-to stores?
I browse second hand stores, usually because I am passing and I like their window display. Styling is an important aesthetic to me. I often pass Tatty's in High Street and might see something that my client's would like, so I snap a pic and send it to them. I have shopped at the Everlasting pop up sale too. But full disclosure, this is a new(ish) process for me that I want to learn more about from you - how to do it well! Teach me :-)
What is your most treasured second hand item of clothing?
I have been given a Chanel jacket from a friend, that's pretty darn special. A sequin skirt gifted by another Stylist because she thought I would like it and any items my mum gives me because they are more "me". I don't have many, but all the ones I do have, are very special.
Find our more about E.J at www.sisterhoodofstyle.com and learn some of her awesome styling tips at the upcoming ‘A Conscious Style Workshop’ during the Ethical Collab Pop Up on the evening of th 14th March. For event and ticket sale details click here.