My personal style is best described as simple, classic and timeless. There’s quite a bit of black in my wardrobe and most of my pieces would fall into the ‘smart casual’ category. That said, I also own quite a few silk evening dresses and two-piece suits.
My earliest fashion memory was when I was about six years old. I insisted on wearing jelly sparkly pink high heels to Sunday morning service. My mum always said she was happy for us to choose our own clothes – until she saw me walking down the aisle in a short skirt and my heels!
Discovering your own personal style will help you be more sustainable. It’ll stop you buying pieces you don’t need or end up regretting. I got into fashion at university, which is also when I started engaging with the sustainable side of the industry and putting more thought into what I was buying and wearing.
The best advice I’ve been given is to hide my clothes. We all fall prey to feeling like we don’t have anything to wear, and Orsola de Castro – founder of Fashion Revolution – gave me a great piece of advice when she said we should simply hide our clothes. You buy certain pieces for a reason and if you put them away for a few months or even a few years – when you get them out again, they’ll feel so exciting and new.
Treat buying clothes like getting a tattoo – new pieces should be something you think about for a while and are prepared to love for a lifetime. Giving yourself some extra thinking time will confirm that you truly want it and that you’ll appreciate it for years to come. It really helps the planet when we stop impulse shopping.
My style resolution for 2022 is to slowly add pieces to my wardrobe that are more applicable to my working life. And, of course, make sure everything is tailored to fit me perfectly – when something fits well, it takes it to a whole new level. Also, in all parts of my life I’m trying to live by the mantra: “If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.”
Wardrobe clearouts always feel very therapeutic but instead of donating the clothes, put them away for a while. It still makes your wardrobe feel just as clean, but there’s no waste, and in a year, you get to open up a box of ‘new’ clothes you’d forgotten existed.
When I do shop, some of my favourite brands include Reformation, Ninety Percent, Ganni, Aligne, Alohas and Organic Basics. All of them focus on responsible fashion and even though first-hand production is rarely perfect, I like what they’re doing, and their clothes.
I also love buying second-hand clothes. That’s how SoJo came about. I kept finding pieces that I loved, that were so beautiful and unique, but that weren’t my size. I knew the answer was to alter the clothes to fit me, but like much of my generation, I didn’t know how to sew and finding a local tailor felt like too much time and effort. I knew it had to be easier – and given how accessible everything is to us on our phones, an app felt like the natural next step. SoJo is exactly that – an app where you can arrange for clothes to be picked up and dropped off with a seamstress before they’re returned to you at a designated time. It’s also a scalable solution, so that one day, we can help people across the world engage more with sustainable fashion.
Slow fashion is definitely becoming more mainstream. It’s been so incredible to see how much support we’ve had from our customers and community over the past year. People are finally starting to pay attention to sustainability in the fashion industry and it shows – the growth of our community and users has been completely organic.
My proudest fashion moment was collecting the first Sojo order. It took months of hard work to launch the app – especially with all the turbulence of lockdown – and it was just a momentous feeling when I collected our first customer’s order. I felt so proud that I’d created something people wanted to use. I also felt hopeful about the future of fashion and pleased to be a part of the change.
Hopefully 2022 will bring with it many more partnerships. At the end of 2021 we launched our first e-commerce partnership with Ganni. Working with brands to help them embed more circularity into their business models is something we really want to do and we’re so grateful Ganni was the first to back us on that mission. There will definitely be more to come, so watch this space.