1. You have an extensive background working in fashion, marketing and media. Tell us, was this always what you wanted to be when you grew up, and how did your career path lead to where you are today? (if not what did you want to be as a child?)
When I was very small I would create my own children’s books and I was certain I wanted to be an author. I always thought I would write. But as I grew older, writing books began to feel out of reach. Publishing and books felt like a closed community that was very difficult to get invited into until recently.
My career to date has been very organic. I’ve sort of just felt my way through it innovating into the roles and work I wanted to do. None of the things I’ve done existed as named roles when I first started in the space.
Looking back, I can see that I tend to lean towards work that feels like it’s where I can make the most impact with my skill set and experience. And because of the inherently evolving, nature of the quest for a more sustainable future – ie we are constantly having to learn more and reevaluate to offer solutions to the extreme challenges we are facing – I feel like this has meant my role in the work I do is constantly evolving.
2. Obviously, your focus, personally and professionally is rooted in your passion for sustainability. What is your first memory of knowing this was something you wanted to pursue? Was this something that grew gradually or was there a sudden moment of revelation?
I have always been into second-hand clothing and clothing with a story, but when I learnt how much waste we were creating through the throwaway culture and relationship with fashion that many of us had sleepwalked into – I wanted to open a dialogue. I wanted to work to change attitudes and behaviours towards existing textures long term. That’s how Charity Fashion Live was born which was my first big behaviour change campaign. We recreated LFW looks in real-time as they came out on the catwalk using only what we could find in a single charity shop to prove the value of second-hand. It seemed like the most exciting way to open up a conversation with young people and fashion-focussed people on how beautiful second-hand textiles are.
We started the campaign in 2010 and did it for seven seasons, reaching millions of people as we hosted it across social media (Instagram, Twitter and YouTube film). It featured in the official Fashion week magazine and, eventually, even the designers would tweet us their encouragement saying ‘we can’t wait to see what you come up with – we know you won’t let us down.’ — Sibling London
I think this sparked much of the work I did following this. Whether it was redesigning Cancer Research stores, to bring in a younger audience or other campaigns like ‘Love Not Landfill’, which targeted 16-24-year-olds to challenge them to choose second-hand as the first port of call.