Coffee with Rommy: Bethan Shuff
This week for Coffee with Rommy, we hear from Bethan Shuff, a journalist and blogger based in Staffordshire. Alongside working as a live reporter, she heads up a weekly street style feature, produces beauty and thrifty fashion content on her socials AND she's a published author. Are there any pies this girl doesn't have her fingers in?! She's a Beff of all trades, and I find her fascinating. Read on to hear all about how she went cold turkey on fast fashion, and how her style makes her feel strong.
Hey Bethan! Tell us a little bit about you and The Fashionable Journo
Hey! Okay, so I’m Bethan (or Beff), and I’m 22. I started a beauty blog before heading to Staffordshire University to study Journalism. I was working for a high street pharmacy at the time, so had access to a lot of makeup. As I’ve gotten a little older it’s moved towards fashion and lifestyle. It’s my little baby and I never dreamt that writing about what I love would bring me so many amazing opportunities.
When I’m not posting my outfit of the day or what book I just finished reading, I’m your friendly neighbourhood journo covering stories in Staffordshire!
How would you describe your style?
Ooft, this is a hard one. I’d like to say ‘powerful’ more than anything. I like my outfits to make a statement. I taglined my blog ‘The Fashionable Journo’ earlier this year as I’ve earned the title of office fashionista at work. I brought back an old feature called ‘street style’ where we scout out people on the streets and ask where their clothes are from. I love a bit of everything so long as I feel structured and strong.
What is your relationship like with your wardrobe?
I’ve not had the best relationship with my wardrobe until recently I think. I’ve always loved shopping in charity shops, thrift and vintage stores, but how much quicker and easier is it to buy fast fashion? I was buying new clothes every week, if not every day, as if to try and fill a void. I wasn’t happy doing it, and a lot of it got taken to a car boot less than six months later. It’s only been since late 2019/early 2020 that I recognised I had a problem and it needed to stop. I went cold turkey buying anything for about six weeks – when I finally caved, it was actually because of Jeneral Store when I snapped up a blouse and pink leather jacket.
What first sparked your interest in sustainable fashion?
I’ve always talked about it with friends – my two besties are pretty thrifty and love sustainable living. But I always used the excuse ‘but I’m a fashion blogger… I need fashion?’ I knew I was lying to myself really – I just wanted to buy more clothes. At the beginning of the UK lockdown I read Lauren Bravo’s How To Break Up With Fast Fashion and a switch clicked. I knew I needed to spend less, be choosy with what I buy, and buy better quality from brands doing better in the industry. I find now that the pieces I do buy, I love more – and their cost per wear is so much better for it.
What do you think is currently missing in the world of sustainable fashion?
I think more online swap shops would be awesome. I love going to a clothes swap event and offloading what I no longer wear to be loved by someone else. In lockdown, it would be ideal to be able to still have that community feel and swap-ability online!
Where do you see the future of fashion going?
I’d like to think that fast fashion brands will slow down and look at their ethics and working conditions. I also like to think that – like trends – sustainable shopping will become ‘trendy’ and hopefully stick around – a bit like leopard print has.
What tips do you have for new-to-the-game sustainable shoppers?
Since I shop sustainably in the sense of second hand (rather than new sustainable) I would say check your new finds for stains and stitching – you wanna find a good tight stitch. I look out for brands I know I’ll like, like St Michael’s. And lastly, know your measurements because vintage sizing is shocking.