Coffee with Rommy: Jodie Thackray
Styling Sustainably founder Jodie Thackray is having Coffee with Rommy this week. I first met Jodie at a conscious entrepreneurs meeting, and found her energy and drive as a small start-up infectious. Fast forward a year later and she's working with a number of ethical people, businesses and brands all contributing positively to our planet. She's a mega inspiration of mine and I'd highly recommend checking out her website for any photography or styling needs...
Hey Jodie! Tell us about your relationship with fashion
I have always had positive relationship with fashion, I look at trends for inspiration but I always go with what my heart feels and my eyes think suit me when it comes to what I wear! I first got into fashion at the age of about 12/13 when I used to buy Elle Girl with my pocket money. I loved the styled photoshoots and fashion tips and aspired to be like the cool girls in the magazine.
By the time I was 15/16, I was experimenting, mixing vintage/charity shop clothing with high street brands like Topshop and H&M and loved that indie girl style that was in at the time. As I got older I carried on mixing high street and vintage but it was in 2018 I understood the true affect our consumer habits are having on the people who make our clothes, and our planet. Since then I no longer buy from brands that are having a negative affect on our planet and almost 80% of my wardrobe has been bought second-hand, swapped or from ethical/independent brands. The other 20% are clothes that I already own and I do still buy underwear and socks from the highstreet; but I am working to improve this!
What first sparked your interest in sustainability?
It's probably quite a popular answer but when I watched Blue Planet 2 in 2018, seeing the damage plastic is doing to our environment made me re-access my entire life. I immediately looked at how I could change the way I consumed, how I cleaned my home and where my food and clothes came from; it was a massive eye-opener! I even set up a blog called zerowastegal to help others make eco swaps; this has now been re-named, @stylingsustainably
What advice would you give to someone wanting to learn more about sustainable fashion?
I recommend watching these documentaries... "Fashions dirty secrets" and "The True Cost". Follow influencers and companies that are making a change and leading us into a more sustainable future. Look at your wardrobe, see what fabrics your clothes are made of and how that fabric affects workers/the planet. Go to your local charity shop and see what you can find, try things on, mix and match. Being sustainable is a new way of thinking and it takes time but it's a great way to learn more about your style whilst doing good for the planet.
What's the best life advice you’ve ever been given?
'You are in charge of your own happiness, no one else is' - Will Smith (2019). This struck a chord with me as sometimes I used to feel like my family, friends or partner needed to make me feel happy but they don't. This is your life and you are in control of it!
What sustainable trends have you seen coming through?
I have seen a lot of fabrics made from Econyl which is a nylon substitute made from plastic bottles which is mainly used for sustainable gym wear; I love that it's cleaning up our seas! The other thing I have noticed is the rise of re-using, wearing a dress once used to be a faux pas but now it's becoming the opposite!
What do you think is currently missing in the world of sustainable fashion?
More education in schools/colleges/on Instagram etc. We need more people, especially younger generations to understand the impact of fast-fashion on the environment and the people who make our clothes so that they can make better choices and educate others.
Where do you see the future of fashion going?
I am hoping there will be a reduction in collections in shops and on the catwalk per year meaning less waste. I want to see more companies creating clothing from sustainable fabrics, taking the future of our planet seriously and I hope there will be more rules to regulate the production of clothing.
What tips do you have for someone looking to shop sustainably?
Look at your wardrobe and write a list of everything you have. If you feel like there is a piece missing like a summer jacket or you need a dress for an event then plan in advance and see if you can find the items you need from your local charity/vintage shops. Finding previously loved clothes at swaps are another great place to find items. And finally, try to buy the best you can afford from companies that are kind to our people and planet.
Tell us the story behind your favourite item of clothing
I have a dark navy and light pink polka dot shirt that I bought from a Miss Selfridge sale 8 years ago for about £10 that I have worn time after time and it still looks like new! I have worn it to interviews with high waisted trousers and boots (I got both jobs too!), to parties and I wore it on my first date with my current boyfriend with a sleeveless jumpsuit. It's a classic piece that I hope to wear for many more years to come!