If you're a slow fashion enthusiast, then you need to be following Jenna (you probably already are).
She's a slow fashion stylist with an unwavering passion for ethical, sustainable and stylish fashion.
You probably know her as the Ironic Minimalist - she's one of our favourite ethical fashion personalities and friend of Stride.
But today's chat with Jenna is slightly unusual (in the best possible way).
She flips the script in the second half of the interview to ask Stride's founder, Jordan, about his journey into sustainable fashion.
Read on to find out why we love everything about Jenna's advocacy...
1. What compels you to shop ethical and sustainable fashion?
Jenna: When I discovered that fast fashion was causing harm to our beautiful Earth, I knew I had to change my ways.
My first step was research. And once you learn that ‘Australians are currently disposing of 6,000 kilograms of fashion and textile waste every 10 minutes’ or that it takes ‘7,000 litres of water to make one pair of jeans, equal to what we drink in 5-6 years’, you can’t unlearn it and you cannot continue on the same path of mindlessly buying fast fashion.
It took time to change my habits and seek out alternatives, but now I know that I have alternatives. Supporting small ethical designers, buying preloved or swapping my unloved garments, it becomes easier.
2. What is one thing you could tell everyone to help nudge them along to being a more conscious consumer?
Jenna: Take it slow and don’t punish yourself if you slip up. Just take note and research more for next time. Research is very important - ask questions, get curious.
Also, during this lockdown period, Take the time to fall back in love with your wardrobe and realise why you adore your favourite pieces <3
3. Do you have any cool tips and hacks for someone new to Plastic Free July? Something that they can do all year round!
Jenna: Changing our habits is hard. Take this opportunity to make it fun for yourself. Maybe challenge yourself with a bingo game, try this one!
I also enjoyed finding myself a cute reusable cup or bottle, it makes me use it more as it matches my style!
4. What are some brands you've been loving recently?
Jenna: There are no so many amazing ethical brands, each making a huge difference. Some of my favourites are Bias, such an amazing Aus made brand with modern looks. Dorsu, a super transparent brand made in Cambodia. Their turtlenecks have become a staple in my wardrobe. And Ettitude has the cosiest looking pjs, just what we need for now!
Now it's time for the flip!
Jenna asks Jordan her top four questions - enjoy!
1. Why did you decide to open an online sustainable fashion store?
Jordan: It all essentially came from scratching my own itch!
There were lots of great ethical and sustainable clothing labels, but I didn’t find any marketplace truly brought them all together. I wanted to shop them all in the one place (especially for men’s ethical clothing).
Like most of us, I was previously a fast fashion shopper and I loved how ASOS made it so easy to shop all my fashion needs right from my bedroom.
So my motivation was to do just that, but for consciously minded Australians to shop slow fashion.
2. What was your first Plastic Free July switch?
Jordan: You’re testing my memory now!
My first one would have been my ever reliable keepcup that I still have today (I’m not a big coffee drinker).
I remember finding it on Gumtree and this generous lady was getting rid of two of them for free!
I only needed one, but I grabbed the second one and gave it to my Mum who now religiously uses hers.
And she loves her coffee!
3. Can you recommend some ethically made menswear brands?
Jordan: Some of my favourite Australian ethical men’s clothing brands are Tasi Travels, Dorsu, Kenny Franks and Active Apostle.
There’s a great mix there of nice shirts (Tasi Travels), everyday casualwear (Dorsu), stylish streetwear (Kenny Franks) and sustainable activewear (Active Apostle).
In terms of international brands, I’m a huge fan of Ecoalf - notably their sneakers. Javier Goyoneche, their founder, is a truly inspirational man and incredible business operator.
Another label I love, and one that is a little closer to home, is New Zealand based footwear brand Collective Canvas.
Everything about them is steeped in sustainability, and their sneakers are so easy to dress up and down. Plus I really love their Imperfects section where they sell footwear with slight defects (instead of merely discarding of them).
… you’ve probably gathered that I’m a bit of a sneakerhead :)
4. What does the future hold for Stride?
Jordan: Our long-term goal is to become the everything store for anything sustainable and ethical in Australia - whether it be homewares, cosmetics, toothbrushes, candles or fashion.
In September, we are excited to be adding 4 new ranges:
• Youth/baby fashion
This will be Stride’s first step in expanding from fashion to other realms of conscious consumption.
This was always on the agenda for the future, but too many customers have been enquiring about this to the point where I simply couldn’t ignore it and had to bring these expansion plans forward.
Do you see now why we love Jenna?
Be sure to follow her on Instagram @ironicminimalist, or check out her website here.
We highly recommend staying up to date with her for slow fashion inspiration, styling tips, as well as the latest news/events on all things ethical fashion in Australia!
What was your favourite part from this two-way interview?