For the series Good Folk on this blog I have sent interview questions to some really wonderful people who are either making things, running shops, or generally promoting sustainability. I think you will enjoy reading their answers as much as I have, and I hope they inspire us all with the knowledge that there are people doing good in the world!
Tell me about yourself and the work that you do.
I’m a fashion stylist and content creator with a focus on ethical fashion. As a self-professed ‘maximalist’, I’ve made it my mission is to prove that ethical fashion is anything but bland, beige, and boring, and to turn on consumers to the sustainability conversation.
My styling work takes two strands: wardrobe consultations and online shopping. The online shopping element is focused solely around ethical brands, as I wanted to show people that ethical doesn’t have to mean bland, beige, and boring! I have criteria I expect brands to meet before I can recommend them, that’s mostly to do with transparency. I always link clients to each company’s ethics and sustainability section of their website though so ultimately the client can decide if a brand is a good fit ethics-wise for them. As for the wardrobe consultations, I want to help people work with what they’ve got and really fall in love with their clothes again. After all, the most ethical garment is the one you already own!
I’m also the co-host of ethical fashion podcast Common Threads with my wonderful co-host Ruth MacGilp, and I love creating fun content like Instagram Reels to help educate people in an easy-to-digest way about the importance of embracing a conscious wardrobe.
[ image credit Andrew Morris ]
How or why did you get started?
I started out as a fashion blogger over five years ago, and I was the worst for throw-away, fast fashion. After a big life change and several moves, I found myself questioning why I had so much stuff but nothing to wear.
I started working for an ethical fashion company who manufacture products in their own factories, and learning about the production process really opened my eyes. I became passionate about buying quality garments, and the more research I did into the fashion industry, the more I didn’t like what I was seeing. It’s kind of a genie out the bottle situation: once you learn about the true horrors of the fashion industry it’s impossible to just forget about them!
I’d always liked the idea of being a fashion stylist but I held off pursuing it as something just didn’t sit right with me. Learning about ethical fashion helped me join the dots that it was the idea of promoting consumption to people and that there was a right way to dress that I wasn’t totally comfortable with. After a lot of thinking about how to go about it, I decided to launch as a stylist focused around ethical fashion.
[ image credit Magdalena Kaminska ]
What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?
I love proving to people that we can ALL be stylish, and that moment of realisation in my clients is the BEST feeling. As damaging as the fashion industry is, there is still so much joy to be found in clothing, and spreading that joy means it comes back to me tenfold. It’s also amazing when people say to me that they’ve changed their shopping habits, no matter how small, or learned something new from my work. Ethical fashion has a history of being exclusionary, so knowing I can connect people to the good fight is wonderful.
[ image credit Olly Ritchie ]
Do you have any advice for people trying to shop or live more ethically?
Gosh, so much advice! I honestly think learning what your personal style is is revolutionary. Once you no longer feel like you need your outfit choices to be dictated to you by fast fashion then it becomes so much easier to avoid it. You’ll feel much more confident too! I think with ethical fashion though, people are worried they can’t afford to participate. Ethical brands are absolutely more expensive to compensate workers fairly, but secondhand shopping is as sustainable as it comes and much more price-accessible.
Ultimately though, it’s about buying less and buying better. Even if you do choose or need to shop with big fashion companies for whatever reason, then buying less, choosing pieces that will last, and caring for your clothes all make a difference.
Where can we find you on the internet, sign up to your styling services, or learn more?
You can find out more about my services at styledbyalice.co.uk
I’m on Instagram @styledbyalicex
And if you’d like to learn more about ethical fashion, then please listen to Ruth and me chat over at Common Threads Podcast .