Building Things That Matter: Sustainable Fashion ft Kim Kirton and Jaclyn Patterson
When great people come together, an outstanding conversation undoubtedly unfolds.
It was such a joy chatting with Jaclyn, a fellow stylist, and Kim, a social entrepreneur who builds things that matter, such as UnCo and CoCares.
Jaclyn and I share how we both got started as stylists and a few things that bring us joy in our everyday lives.
As stylists, we felt a call to raise awareness towards sustainability once we started learning more about the unethical practices in the industry, the low wages that are unsustainable, and the choices we have every day to make it better.
Once you start to learn more about that side of the industry, it doesn't make sense that people are dying by working in really unethical conditions.
As Jaclyn put it: "When you start to learn a bit more, you have like a moment of a bit of shame..."
We want to make sure that others don't feel the same as we did when we first started our sustainable fashion journey. It's not about a perfectly ethical and sustainable wardrobe right away: it takes time, trial and error, some company, and research to get there. It's a perfectly unperfect road to sustainability.
We're here to hold hands with our clients and be able to solve the problem of global warming and ethics one garment piece at a time.
When I was working in retail, I constantly had the same client buying similar items, and when I would ask them about it they would share how they were attracted to a specific style that wasn't working for them and they expected a similar item to be that missing piece.
I started going to clients' houses to assess their wardrobes, seeing what they have and teaching them how to take care of what they already owned. Clients started seeing the assets that they truly had in their wardrobes once I started putting outfits together for them, and making each piece they owned shine as it should. It was a huge awakening for me, and I'm forever grateful for that one client who showed me how to be a stylist before I even knew what it was.
Going thrift shopping, getting hand-me-downs, and repairing items were just part of how I grew up. My parents are big sustainability advocates, and since we relocated and traveled a fair amount in my childhood, I just didn't think much of it and never discussed where I got my clothes with others.
My big awakening came when I was first starting a clothing line and I realized the sustainability and ethical issues in the supply chain and production of clothing. I went to a few factories that had barely any windows, and even if employees wanted to take a break to go outdoors, there really wasn't much around to do.
"There's a point where I thought "Oh shit, I'm just one human, how can I even have an impact?!" but all it takes is one person, two people, and now three to have a long-lasting impact."
The connection wasn't the best at the beginning but it certainly gets better as we go!