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@asoftwoman interviews Shaunie Brett

@asoftwoman interviews Shaunie Brett

Shaunie Brett
Interviewed by Leah Abraham


This born-again Fashion sustainability spokesperson recently launched @nonewness - a curated feed celebrating the best sustainable styling on the internet.

Shaunie Brett (@shauniemaker) is a Style Director, consultant and speaker on the subject of Sustainable Consumption. After parting ways with previous fashion job at Thread, Shaunie decided to address her addiction to new clothes by setting herself the pledge: no new clothes, for a year.  Under the aptly named hashtag #nonewclothes, Shaunie has been documenting her journey to wear, and not consume. Reworking old pieces in her wardrobe and breathing new life into them, the key is to set your own terms and conditions: “...personalise the rules so you can succeed and enjoy the process” (standard.co.uk).

#nonewclothes released Shaunie from the clutches of an expensive addition. It allowed her to take care of her brain, her wallet and her lifestyle habits. With 2 months left, Shaunie has almost weaned herself off the desire to buy new, and converted from a stylist into a fully-fledged sustainability consultant. Alongside #nonewclothes, Shaunie launched @nonewness, a project that celebrates the best sustainable styling on IG, and we’ve featured some of her top picks. 


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Leah Abraham: What prompted your #nonewclothes pledge?

 Shaunie: It may sound sensationalist, but I literally woke up one day thinking ‘could I last a year without buying any clothes?’. I know I’m not the only one who feels trapped in a cycle of buying clothes to feel better about myself. We’ve been conditioned to believe that new clothes are a fix, but they are actually part of the problem, for the planet, but also for our mental health and our ability to find strength from within.

 

Leah: Tell us a little bit more about @nonewness.

Shaunie: Social media is dominated by beautiful people wearing new clothes, which feeds overconsumption, which in turn feeds fashion’s environmental and societal damage. I wanted to create a platform to celebrate people styling responsibly-made and pre-loved clothes. Style and creativity aren’t compromised with slow fashion. If we can elevate pre-loved and sustainable fashion to be something cool and aspirational, it could transform the industry for the better.

 

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Leah: What does it mean to work in Fashion Sustainability?

Shaunie: As we learn more about fashion’s impact on the planet, it becomes clearer just how much has to change. In an ideal world, everyone who works in Fashion effectively works in Fashion Sustainability, since every aspect of the industry needs to adapt. At the moment, the main focuses are on sustainable production and disposal of clothes. My focus is on the role of citizens (I avoid the word ‘consumers’), and how we can empower them to participate in the move to a less harmful industry. A huge part of that is slowing down the rate of consumption.

 

Leah: What do you envision for Alternative Fashion Week?

 Shaunie: Creativity is one of humanity’s greatest gifts, but it can be squashed or diluted when paired with the need to sell. Alternative Fashion Week celebrates raw creativity, independent from commerciality. There should always be a space for creativity, to express emotions and to solve problems.

 

Leah: Who are you fav ethical fashion style influencers?

Shaunie:

@op_shop_to_runway - Alex is a celebrity stylist, sourcing the most sustainable products out there, without cutting corners. And she’s a solidly lovely person.

 

@i.thrift.shit - Tamar is a student in Amsterdam. She is completely herself, and clearly has access to some killer second-hand stores. 

 

@curlykaitlyn - Kaitlyn is a great example of someone who knows how to express herself through personal style. And her feed is totally dreamy.







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