Consumer awareness is on the rise when it comes to fashion sustainability and making ethical fashion choices. This is one trend you want to be on board with! Simple purchase decisions you make from this moment on, really can positively impact our environment and the lives of those who make our garments. Reports like the Baptist World Aid Ethical Fashion Guide are great resources if you’re purchasing new, or eco stylists like Faye De Lanty are inspirations when it comes to reinventing pre-loved pieces. Faye joined me in an interview today to share some fresh ideas on how to create the latest looks with increased mindfulness.
1. Tell us Faye, what exactly is eco fashion?
It’s about mindfulness, slowing down, taking a moment to stop before you shop and making a choice that is much better for the planet. As a snap shot, eco fashion encompasses elements like thrift shopping, DIY, reusing, upcycling, customizing, reinventing and ethical brands.
2. What led you to be the Salvos Ambassador?
When I was living overseas second hand shopping was genuinely all I could afford. So I challenged myself to recreate what I saw in high end magazines like Vogue on a budget. I began to create an unintentional eco chic which I discovered could be of great service not only to people, but to the planet. When I came back to Australia I approached the Salvos to collaborate and it blossomed gloriously from there! I adore what i do. I truly believe individual impact is powerful… we all have the ability to create a ripple effect.
3. Do you have a favourite item (or two) that was a bargain of a find?
It would have to be my $800 Manolo Blahnik black suede pumps for $25 from the Salvation Army in NYC. I also have some incredible accessories that I’ve found at Ozzie Salvos stores too – my op shop ear bling and brooch collection is beautiful!
4. How long do you spend searching in op-shops? Which are your favourite Sydney stores?
I’m in op shops most days with my work, but even when I’m not working I find it hard to stay away. I just love discovering possibility in pieces that have been forgotten. Fave Syd Stores…Tempe, Rockdale, Minchinbury, Gladesville all of them really, haha. They each have their own vibe and treasures to find.
5. Are there any fashion principals you follow when pairing second hand goods with new pieces?
In terms of pairing principles… I try to see them all as equal. My designer accessories and shoes are beautiful yes but my op shop bling or a simple thrifted men’s white button down shirt takes them next level. They work beautifully with each other. I aim to keep things simple with striking accents.
6. Which current fashion trends are easy to create using second hand goods?
There are so many current fashion trends which are easy to re-create with secondhand goods. The only limit is your imagination!
I always look to street style and dream up op shop incarnations. Most of the time the looks we love are classic pieces which are a cinch to find in op shops. Denim, trench coats, tees, bling.
Customizing is simple and a great way to emulate the trends. Bum bags are a huge trend and so easy to recreate from op shop. I look for small leather purses and add a belt with a glue gun then embellish with brooches to create a designer logo feel. Or you may be lucky to find a long strap handbag that you could simply wear around your waist! I did.
7. What must-have pieces are easy to find in op-shops?
- Trench coats
- Black pencil skirt
- Rock tee
- Black tux
- White tee
- Black skinnny jeans
- Statement bling
- Khaki army jacket/anorak
- Use scarves to create turbans
The list goes on!
8. What tips for op shopping do you have?
Here’s my top ten op shopping tips:
- Educate yourself.Read magazines, look at style websites, research brands, check out the trends, understand cut, colour, fabric and form. The more you know the better you can op shop.
- Be prepared.Go shopping with an idea in mind to avoid that overwhelming feeling.
- Follow the fundamentals.Seek out and stick to the classics. Timeless pieces like a great pair of jeans, a white tee, a little black dress, a trench coat. Op shops are filled with great versions of these and once you have them you can build and play with the trends from there.
- Don’t shy away from DIY.You don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for ripped jeans or a bejeweled clutch when you can make it yourself. Surf the world wide web for inspiration.
- Dress success.Wear something that’s really easy to change in and out of or try fitted clothing that you can try things on the top of.
- Shop the Store. Don’t just look in your section. Half my wardrobe is from the men’s section. Try it on, you never know.
- Know your body and know your style. Don’t be a slave to the trends, only buy what feels great and flatters you, do it your way.
- Become friendswith your regular op shops, get to know when they receive new donations.
- Set a good tailor on speed dial. Maybe the Chanel jacket you found has boxy shoulder pads, but if you have it altered it will still be so much cheaper than the original price tag.
- Take a tool kit. Snacks, water, a tape measure, inspiration pics, a wish list. It will make things much more efficient and enjoyable.
9. Where can people find out more if they are passionate about shopping ethically & in an eco-friendly way?
- Explore the My salvos stores website.
- Follow me on Instagram @fayedelanty
- Watch the True Cost and the War on Waste
- Check out Fashion Revolution
- Search hashtags like #slowfashionmovement #opshop #reducereuserecycle #sustainablestyle #zerowaste etc on Instagram
- Also scroll through the ‘Eco Age’ it’s basically a green online version of a big newspaper