Jemma Finch on Clothes That Mean More

On the Clothes & The Rest podcast this week, I chatted to Jemma Finch, co-founder of Stories Behind Things. In the episode, we talk about the beginnings of Stories Behind Things, how fast fashion impacts mental health, and why Instagram is both a blessing and a curse. To listen to the full episode, please click here. In this post, however, Jemma shares some advice for how we can all find deeper connection with the clothes we wear…

“Go to your wardrobe, look at what you already have, pick an item that you haven’t worn in a while and ‘mend into’ it. Up-cycling is one of the best ways to rediscover things. Buy some thread, or a sew-on badge; both really good ways to inject some love back into items that need it. You’ll be surprised that they can feel totally new.

“Up-cycling does take time, but I think that’s a really nice thing. You’re putting energy into it, so I think you’ll value it more.

“Having a clear out is a really good idea, and can be really powerful… it’s just about whether you can bring yourself to get rid of things! It’s good for your mind to make space for new things.

“When I’m shopping, I don’t have the best willpower. With shopping second hand, if you see something you love, you have to get it because it might be gone the next day! I’m lucky that I have friends I can pass things on to if I don’t wear it as much as I thought I would; I always share with my friends.

Our swapping events are just a scaled up version of swapping with friends. You get the same dopamine hit of buying something new when you buy something second hand. It’s an important message to relay to yourself; it’s the same thing. You don’t have to got to a shopping centre, you can go to a clothes swap or a charity shop instead. And second hand clothes definitely have better stories!

For more from Stories Behind Things, please follow them on Instagram.

Patrick McDowell’s Advice for Young Designers

This week, on the Clothes & The Rest podcast, I chatted to Patrick McDowell about up-cycling, sustainability, and creative education. Just one year after graduating, his creations have been worn by singers like Rita Ora, and have been featured on the cover of Elle’s sustainability issue, so here, he shares what’s he has learnt from his first year as an independent designer…

“Take time to experience things. You don’t have to rush through everything. It’s something we learn in education that I don’t think is true; you don’t have to rush just to get to the end. You can take time off to do something other than work.

“Enriching your environment by doing different things will make your brain better. If you’re only sitting at your desk working all the time, you’re going to do bad work. It’s a fact. So get out and do stuff! Don’t be a martyr to your work; people don’t like that anymore. Go out and see things.

“New experiences are always enriching, so when you do go out, don’t go the place you went last time, and order the thing on the menu that you’ve never tried before. If you don’t like it, you eat three meals a day so it’s fine, you can have another one tomorrow morning!

“Sometimes it can feel like money is the biggest obstacle, but it will only make you stronger if you have financial struggles and produce great work. All you’re doing is working harder. If you’ve got less money and you’re still doing good work, you’re already miles ahead of other people.

“In my experience, it pushed me to be more creative. It builds everything, actually. If I had bought everything from a shop, I would never have spoken to anyone, or made the contacts I now have. I wouldn’t have applied to a scholarship with the British Fashion Council if I didn’t need the money, but it completely made me as a designer.”

For more from Patrick, please follow him on Instagram or visit his website.

#17: Khandiz Joni | Multidisciplinary Artist

This week, I talk to makeup artist and creative consultant Khandiz Joni. Khandiz discovered clean beauty in 2006, and since then, has been passionate about researching and working with organic products. In this episode, we talk about where her passion for green makeup began, why it’s so important to be conscious about the products we use, and the future of sustainable beauty.

Clothes and The Rest

Khandiz Joni

Thanks for listening!

Khandiz Joni’s Guide to Clean Beauty

On the Clothes & The Rest podcast this week, multidisciplinary artist Khandiz Joni talks about her journey to clean beauty. Here, however, she explains the terms and brands we need to know about to get started with conscious beauty…

Absolution does skincare and cosmetics. In my opinion, they do some of the best lipsticks on the market. We’re very used to certain colours and textures, and Absolution have nailed lovely consistencies and bright, fashionable colours.

Kjaer Weis is a luxury brand that I also really like, both the packaging and products are incredible.

Avril is a French brand and it’s very affordable, so it’s a great entry level point. They do really lovely foundations. I also love Zao because their products are mid-priced, but they have something for everybody; it’s a full range of products.

“When it comes to skincare, for me, it’s about finding things that were made locally. If you’re trying to limit your impact on the environment, shipping stuff across the world just because it’s lovely doesn’t make sense.

“The terms ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ can sometimes get confused. ‘Natural’ is contentious because it means different things to different people, but for me, it means that the ingredients were sourced from nature; grown from the earth. ‘Organic’ is anything grown by organic farming practices. This means that water cannot be deemed ‘organic’, nor can minerals because they aren’t actually grown. They can however be ‘natural’.

“Something I talk about a lot is vegan beauty. Personally, I don’t subscribe to vegan beauty because it isn’t the most environmentally sound. It means avoiding ingredients like beeswax, lanolin and carmine. I definitely think that there are animal-derived ingredients that shouldn’t be in beauty products, but I don’t think a beauty product full of synthetic ingredients that have been extracted from crude oil is better than one containing sustainably sourced beeswax, for example.

“You often have to go to specialist shops to find clean beauty. Content Beauty and Wellbeing in London has a great selection of products, Wholefoods has some entry level products and there are lots of great online stores which stock fantastic products.”

For more from Khandiz, please follow her on Instagram or visit her website.

#16: Nelly Rose | Designer and Artist

My guest this week is print designer and textile artist. After graduating from the London College of Fashion in 2015, Nelly has visited Nepal, Japan and Indonesia, working with local artisans to create new, exciting designs, and preserve traditional craft. In this episode, Nelly explains why it’s so important to support artisanship, how she defines ‘sustainable empowerment’, and what she has learnt from global collaboration.

Clothes and The Rest

Nelly Rose

Thanks for listening!