The Ironic Minimalist - In My Handbag Series
Before we deep dive, let's paint the picture. Who are you and how did you get here?
So I am Jenna, I am a slow fashion stylist and known as Ironic Minimalist on Instagram. I honestly never planned to become a slow fashion stylist, it just happened! One day back in the good years of 2017, I watched The Minimalist's documentary 'Minimalism'. And it just made so much sense to me! I then fell down a rabbit hole of veganism, slow fashion and zero waste, I discovered all the harm things like fast fashion was doing to our planet! So I slowly made changes and documented them on my Instagram. I was also undertaking a stylist course at Australian Style Institute at the same time, and there wasn't much being said around the sustainability issues in general. So as I researched I discovered more and more. Then when I started gaining clients, I learnt that they also wanted to have a sustainable wardrobe. In all honesty, my whole business has grown from a passion to do what's right.
We're very value-aligned (otherwise you wouldn't be here!) but what are you doing to change the world and why?
I'm helping people build sustainable wardrobes that work for them. While that may sound a bit shallow, we all wear clothes and I just want to help everyone have a wardrobe that works for them and build it in a sustainable way without harm to the planet or its people.
In your line of work, what are some of the challenges you face and what is your number-one-go-to method to tackle them? What's your One Red Hot Tip?
There are so many! But I think a big one is accessibility. Especially when it comes to the price of ethical fashion. Yes it is more expensive than your typical high street fashion. But that is because people have been paid fairly to make it, the fabrics don't harm the earth and the brand is focusing on transparency. All these things do cost extra. I also think that to engage in sustainable fashion, we need to shift our mindsets. The price we are presented with at a big box store ISN'T the price fashion should be. Once we begin to understand that a jacket shouldn't cost $10, we can see that fast fashion pricing isn't correct.
We like to think we're pretty DTE, what is the one DTE thing you'd say about yourself? (Get your head out of the gutter - we mean Down To Earth).
I love a good dad/bad joke. Here is my favourite: What do you call an alligator in a vest? An Investigator! Haha!
The internet rules the World these days, we can't live with it and we can't live without it. What is your relationship with Media (both digital and social) like and how do you manage it? Be honest.
Some days I feel on top of the world and can happily switch off from the internet. Other days its a doom scroll day, and I endlessly scroll the internet. Just searching for something to keep me entertained. I feel like a see-saw sometimes! But I have found that, specially during the lockdowns, its best to have something else to do with your hands. Like colouring in books or knitting! I also deleted Facebook so I wouldn't spend as much time on it. I don't miss it at all!
There is so much going on at the moment, and sometimes nothing at all. What has the last two years taught you and what are some of the things you have done to get through it?
At the start of the pandemic, I was so anxious. I bet everyone was! I have the type of personality that likes to plan and has to know what is going on. So I was constantly asking people what was going to happen next, of course no one knew! As the pandemic progressed, I found myself in a sort of routine that that helped me deal with the unknown. Just having something, such as breakfast, gave me something to look forward to. Creating that routine for myself helped me deal. I also have to limit the doom scrolling and know I don't need to know all the news at once!
Time travel isn't an option (yet) but if you could go back and whisper sweet-nothings to your younger self - what would they be?
I feel like I could write a whole book to younger, shyer me! I would probably say, "a stop being so shy! no one will eat you for speaking your mind!" and also " stop wasting your money on fast fashion, start saving now!" haha!
We love connecting with other inspiring people/businesses - who would you like to see answer these questions?
Aja Barber, Clare Press, Elizabeth L Cline, Lucy Siegle, Dana Thomas, Jan Fran, Kira from the Green Hub, Danni Duncan, Jess Molina, Ethically Kate, Lois Hazel, Ethical Clothing Australia... to name a few!
How can our community connect with you?
You can find me and my cats on instagram here and my website here.