AFTER EIGHT CONVERSATIONS: Jenna Flood aka @ironicminimalist, Sustainable Stylist.
While it was a love of fashion that propelled Jenna Flood (aka @ironicminimalist) into a styling career, it was discovering slow fashion that has come to define it.
The Melbourne/Naarm-based sustainable stylist, who works as both a personal and editorial stylist, has earned fans for helping to demystify the industry and demonstrate how to build a workable, well-loved sustainable wardrobe.
We sat down to hear her tips, tricks and top fashion picks.
Us: Tell us how you came to be a fashion stylist.?
Jenna: I enrolled in a course at Australian Style Institute in 2017. I had debated about doing this course for MONTHS. When I finally decided to take the plunge, I had a meeting with the course organiser, Penny. She was so warm and inviting that I felt like part of the family. Once I began the course a few weeks later, I was blown away by how supporting the ASI community was. This course gave me the courage to start my business. When I started to discover the world of sustainable fashion and encounter clients that wanted a more ethical wardrobe, I knew I had to make myself a slow fashion stylist.
Us: Are you a personal stylist as well as an editorial stylist? And what has been your most memorable job?
Jenna: I am both, yes! I think my most memorable job has been working with a personal client whose partner wrote me a letter on the last day of our session. It said, “Thank you for making my partner believe she is beautiful when I tell her she is beautiful.” I cried on the tram when I read that! As for editorial, it would have to be a shoot that I worked on for a vegan fashion campaign called ‘Wear It Kind’. We had little bunnies and lambs on set!
Us: We adore that you are passionate about educating women on building a more sustainable wardrobe. What are your top tips on starting out?
Jenna: One of the biggest tips would be to stop shopping; you can’t buy your way to a sustainable wardrobe. Slow down your buying habits, assess what you need from your wardrobe and then fill those gaps with the best quality clothing you can afford.
Us: How do you think the fashion industry has changed over the years? And, in your opinion, what are the key changes you would like to see for it to have less of an impact on our environment?
Jenna: I have been researching sustainable fashion since 2017 and I have seen a lot of change! Many more brands have jumped into the sustainability space making it more accessible. And lots of bigger brands have started to shift their focus towards more sustainable fabrics and initiatives. There has been a bit of greenwashing from businesses saying they are more sustainable than they really are, but conscious citizens are calling them out.
I would love to see more body diversity and better representation of people of colour. I would also love to see education on supply chains and where things come from (not just fashion) in schools. I think there is a huge disconnect between how stuff is made and how it gets here.
Us: Who would you say has been influential in your life and how have they helped shape the woman you are today?
Jenna: Definitely my partner. Always encouraging my crazy ideas and being an Instagram husband haha! My whole family has been supportive, even if they sometimes don’t understand what I do.
Us: Has your style changed over the years?
Jenna: When I was younger, I wore crazy colours and had no idea what suited me. I just followed trends. As I grew older and started to understand my shape and what suited me, I drifted towards a neutral colour palette. I also found that when I stopped following trends, I found my true style.
Us: Let’s talk about the designers who you think are setting a high standard and leading the charge in the sustainability space.
Jenna: I love, love, love everything that Lois Hazel and Arnsdorf do! They are so honest with their manufacturing. Kowtow is also a big leader in the space and was one of the first sustainable brands I discovered. Nobody Denim and HoMie also did a really cool collaboration where they created upcycled items from old deadstock. I love brands that think outside the box.
Us: What are the top five favourite pieces in your wardrobe that you can’t live without?
Jenna: A plain white tee is my ultimate go to. After that it has to be linen pants, a turtleneck, a simple trench and my Veja sneakers. That’s the outfit you will find me in 24/7.
Us: We would love to know more about your online workshops and what they entail? And how can people register?
Jenna: I’ve run many different workshops, including exploring the role of consumers in fashion fashion and teaching how to build a sustainable wardrobe.
Each event is different, but basically my aim is to help people learn about sustainable fashion and how they can engage in it. You can keep up to date with upcoming workshops here.
Us: When the clock strikes After Eight, what are the things you gravitate towards?
Jenna: Oh, I wish I could say it was something exciting! But at the moment it's just comfy pants with a warm jumper. I’m still stuck in this never-ending Melbourne lockdown and ironically we have a 9pm curfew. But if I was out enjoying the - hopefully warm! - spring nights I would be wearing a cute jumpsuit with my open toed Post Sole Studio sandals.