Sustainable Fashion Styling with the Ironic Minimalist
Jenna Flood, The Ironic Minimalist, is a slow fashion stylist who focuses on educating people on the issues that surround fast fashion. She advocates for sustainable fashion alternatives such as pre-loved, vintage and sustainable clothing. For all her styling work, whether it’s for one-on-one client styling or fashion photo shoot editorials, Jenna sources clothing from second-hand, consignment and vintage stores and from sustainable fashion brands themselves.
Tell us about your work.
I am a slow fashion stylist, so I aim to help my clients embrace a slower way of dressing. This could be buying from more sustainable brands, shopping preloved and even just using what they already own before buying anything else.
How long have you been styling and how did you get into it?
I took a stylist course. I had always been interested in style, but never knew that taking a leap of faith to enrol there would lead to my dream job.
Background and Training?
Everything I have learnt about slow fashion has been through my own research. Countless books, hours of YouTube and podcasts, talking to people such as Clare Press to learn more, attending events…. It’s basically more of a passion that a job!
The technical side of styling was taught by the amazing people at the Australian Style Institute. I really could not be doing what I do without them. I am currently undertaking my Master’s training with ASI.
Tell us more about your approach as a sustainable fashion stylist?
My clients reach out to me when they are looking to learn to be more conscious with their wardrobes. Typically, they are not sure where to start with their own wardrobes, but they don’t want to buy a bunch of stuff. They want to use what they already have and find ethical alternatives to what needs replacing.
I think people have a view that a stylist will make them drop loads of cash on a whole new wardrobe. I try to flip that stereotype and show that we can curate ethical wardrobes with what we already own and only buy better when we need to.
What’s involved in an image consultation with a sustainable fashion stylist?
It differs client to client, but basically I will sit down with my client and chat about what they want to achieve from their wardrobe. Really get to the root of the problem that’s bugging them. We will also chat about their style, why they are unhappy with their current image and what they hope to achieve in a session with me.
We also talk about their body shape and what they are currently wearing. I am honest yet kind. I believe that we need to understand our style and why we buy what we buy before we can create a sustainable wardrobe.
Slow fashion and sustainability are two of the most searched words in fashion ATM. What they mean to you.
To me, slow fashion doesn’t just mean buying from ethical brands. It can mean buying preloved, swapping, renting, buying nothing at all, using what you already own, decluttering… its huge umbrella under which we do what is most sustainable to us.
Sustainability for a brand is important. It isn’t just about using sustainable fabrics like linen, its about ethical labour where workers are paid a living wage. It’s being transparent and aiming to lessen your impact on the planet in the best possible way. It’s showing your clothing on a diverse range of people, it’s hiring and giving voice to all walks of life. It’s rethinking the traditional fashion calendar and embracing a seasonless calendar. There is so much more to consider when looking at the sustainability of a brand.
Minimal, Monochrome (with a touch of) Romanticism
Highlight of your styling career so far?
There are so many! Speaking at the 2019 Melbourne Fashion Week was a dream come true! And recently I got to style a photoshoot for Four Paws Australia as part of their ‘Wear it Kind’ campaign. We used vegan friendly clothing from ethical Melbourne brands with some guest appearances from some very cute lambs and bunnies!
What’s the hardest part of what you do?
I enjoy a lot of what I do as a stylist, but its not as easy as it seems. Photoshoots are difficult when I have a bunch of clothing to lug from location to location as I don’t drive! I once had to carry a rail down Gertrude St before hopping on a tram with it!
I can also find it a struggle to explain to people why we shouldn’t support fast fashion. The mindset ‘but it doesn’t affect me’ is very real and it can be hard to change that view. Luckily, there are so many people who are looking towards sustainable fashion choices.
What’s the best piece of styling advice you can give right now?
If you are looking to become a stylist, I highly recommend beginning your career with Australian Style Institute. I honestly don’t think I would be where I am now without their support.