Shaunie Brett is a sustainability consultant, who you’ve met a couple of times throughout the season – from stay at home tips, to our first ever episode of OFFICE ON: where we talked sustainability, style and shopping tips. When working with Shaunie, and the Vapormax 2020, we wanted to embrace everything sustainable. It’s important that as consumers, we become more conscious of our consumption. Turning to not only online or your high street – when styling your latest shoes it really is about working with what you’ve got.
Take a look at how we’re styling the Nike #Vapormax2020 below.
For the shoot – Shaunie is a champion of boyish denim and vintage tees – so the team delved deep into their wardrobes and we loved that our own clothes add so much more of a personal touch – through swapping and sharing clothes and ideas with friends you can come up with a look unique to you. Vintage tees, direct from Shaunie’s own collection, are our fav new staple, and working with what we had we could play with silhouettes and colour to match to the texture of the trainers.
Jewellery is such a key way to express your own style too, and we stumbled across Emma Aitchison– a sustainable jewellery designer, using recycled materials, and loaned the items for the shoot. Emma and Shaunie sat down after the shoot to discuss sustainability, style and of course…jewellery!
Shaunie Brett & Emma Aitchison
SHAUNIE: You call yourself a sustainable jewellery designer – what does this mean for you?
EMMA: I started my brand 4 years ago as sustainable, what this means for our brand is that the products we produce and the methods to make them do not cause harm to the people or planet, we create long lasting products working to a circular economy with limited waste and as little harm to the planet as possible.
SHAUNIE: What changed in your life/opened your eyes to the issues?
EMMA: It wasn’t like I suddenly had a eureka moment or a calling. I have always had a found connection to nature and being outdoors and this has given me a deep respect and care for it, over time I have learnt more about the climate crisis.
I was working in the fashion industry which uncovered a lot of truths about the impacts of consumerism and fashion production on our world. This defiantly spurred me on to want to create change, so I guess in reflection it was a mix of both.
SHAUNIE: Why jewellery as a creative outlet?
EMMA: I have always studied something creative, and I ended up doing a degree in contemporary jewellery. I love the way it is sculptural and the canvas is the body. Jewellery is also steeped in history and holds so much sentiment, I love this concept and richness it provides to us all – little treasures cared for, for decades – how gorgeous!
EMMA: Ok, so if you had to choose between only one type of jewellery to wear for the rest of time, what would it be?
SHAUNIE: But my go-to jewellery piece would always be earrings, because I quite like to not wear make-up, I usually don’t, and so it’s quite nice to throw on something shiny to look like I’ve made an effort…And you?
EMMA: Oooh this is tricky! I like to layer up my jewellery! If you ask my friends and family I’m sure they would say I’m always wearing my gold hoop earrings, so maybe that’s my trademark!
EMMA: What staple pieces do you tend to dress around?
SHAUNIE: For me, I always start from trousers and build around there. I rarely wear smart trousers, I usually just go for comfy casual trousers then based on if I need to be a bit smarter, I might wear a shirt or a nice vintage jacket, or with a t-shirt or top if I’m being more casual.
A small collection of really comfy lovely trousers that make me feel good would always be the go-to for me.
EMMA: I love a vintage find too – I have my go to clothes – which are often trousers with vintage tops. I have some pieces I bought about 12 years ago – still wear them, still love them, and luckily they still fit!
EMMA: Most worn items in your wardrobe?
SHAUNIE: Naturally my brain goes to the vintage investment items – the pieces that give my wardrobe and my personal style its particular flavour.
I’ve got loads of my mum’s old vintage stuff – things with a story – and I’ve got some great pieces from when I’ve been on holiday and found a hidden vintage shop.
There are quite a few pieces that have been worn hundreds of times that I bought on the high street years ago. Right now I’m wearing a pair of jeans that I bought in 2011 for 40 quid and they still fit great, and they go with everything.
EMMA: I should say something extremely creative and arty – but I’m afraid most of my time I’m hammering and sawing at my bench, so it will be old denim jeans which have patches, stains and rips in!
SHAUNIE: The most fun part of your job?
EMMA: I guess getting to work in the creative studio, where I get to meet lots of people, and being asked to be part of some fantastic opportunities with other sustainable brands and like-minded thinkers. I also get to take inspiration trips into nature – I love that too!
SHAUNIE: Exactly – I do love my job and working in fashion sustainability it’s amazing to work with so many people that share the same sense of purpose and dedication to make things better, that just makes for a pretty awesome community. And it’s growing as well, which is really exciting.
SHAUNIE: OK, and the most rewarding part?
EMMA: Ah it’s so satisfying to see customers’ feedback – it makes it all the more rewarding. And for you?
SHAUNIE: I work with a lot of new founders, people with big ideas that are just starting out so I’m surrounded by excitement and inspiration and I’m constantly inspired by the work of these innovators.
It’s so easy to feel concerned about the future, but if you spend a day working with a sustainable fashion founder who has big ideas and a huge amount of drive and skill, that is a great way of feeling optimistic about what could be to come.
SHAUNIE: Ok and the big question – what do you think has to change next in order to preserve the environment?
EMMA: BIG question! Generally…I believe we’ve all gone a bit bonkers! We need to take a step back and slow down – listen more, do less waste less, learn to care for what we have. But only if we act on it NOW.
SHAUNIE: Exactly – the big next change necessary is to change our mind-sets and to stop thinking about success as growth and getting bigger & stronger but instead thinking of success as sustaining and thriving and living well.