Today we’re talking with Hali, who is not only a conscious thrifter with incredibly chic style, but is also an incredibly avid reader, blogger and also a musician?? I’m incredibly impressed with this lovely lady and hearing her heart for ethical fashion and thrifting is so inspiring! Read on to learn more about Hali, our lovely lady from across the pond.
Tell me a little about yourself? Who are you, where are you from, where are you living, etc?
“I’m Hali and I’m a 23 year old thrifter, musician and bookworm living in the South East of England and working in London.”
How did you first get into ethical / sustainable fashion?
“When I was young, my mum had always told me that older clothes were better quality and that quality is super important when buying clothes. Her wardrobe is full of the most wonderful stuff that she has had for years and is still in pristine condition! I suppose that was my first realisation that I didn’t have to buy newly made clothes to enjoy fashion.
Later on, as a young-ish teenager I would spend heaps of money on clothes from big fast-fashion brands, without really thinking about the impact of my actions. I would also only wear things a couple of times before getting bored or realising these items weren’t things I felt comfortable wearing. I feel like this is a pretty common thing to do as a teenager, when you’re less sure of yourself and are flooded with ideas from the media about how you should look or be!
Things changed for me around 17 or 18 and I think that has a lot to do with becoming a bit more socially and politically aware. As my understanding of intersectional feminism and post-colonial ideology grew, I felt more able to understand that my actions as an obsessive shopper were having a negative impact on the lives of other women and also how I felt about myself. I started charity and vintage shopping a lot more, but was still shopping fast fashion regularly.
It was only last year that I was fully able to conceptualise that shopping fast fashion was extremely harmful to garment workers (who are predominantly women of colour) whose voices are drowned out by the incredibly capitalist fast-fashion companies and community. The environmental impact of fast fashion is also becoming more widely understood and definitely influenced my actions! My decision to stop shopping fast fashion this year was a way for my politics and feminism to be reflected through my actions. What’s the point of wearing a fast fashion Feminist graphic tee when the woman who made it is working long hours in horrific conditions for little to no pay?”
What’s something you really want other people to know about ethical / sustainable fashion?
“It doesn’t have to be expensive! I think people are often put off by the prices of ethical clothes shops and feel like fast fashion is the only other affordable option. I predominantly charity (thrift) shop and that has been such a fun way for me to build a wardrobe that I love without spending too much money. eBay and Depop are also fantastic places to look.
I also think a change in mentality is helpful. I would rather wait and save up for a better quality item that I love to death and that will last me years, rather than spending money on lots of different fast fashion things. I do understand that the ability to save money is a privilege though and that’s why I tend to advocate more for charity/thrift shopping as a means to find what you need.”
Who are your inspirations (ethical fashion or otherwise)?
“I’m really inspired by the sustainable fashion Instagram community as a whole! There are so many wonderful women from all sorts of backgrounds who are showing that it isn’t hard to start shopping more sustainably. Even reducing how often you shop is a step in the right direction and people are respectful of whatever little steps you are taking.
I love high fashion and fashion editorials and will scroll through the Vogue Runway app endlessly, but I feel less of a desire to go out and buy similar items now.”
Do you have any ethical brands you’d recommend or tips for how to find great thrifted pieces?
“I haven’t explored many ethical brands myself yet as I am more of a second-hand girl!
In terms of thrifting, my mum taught me how to feel for ‘good quality’ materials. Get used to the feeling of cashmere, wool or cotton and always double check the label to confirm! You’d be surprised how many amazing quality pieces you can find second hand for really cheap! I tend to try to go for those sorts of materials over polyester as they tend to last longer and feel better, but that is my personal choice.
I also incorporate thrifting into my routine. Now when I visit a new place I get excited for visiting a couple of charity shops and seeing what I can find. I’m very picky so I tend not to come out with anything until I’m sure of its quality and fit, but it’s a much more exciting challenge that way.”
What is one of your current favorite items of clothing you own?
“My favourite item of clothing at the moment is my gorgeous vintage wool camel coat that I found in a charity shop in a city I was visiting. It cost me £15! I have seen almost identical coats in fast fashion shops recently for 10 to 20 times the price but made from less long lasting materials. My coat is made well, made to last, matches everything I own and keeps me super warm. It’s a dream.”
What are you reading, listening to and/or watching right now?
“I love to read and love to talk to people about books on Instagram! I’m currently reading The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, which isn’t what I would usually go for but I’m really enjoying it! I’m an avid podcast listener and am currently obsessed with ‘Ologies’, where they get experts from all fields to talk about their topics, from astrophysics to beauty standards and weird things like snails!
I actually work at a music related job and listen to a broad range of music, but right now I’m listening to Solange on repeat.”
Where can we find you?
I also make music and would love if you gave my 2017 EP a listen! – https://open.spotify.com/artist/6GyNJE2twxES85dfnpKWpN?si=pSyciReqRsmBVDRtawihIg
I hope you all enjoyed learning more about this wonderful woman and that you’ll check her projects out! Her music is available in the link above which will bring you to her EP on Spotify called Siren. You can also check out her blog for tips on how to thrift well!