Jen is a hustler, an animal lover, business professional and ethical fashion enthusiast, as well as the creator of Wear The Riot! I connected with her several months back and have loved seeing how she’s promoted other women in the community and brought her flair to our feed. Read on to be inspired!
Tell me a little about yourself? Who are you, where are you from / living, etc?
“Hi, my name is Jen (a SUPER abbreviated version of my native name MaJenneh) and I am from Monrovia, Liberia. As a child, my family migrated to the United States and I had the opportunity to live in a few states: New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and finally Georgia. I am currently living in the metro Atlanta area where I double as a business professional and a creative freelancer. I have a lot of faves but I absolutely love the grounding that accompanies spending time in nature and interacting with pets (I have 2 pets of my own: Marley the shitzu and Pepper the tuxedo cat). I’m just your average, not-so-average girl!”
How did you first get into ethical / sustainable fashion?
“Hand me downs, thrifting, and time in nature have all remained constants in my life since I was a young girl. In a sense I was into sustainable fashion before I ever really knew sustainable fashion was a “thing.” I really began seeking more ways to implement a greener wardrobe in my life after learning about the fast fashion crisis in my environmental politics course in undergrad a few years ago. Ever since I identified the damages produced by something that I love(d) so much (shopping), I decided to be the change and to wear the change that I wish to see in the world.”
What’s something you really want other people to know about ethical / sustainable fashion?
“Macklemore was wrong. There’s not only grandad clothes at thrift stores and you don’t have to be a grandad to shop there either lol. But on a serious note, I feel as if some people (millennials especially) view thrift shopping as “old” and sometimes even questionable when it comes to hygiene. A lot of people aren’t open minded when it comes to sustainable fashion for numerous factors but I would hate to see that someone’s perception of thrifting being something for “old people” hindered their ability to find one of a kind gems and do something nice for the planet. My advice to any and everyone is to approach thrifting with an open mind.”
Who are your inspirations (ethical fashion or otherwise)?
“I admire Safia Minney so much! She is a force to be reckoned with and such a champion of ethical and fair trade fashion. That woman is amazing and a role model. She has started a sustainable fashion empire and I’m in awe!”
Do you have any ethical brands you’d recommend or tips for how to find great thrifted pieces?
“DKT Polish is one of my favorite ethical brands. I also fancy Madewell! My advice to anyone seeking great thrifting pieces is “never pass up an opportunity to explore.” Explore your local thrift stores, thrift stores of bordering cities/states, explore explore explore! There’s no thrift store too big or too small that’s not worth checking out!! You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find.
Also, #protip, I’ve heard that you can find really nice gems at NYC and other upscale locations’ thrift stores—beware of the price tag.”
What is one of your current favorite items of clothing you own?
“I purchased some light wash mom jeans from Plato’s Closet that are Pacsun brand last year and I refuse to take them off.”
What are you reading, listening to and/or watching right now?
“I am currently reading my GMAT book until I take my test! I would like to return to school next fall to pursue my MBA.”
Where can we find you? Share your blog, social media, interviews, etc!
“I am only on Instagram. My personal IG is: @bookofjennehsays. My brands’ IGs are: @theriotshop and @weartheriot (the latter has been temporarily deactivated due to self care and planning!)”
Make sure you check out Jen and her socials to see her on her journey!