When I speak to my pals or family members about sustainability, everyone is keen to lead a more sustainable lifestyle but most do not know where to start. It got me thinking...if I can shed a spotlight on some awesome sustainable brands so that more people can enjoy a more planet friendly lifestyle, wouldn't that be ace!
I reached out to my absolute FAVE sustainable fashion brand ( and where I buy most of my clothes! ) Manifesto Woman. Founded by the super inspiring and extremely kind Sally Emslie ( I could listen to her all day...check out her speaking to Bethie Hungerford Friends with Recipes podcast ) she has created a very stylist online space packed full of secondhand clothing delights. Updated everyday you can find anything from vintage Laura Ashley to secondhand Ganni. I had the pleasure of asking her a few questions about herself, her business and of course leading a more sustainable lifestyle.....
A bit about you
I’m the owner of Manifesto Woman
, a business that focuses on making old stuff aspirational. I’m also a mother, an immigrant, a serial home renovator, an ex city girl now knee deep in country mud, a campaigner for gender equality, and as much a lover of a good party as I am of a long solitary hike. Oh, and recently converted dog obsessive.
What did you do before setting up your business?
I spent two decades working in a pretty hardcore, stereotypical corporate environment, the last 8 of which were running my own consultancy doing insight and strategy for blue chip brands. It was intense and, as I realised after an embarrassingly long time, a soul-sapping way to live.
What were the driving forces for setting up your business?
Well, it was a combination of four things really.
- I was hating corporate life and desperate to get out - my health was suffering and I could feel myself becoming diminished by my environment
- I had reached my 40s and was taking stock of my life. I wanted to leave a positive legacy and helping big corporates make even more money was not it!
- I have always been creative and entrepreneurial + I love change, so was itching to build something new
- I am passionate about the environment - I was the recycling Nazi in the office in my corporate life :-). And I have always loved fashion - I can remember the first time I really started to notice clothes and style when I was a little girl; it’s always felt exciting to me. It just made sense to start a business in this space, combining the two
Most memorable/magical favourite piece that you have sold?
Oh God, so many. I honestly couldn’t name one. From high street to couture, there are so many beautiful clothes. I’d say the most magical moments are when a customer is united with a perfect piece for them and they look totally sensational in it. Magic.
Sustainability can be overwhelming and making the right choices in such a busy life that is saturated with opposing information can be tricky. What one thing/swap can you advise to help people live a more sustainable life?
Carrot not stick. So don’t beat yourself up about the high street fast-fashion fix, the Amazon one-click emergency purchase, the plastic wrapped ready meal you bought when you were out of time. Instead, celebrate the car boot market you went to, the secondhand dress, the eBay find. If we feel good about ourselves and our choices, we are more likely to feel empowered and do more of what is good for us and the planet.
It was a joy speaking to the super talented Sally about her amazing brand...Please check out her very exciting store Manifesto Woman
for some mega second hand treats.