The smart way to find ethical fashion.

Meet the Minimalist Magpie

By Baobab Avenue, 14 Oct 2019

Baobab Avenue talks to ethical fashion blogger Carina, aka The Minimalist Magpie, about her flight from fast fashion to sustainable and stylish slow fashion.

When did you discover ethical fashion?

I grew tired of shopping on the high street and looking like everyone else. Fast fashion brands use clever marketing to get us to buy more. We're constantly bombarded by it: the must haves, the IT items, bloggers favourites, endorsements by celebrities...

Then in April, during the fashion revolution week I went to a talk by Katharine Hamnett. She was passionate about sustainability in fashion, armed with facts, advice and there was anger in her voice. That's when I decided to leave it all behind and started looking into brands which are transparent, use sustainable materials and respect the people at the very bottom of the production chain.

What’s been the toughest part of your journey so far?

Honestly? Leaving Zara behind has been a bit of a painful experience. I used to shop there religiously. Generally, online shopping is tough to give up - when everything you think you want is just a few clicks away. I used to know my card number by heart!

What practical advice do you have for peeps just starting their ethical fashion adventure?

Do your research. There are many wonderful ethical brands out there. Don’t be afraid to ask #whomademyclothes? Try and commit to a month of buying nothing new. Shop vintage and preloved. Fashion, after all, is about style not trends.

Have you got go-to brands - care to share?

I am a big fan of Ganni, I’ve always liked them for their transparency and honesty. This year they increased the use of recycled textiles, as well as Ganni Repeat, where they joined the growing circular fashion movement that allows you to rent limitless pieces.

Recently I’ve discovered Vada shoes. Timeless and never trend led, their shoes are designed to last and are made from sustainable materials. They use alpaca wool, algae and even recycled plastic bottles!

Another favourite of mine for the past few years are Rogue Matilda shoes. Timeless and funky designs that again, are not trend led.

What do you think is the best way to raise awareness?

Education and more involvement from the Government. I don't think a couple of documentaries will do it. The mindset around consumerism needs to change. Rather than more, we need better.

Who’s your inspiration? Any cool quotes or tales to tell?

I read this Alexander McQueen quote recently and it resonates with me so much!

“It's a new era in fashion - there are no rules. It's all about the individual and personal style, wearing high-end, low-end, classic labels, and up-and-coming designers all together.”

Apart from the colossal damage to our planet and our lives, fast fashion is a killer of the individual. We are all expected to obey and follow the ever changing trends, buy new, buy some more and then dispose of it.

Where can peeps connect with you, see you keeping it real and walking all this terrific talk?

You can follow my journey on Instagram @the_minimalist_magpie for preloved outfits, tips for a sustainable wardrobe, places to shop, etc.