“I buy very little new, apart from essentials and if I really adore or need something. There is absolute gold to be found in second hand stores, a lot of which is still new with tags! So for the most part I really just don’t see the need when there is already a tone of items in existence just waiting to be loved again.”
Remember our eco-bride Faye Delanty and fiance Lee from our Mindfully Wed shoot? Today we get to know Faye a little more, and learn about her work as an Eco-Stylist for Salvos Stores. Faye’s passion is breathing new life into vintage and second-hand clothing, demonstrating that waste really is just a failure of the imagination. (Images by Sandra Henri Photography).
What is an eco-stylist and what is the reaction that you receive when you tell people about your work?
My job actually encompasses a lot and I think may be different to other conventional eco stylists out there (if there’s such a thing!). I am a Fashion Stylist but my work focuses on using sustainable fashion as my creative tool. Working with Salvos Stores adds a lot more than just generic styling to my routine however, staff education is a big part of my role. Teaching all the stores we have about trends, fashion history, customizing, how to reinvent and recycle what you already have, to be thrifty and savvy and excite customers with what’s possible using second hand. Then there is all my media work, particularly with the Today Show. One of those segments takes me a week to put together. Yes my job is a little bit hard to explain, I can’t just say ‘I’m a doctor’ and be done with it haha. But once people grasp it they love it and are generally so inspired to think more consciously too. That makes me really proud.
What is the motivation/philosophy behind your work?
My job didn’t exist, I created it and it was genuinely born out of necessity. I grew up with parents who love Vintage, antiques, and second hand, and the story behind style. When I was living overseas it went from fun to function, thrifting was genuinely all I could afford. So I challenged myself to recreate what I saw in magazines on a very tight budget. It was my best friend Karen who encouraged me to share it with the world. I don’t like that fashion can be segregating, I wanted everyone to know that they could look fantastic and make a difference too. It’s feel good fashion.
What are you likely to find in a Salvos store these days?
Everything!! It really is only limited by your imagination! I have learnt to see the possibility in all the garments and just because it’s a vest doesn’t mean it has to be a vest…
How can up-cycling principles be applied to a wedding?
Oh in lots of spots. We have it in my dress (Faye’s designer Lenka Couture is re-creating vintage dresses and dead stock fabrics into a new bespoke gown), the decorations and with beautiful touches like my Mumma saving leaves and flowers from her garden for a year to make our confetti!!
What surprised you about eco-ethical weddings when it came to planning your own wedding? The flowers!! I had no idea how impactful they can be on the planet. Covered in chemicals and flown from overseas, we’ve forgotten to embrace our natural flora and local farmers and florists. #GrownNotFlown
Is going eco-ethical a way of reducing wedding planning stress?
It’s definitely made Lee and I slow down and ask ourselves what’s really important; What will have add more value to our day and where do we want to invest? After those questions we changed things like expensive cars, hundreds o fairy lights and candles. It’s not about that, it’s about our love.
What does living purposefully mean to you?
Slowing down, asking questions, voting with your fashion dollar, caring about your fellow humans but also taking the time to be kind to yourself.
Faye’s latest op shop recreation for my hens night ^
Alexander Mc Queen was my inspo. My Dressmaker and I used a thrifted taffeta midi skirt and long line sheer vest to recreate this amazing asymmetrical peplum situation. I’m wearing it over thrifted pants and a sheer mesh blouse. Rose patches I purchased from a craft supplier. (So blouse and patches are the only new elements purchased). Cannot wait to wear this again!