A Modern Take on Upcycled Clothes with Jillian Clark, founder of MeWe

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Last week I was SO EXCITED to have the opportunity to sit down with Jillian Clark, professional costume designer and founder of MeWe Clothing Brand. We talked for over an hour about her experience in film and theater production, her opinions on the Fast Fashion and Sustainable Fashion industries, and the story behind her ultra-hip upcycled clothing line based in Los Angeles. The interview has been edited for the sake of brevity, but I left all the good stuff in…

ME: WHAT’S YOUR BACKGROUND? HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN FASHION?

JILLIAN: I studied costume design at UMass Amherst and then worked as a costume designer in Boston, for small theaters and the Boston Ballet. Then about 5 years ago I moved to LA to be a costume designer in film and TV. I’ve never really been interested in trends or high fashion; for me, the research aspect of costume design is the most interesting—seeing how clothes were influenced throughout history and how clothes in turn influenced the world.

Me: And what inspired you to create your own clothing line?

JILLIAN: I’ve been on sets all around LA, I’ve traveled to other cities a couple times for projects, and in general, the waste on production sets is astronomical. Scripts are printed out for every crew member, food is thrown away, money is thrown away. Even in my department, wardrobe, the amount of money that is spent and wasted—having come from low-budget theater world—just breaks my heart. The money spent on one shirt would be the entire costume budget for a whole season at a small theater company in Boston. It’s been a hard thing for me to grapple with.

The day I decided I needed to do something to ease my guilt, I was shopping for a TV show, and I was having breakfast on set, and breakfast ended, and the catering crew came out and just  dumped all the food in the trash. It was a brand new spread... they had just put it out. And we were shooting in Downtown LA, probably 2 miles from Skid Row. And I was like, I can’t. I have to do something or I’m going to become resentful and bitter about my work. So [my boyfriend] James and I made a small attempt, we tried for a couple months to do a short film or a feature film—whichever one we could get funding for—that was entirely sustainable across all departments. We got a lot of people interested but no one wanted to back it because it would be so expensive.

So, I went back to the drawing board and thought, maybe I need to look less big picture. Rather than trying to tackle the Film Industry as a whole, what can I do? What’s my skill set? And so I thought, well I have a designer’s eye, I’ve been hoarding fabric since high school, and I can sew. So I came up with the idea to do an upcycled clothing line from fabric that I’d salvaged from different productions. It wasn’t really that I wanted to be a fashion designer, it was more of out of a need to do something.

Me: So after the lightbulb went off, how long did it take you to make the first product or have your first show?

JILLIAN: The lightbulb moment was shortly after Trump was elected, around Thanksgiving. I remember thinking in the aftermath of the election about how we need to not think so big picture; to think more about our individual communities, and try to make change on a smaller scale. I had always thought Big Picture before—I want to go to LA, work on Big Budget movies, and win an Oscar! And suddenly my mindset changed, I thought no, no, no, you’ve gotta start small and impact the people immediately around you, and then they’ll take that and help it grow. That’s how real change happens. So in the couple months after Thanksgiving the idea took shape, and then over New Year’s I decided I was really going to do it. James and I were in Mexico for New Year’s that year, and we spent a lot of time talking about it. On the flight back—we had a layover in Phoenix—I decided on the company name. So it was maybe a couple months after we gave up on that sustainable film idea.

It was interesting that I went in this direction because I never wanted to own my own business. My dad owned his own business, and he was great at it, but I know it was a lot of work, and I don’t know anything about business. When I was at UMass he said, “Please, just take a couple business courses.” And I was like, “Dad, I’m an artist...”

Me: So wait, did you end up taking any business courses or no?

JILLIAN: [Laughs] Noo….not at all.

Me: [Laughs] And have you told your dad he was right?

JILLIAN: Yeah. I texted him once and said, “you know… I wish I had just one course.” But it’s ok. There are so many resources out there, and I’ve had good luck finding answers through friends or just...Googling it.

Me: Well that’s good. Can you tell me what the inspiration was for the name MeWe?

JILLIAN: Yeah! James and I live in Venice Beach, where there are tons of murals and street art. One of my favorite murals is on the side of a house right near the Venice Canals. It’s just basically my logo—MeWe. The “Me” is in black and the “We” is in red so you can tell that it’s meant to be a reflection: instead of thinking about Me, we should think about We. I knew I wanted something short and memorable to convey the idea, but I didn’t want it to be crunchy granola. I loved the idea of it being inspired by Venice, because the lifestyle and the artwork here is a big source of inspiration for me. So MeWe just clicked. I even went and knocked on the door of the house with the mural on it, to ask who the artist was and whether there was a copyright or anything. Turns out it’s an AirBnB, and they didn’t know who had done it, haha!

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Me: What products do you currently have in your line?

JILLIAN: My model is to design around the fabrics I’m collecting, which is the opposite of what most designers do, so the line is always changing based on what I find. The fabrics I’ve been collecting so far have worked best for t-shirts, the design of which has probably changed 12 times since I started. I think I’ve finally honed it in, but it’s been through many renditions, to the point that my wonderful friends who’ve supported me since the beginning and bought the first round of shirts, I’m starting to ask them if I can go through and trade them out for one of the newer ones! [laughs] And then I did sweatshirts last fall, which I’ll probably bring back this year. I also do men’s neckties out of upcycled jeans and trousers. They’re not formal, I mean, you could wear them with a suit, but the most common feedback I get on them is guys saying they make them actually want to wear a tie again.  

So t-shirts, sweatshirts, ties, and then the most popular are the cactus jackets. I take denim jackets and put cactus patches on the back, made out of a mud cloth material I collect from two home decor companies [Last Boheme and Homies]. They’re beautiful scraps, just too small for them to use in their pillows and blankets. Then I hand embroider the little cactus spikes, and line the jacket with reroll, which is when you take small fabric scraps and sew them together to create new yardage. Using the reroll allows me to find a use for all of the little pieces of scrap [from various fabrics] that I feel bad just throwing away. I try not to make it look too patchworky, because I’m always trying to avoid that crunchy granola look, so yeah, each jacket is similar in that they all have the same design, but unique in that the fabric is always different.

ME: It’s interesting to know that the crunchy granola look is something you actively avoid. It’s so easy for upcycled anything—whether it’s clothing or jewelry or furniture, or whatever—to come out with a certain look that’s just not for everybody, but everything you make is so fresh and modern.

JILLIAN: Exactly. A lot of people who see the reroll I make say hey you could make skirts out of that! It’s like, I could... but….it’s a skirt you’d see at a Phish concert, which... is exactly the look I’m trying to stay away from. Not that there’s anything wrong with that look by any means! It’s a cool look, but it’s definitely pigeonholed into a certain sector of the market, and one of the messages I’m really trying to convey is that sustainable fashion can be mainstream. It doesn’t have to be the fast fashion brands, it doesn’t have to be what you’d find at the mall, but it also doesn’t have to be hippie dippie.

Me: Tell me more about your creative process; you said earlier that going from fabric to design is the opposite of what most designers do; what’s that like?

JILLIAN: Yeah, it requires a lot of trial and error and a lot of frustration, thinking this’ll work! And then it doesn’t. Often, too, I have a limited amount of a fabric, so once I’ve done a couple samples that didn’t work it’s like, well...now I’m out of that fabric so…moving on. I went through so much trial and error in the beginning that it changed how I collect fabric. I recognized that unless I’m going to use it for something like one-off patches, I need to have enough fabric to make a couple samples so I can make sure the fabric lays the way I want it to. But really the trial and error process is fun for me; I’ve always enjoyed looking at something and finding a use for it that wasn’t necessarily what it was intended for. That probably comes from my theater background, where budgets are tiny and you have to get really crafty to make things work.

Me: Has the concept of the business evolved at all as your brand has become more established?

JILLIAN: It’s stayed pretty true to the original concept. I started it as an upcycled clothing line with an educational component, teaching people how to care for their clothing to make it last longer, how to donate and recycle it so it doesn’t end up in a landfill, and how to shop more ethically and sustainably. I’d say the educational part is more difficult for me, because it’s hard to convey the information when you’re not talking to the person face-to-face. I do a lot of pop-ups and markets and I’ve found those are my best opportunities to have those conversations, but it’s still something I’m trying to improve.

Beyond that, there are other aspects I’ve incorporated that I didn’t foresee at the beginning, like collaborations with other brands. Originally I thought I’d just go around to the different costume houses in the fashion district Downtown and collect their textile waste, scraps that they’d otherwise throw away. But once I explain what the company is and what the goal is, most people want to work together, whether they want become a steady source of fabric for me, or many of them want to do a special line together. I wasn’t expecting that, so that’s been really cool. It’s great, because it means they’re more invested in the relationship, and I get to do exactly what I set out to do, which is engaging with my immediate community.

Me: And how do you brand the collaboration pieces?

JILLIAN: Because I’m still pretty small, I usually just sell them myself, but the first, officially co-branded collaboration is happening this fall! It’s with an amazing jewelry company here in LA called Lucy & Jo, which donates a portion of its proceeds to the Gorilla Doctors, a non-profit in Uganda. She works with female artisans in Uganda who make the jewelry for her, it’s really beautiful. The company’s founder Amy and I met at a sustainable fashion brunch. We met up for coffee and she brought me scraps from the tote bags she had recently added to her line, and said, why don’t you do something with these? And I suggested we do something specific and co-market it. We came up with the idea to do a jacket similar to the cactus jackets and they’ve come out really great—she cried when she saw the sample! We’re hoping to get one into the Fair Trade Fashion Show here in November, and then we’ll have a big launch event on December 1st, which will hopefully include a couple other brands as well.

And then I’ve collaborated with a couple well known sustainable brands here in LA, whose names I’m probably not allowed to mention. I just collect their waste; I’ve told them I’d love to be able to talk about the collaboration but they’re like “Yeahhhh we’ll check with our marketing team.” So it’s been slow to get it going. Regardless, it keeps my overhead down because they’re donating the fabric to me, and I’m offering them a service because they don’t have to find a way to get rid of it. Technically you’re not allowed to just throw large amounts of textile waste in the trash, you’re supposed to recycle it. Unfortunately it’s really difficult to do, so they have a warehouse full of bags and bags of textile waste. I think they’re pretty excited when I come in, they’re always trying to give me more than I can handle.

Jillian Clark, founder and designer of MeWe

Jillian Clark, founder and designer of MeWe

Me: So what are they supposed to do with it?

JILLIAN: Recycle it. There aren’t many textile recycling centers in the country though. Last time I went in to collect scraps, something had happened with the recycling company they were working with in Phoenix, AZ, so they were looking for a new facility and were having a hard time finding one. The recycling centers are very particular in that you have to sort everything you send. They’ll either use heat or water to sort the fabric, and, for instance, if there’s polyester in the mix it’ll gunk up the machine. You would think that Los Angeles, being a hub of the fashion industry, would have a plethora of recycling centers, but they don’t.

ME: Maybe if you start talking about it enough they’ll get some initiatives going.

JILLIAN: Yeah who knows, it’s really hard. We did Plated, the food delivery service, at home for a while, and their packaging includes a bunch of ground up denim. So I called them to ask what we were supposed to do with it and they were like “Oh just drop it off at your local textile recycling center.” I was like...is that a thing? I don’t think that’s a thing.

Me: So when you walk into one of the big...are they warehouses? Where you get your fabric?

JILLIAN: Yeah sometimes they’re warehouses, other times it’s someone’s apartment, sometimes it’s the back of someone’s car. I work with a lot of other small businesses, and when I first approach them they’ll say, “oh my god you would take my scraps? I hang onto them and they’re driving my boyfriend nuts!” So I take it from the back of their car and then that’s where I store it—in the back of my car!

Me: So when you’re standing at the back of someone’s car looking at fabric scraps, does your brain just activate with all the things you could do with them? Is that how your creative process starts?

JILLIAN: Yeah, totally. If I’m in a big warehouse, I have to be really choosy, so I’ll weed things out pretty quickly based on the type of fabric. How it falls and lays is most important, because there’s not much I can do with something like a really stiff canvas, for example. Next is color and pattern. Also, since it’s all upcycled and everything’s one of a kind, there isn’t a ton of consistency, so I try to keep in mind how it’s going to look hanging on our rack so it doesn’t end up looking like a thrift store. Thrift stores can be really overwhelming for people who don’t like to dig through, so I do try to keep the shopping experience in mind and create consistency in the color or the vibe or the feel.

Me: And how do you decide what that consistency is?

JILLIAN: I change it each year; James and I take a New Year’s trip every year—like I said, we were in Mexico when I solidified the idea—and so I try to let that year’s trip influence the new line.

ME: Oh I love that!

JILLIAN: Yeah it gives me some parameters to stick to. It’s fun, I can kind of justify making travel a part of my job.

Me: So what type of influence are we talking about?

JILLIAN: Just whatever my biggest takeaway from the trip was. When we were in Mexico we went to San Miguel; there it was the colors and the patterns—it was very bright. So that first season I had a lot of Mexican-inspired patterns and sunset colors. Last year we went to Quebec City in Montreal, and what really stuck out to me on that trip was the seamless blending of cultures. There are the Inuit and Mohawk and other indigenous tribes, the French, the Canadian...they are all very respectful of one another, which I found to be really inspiring. I was trying to find a way to translate that, and that’s when I came up with the reroll idea—taking all the small pieces and sewing them together to create a seamless piece of fabric. So, the inspiration comes in different forms.

Me: THAT’S REALLY GREAT, Do you put it on your tags?

JILLIAN: I haven’t. There are so many different aspects of the company that I have to pick and choose, otherwise people get confused, they’re like wait, so...do you make shirts or…? What is it you do…?

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Me: Well I’m glad that we can get that story out in the world through interviews like this. So...where are you going for New Year’s this year?

JILLIAN: We were going to go to Ireland, but now we’re thinking maybe Tahoe, keeping it closer to home. We’ll see, that might change again!

Me: Ok I’ll stay tuned. What’s the reception to MeWe been like in LA?

JILLIAN: It’s been a really positive response. When I first launched, I laid out goals for where I’d like the business to be after 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year. And I after 3 months I’d already hit the one year goals. And I was like this is great! And at the same time, I’m wildly unprepared! So that was a really good sign. People loved the concept and the mission, but in the beginning, the designs weren’t really honed in. The jackets were cool—before I landed on the cactus jackets I just did different patches, each jacket was totally different and people loved that. But the t-shirts and the ties I hadn’t like quite honed in, so while there was a ton of support for the company, I needed to improve the product. That was the being wildly unprepared part. I just thought it would be a side hobby where I would make a couple shirts and my friends would buy them...maybe I’d have an Etsy shop. And then I applied to couple markets in LA. I wasn’t expecting to get in, so when I did, I thought, this is great! And then quickly realized, ooooh I don’t have nearly enough stuff to sell [laughs]! So I took a little break, reassessed, polished up the product, and then people started actually wanting to buy stuff, which was great. So yeah, the response has been really, really positive.

Me: What are some of the other challenges you’ve faced?

JILLIAN: One of the challenges I’m continuing to find is there is still a disconnect. People like my booth, it’s very colorful and bright, and I have lots of images of textile waste and environmental pollution, which draws people in. And most people sign up for the newsletter, they’ll follow me on Instagram, but then they don’t buy anything, which is confusing. It’s like, where’s the disconnect? What am I not seeing? I mean, not everyone has to buy stuff, but if the goal is to make it more mainstream, there has to be financial support. You always hear “vote with your dollar.” But the concept hadn’t clicked for me until I started MeWe. I understood why organic food was good for me, but it was more expensive so I didn’t buy it. Through MeWe, now I understand that in order for something to grow and change, I have to actually put my money into it and show the economy that it’s important to me. Somehow, at 31 years old, I still hadn’t put that together.

Me: Yeah I struggle with how much more expensive the sustainable/ethical options can be. I understand that it costs more to produce them, but on the other hand if high prices are keeping the majority of the population from participating, how can it be successful?  

JILLIAN: Yeah. There are a lot of people who just aren’t ready or able to pay more. I had a customer in my booth last year looking at sweatshirts, which were $50, and he looked at the price tag and said to me, “I’ll come back when I’m a millionaire.” And I was genuinely curious so I asked him to unpack that for me a little bit; I asked him where he normally shops and what he spends his money on. We talked for about 45 minutes, and his response was basically that in order for Sustainable Fashion to compete with the Fast Fashion brands they’ve gotta bring their prices down. So I hear the argument that it needs to be more affordable. I agree with it, which is a big reason that I keep my designs at MeWe simple and sleek so that I can keep the prices down. But part of my mission is also to teach people that Fast Fashion’s prices are so low because the people who make the clothing live in absolute poverty; they’re not being paid a living wage. No one should have to live in squalor just so you can get a $10 t-shirt. The status quo cannot be our baseline, it’s artificially low. But it’s hard to convince people to pay more when they don’t have to, especially if sustainability and ethics is not their priority. Everybody has different priorities, and some people you’ll never convince. The best feeling is when I find someone I can convince—who didn’t previously know about sustainable fashion when we started talking, but walks away ready to make a change. That’s a good feeling.



Me: So cost is a big thing for you; can I ask you how you price your garments to keep them more affordable?

JILLIAN: I use mostly donated materials, so the primary cost for any of my garments is labor. I figure out what the labor cost is, and that’s the price. Other people have asked me why I don’t add a retail markup. Clearly I didn’t go to business school—because to me, if the price I’ve set has already covered my costs and my time, why would I add more? I did have to revisit that model when I started getting into boutiques here in LA, because they take a cut—as much as 50%—which is the whole reason for retail markups in the first place. I grappled with it for a while, knowing that the garments could already be considered expensive, and feeling reluctant to make them even more so. My mission is to keep the product affordable for people, so doubling the price completely went against that. And while I don’t want to undercut any of the other sustainable brands out there, I also want sustainable fashion to be more inclusive. So I decided to focus on the mission and take the hit myself instead of marking up the prices. It’s working for me right now. If, down the line, I need to cut costs somewhere because I’m losing money, then I’ll have to change the designs. If my main cost is labor, I need to look at reducing that rather than just charging more.

ME: That’s good, and as your business grows and changes, you can always revisit your pricing structure in order to keep things in the black.  

JILLIAN: Exactly. I originally had set myself a goal of nothing over $100, but when I started making the cactus jackets I was like, there’s no way, it’s too much work. I also have a new t-shirt design that I’m selling for $55, and that was a stretch for me. Before I started this company, I never would have bought a $55 t-shirt. But it’s not just a jersey cotton t-shirt, they’re kind of half t-shirt, half blouse, so they’re special. But people have suggested that I charge $80! They’ll say, You’re in LA, people will pay it!  That’s not the approach that I want to take. Just because you can charge more, doesn’t mean you should.

ME: Right. One of the challenges that Fast Fashion creates is this artificially low baseline that means by comparison, sustainable brands are so expensive that it becomes something only the privileged can afford to care about. I like that you focus on keeping things simple so it can be more inclusive—people shouldn’t have to buy a $300 blouse just to participate in the movement.

JILLIAN: Right, it’s insane. Students—high school students, even—are ruling the world. They’re a big source of support when I’m at a market. It’s usually the younger kids who drag their mom over to look at the products. But what high school kid is going to be able to afford an $80 t-shirt? They should have access to something that allows them to express their values today. They shouldn’t have to save up for months and months and months to buy one shirt.

ME: Right, you can’t just expect people to join the movement if the price to enter is a $300 blouse. You have to give them some way to participate now, and maybe build up to the more expensive stuff over time.

JILLIAN: Exactly. And I certainly don’t want to belittle the companies that are selling the $300 blouse. Because a lot of times the work and technology that’s required to make them is expensive! Turning plastic bottles into fabric, for example, I’m sure that process is expensive! I don’t have the means to do that. So, of course there are times that I can understand the big price tag. But you have to hit a certain level of success in life to be able to support that technology, and not everyone will. I’ve always been a thrifter—thrifting is within my price range—but it overwhelms a lot of people, because you have to dig. That’s the audience I’m going for, the people who have that type of income but don’t always want to dig.

Me: So, we talked a bit about price, but what do you see as the other sticking points that are preventing the fashion industry from changing?

JILLIAN: I think how much we consume is also big. There is so much product in any Fast Fashion store. We used to have a couple seasons a year and now it’s something insane like 36. I’m sure I have the exact number wrong, but regardless, there’s an insane number of seasons, because we have short attention spans and the trends are influenced by that. There’s no way to keep up with that level of consumption in a sustainable way. I think Forever 21 is able to go from sketch to store in a week or two. That’s insane. A garment was likely made in one country and dyed or distressed in another country, the tags were put in in a third country, and only then was it shipped to the US or Europe to be sold. It’s been manufactured and shipped all over the world and it still only costs $30. There’s no way a brand like MeWe or even the expensive sustainable brands can keep up with that.

ME: Yikes that feels like a huge problem to overcome.

JILLIAN: It does. It is. To create real systemic change on stuff like this you have to change people’s minds on a psychological level. We get instant gratification from shopping, buying something makes us feel better. It’s lot deeper than just buying clothes because we need clothes.

Me: What are some of the sustainable fashion brands that you’re most excited about right now?

JILLIAN: The brands I’m most familiar with are here in LA. Groceries Apparel does basic t-shirts. Sustainable basics that are also affordable are hard to find; a lot of brands sell basics for like $80 a piece, but Groceries Apparel sells them for $30 or $40. The shirts fit well, they’re made from organic cotton, their factory is a beautiful facility, and their workers are paid a living wage and treated well.

ME: Sounds like it hits all the bases!

JILLIAN: Exactly. Backbeat Rags is another small sustainable company in LA; everything in their line—and it’s a full list of products, even rompers and jumpers—is under about $75. Another one is Aloha for People. Sometimes I use their fabric in the cactus jackets. They use the Groceries Apparel t-shirts and then put on a little chest pocket in their unique fabrics, which they source from different communities around the world. They also have a give-back component to help the communities they’re working with to supply the fabrics. So for instance they worked in Guatemala for a while, using fabrics made in Guatemala to support the local economy, and then a portion of the sales from the shirts here in the States went towards building clean water tanks in the same Guatemalan community. I think their next give-back project is going to be cleaning up the beaches in Southern Hawaii, and they’re using local Hawaiian fabrics; so each season the shirts are designed around the community they’re working to help. Let’s see, what are some other good ones...Reformation is great. They use all deadstock fabric, so it’s similar to MeWe in that they’re not buying new fabric and they design around the fabric they bring in. I’ve been to their facility a number of times, they have a huge warehouse of fabric that they’ve salvaged from all over.

ME: Oh cool, I’ve definitely bought from them before, but somehow I missed that that was part of their schtick.  

JILLIAN: Yeah, Reformation was one of the first big sustainable brands out there. What’s great is that if you go to their website, they can tell you the carbon footprint of every single garment, and when you check out, they have a calculator that tells you your personal impact from buying their pieces. Which, I’ve learned from trying to calculate metrics for MeWe, is SO much work. It’s insanely hard to build a calculator like that. So, yeah, those are my picks right now, over a range of prices—Reformation being at the higher end and Backbeat, Aloha, and Groceries being a bit more affordable.

Me: Ok last question...What are three things that people can do today to reduce the impact of their wardrobe, be it ethically or environmentally? Give me one that’s free or low-effort, a second that’s medium cost or medium effort, and a third that’s higher cost or higher effort.

JILLIAN: Ok cool. For the free/low minimal effort one, just consume less. You don’t need as much as you think you do. I’ve given myself a new rule that I’m not allowed to go to Target. It’s impossible for me to go to Target and not buy something, so I just don’t go anymore. I’ve removed the temptation. And it’s really hard, because I like shopping, but I don’t need it; my closet is already overflowing. So that’s number one: just buy less. If we create less demand, the companies won’t have the money to continue making as much as they do, and the problem will start to resolve itself.

A mid-effort/mid-cost, is if there is something you need or want, research it before you purchase. Don’t just go out to Main St. or the mall and buy it right away. Look it up, find an ethical and sustainable brand, and if you can’t find that, try to find one that’s made locally, or made by a small business; if you really want to go for it, find one that’s made by a woman-owned small business. It’s actually kind of fun, I really enjoy it. Like I said back at the beginning of our interview, my favorite part of costume design is the research. When you get the story of a company, you feel a lot more invested in it, and you’re a lot less likely to have buyer’s remorse because you thought about it, you researched it, and it probably isn’t something that everybody else is going to have. Most of the time you can even find whatever it is on Amazon. While Amazon is taking over the world and that might not be a great thing, it generally does help make sustainable brands more accessible to everyone.

And for the higher level, find those sustainable brands that are really investing in new technology. Research the companies before you buy, because there is so much greenwashing out there, and a lot of companies slap a big price tag on and say it’s sustainable when it’s not really clear in what way. So, find the brands that are investing in great technology, and support them. Eileen Fisher is a great example, or Reformation, like we’ve already talked about, or even Levi’s. Even though it’s a household name, they’re a great company. They’re really trying to make a difference by investing in technology to make textiles from recycled materials, and building their own Fair Trade, green facilities. So if you’ve got the money to do it, find the companies that are at the forefront of technology, and buy from them so they can continue doing good work.

ME: Vote with your dollar!

JILLIAN: Exactly, vote with your dollar.


>>> One thing we didn’t get around to talking about in the interview, but which I think is absolutely worth mentioning, is that MeWe also has a Denim Repair Lab, in which they’ll repair your blown out jeans with gorgeous, sashiko-style mending stitches. I was just about to send my favorite pair of jeans to the great denim heap in the…warehouse pictured above, when I saw the DRL on her website; I can’t wait to see how they turn out! You can find out more about Jillian and MeWe’s products and services on her website, or follow her on Instagram.<<<

Catherine Owens