We sat down for a chat about Julia's experiences working in sustainable fashion and her role as a Director of our collective. Read on to find out more.
Along side her work with Thread Republic, Julia is the founder of Upcycle Fashion - a circular clothing practice, working to re-think approaches to waste textiles.
How did you get into working in sustainable fashion?
I worked in the environmental sector in London and Australia before returning to Kirklees in 2015. I then established Upcycle Fashion in 2010 whilst studying for the world's first sustainable fashion master's degree – MA Fashion and the Environment at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London.
What services does Upcycle Fashion provide?
I provide sustainable fashion consultancy and project management services, specialising in circular economy solutions. I'm also passionate about textiles education and training, delivering talks, guest lectures and workshops focused on garment repair & upcycling techniques around the UK and online.
What are some of your current projects?
What are your 3 top tips for working in sustainable fashion?
Don't assume that people understand why you think a project will work. When describing an idea for a new project, it's important to set the context first, then your solutions/concepts are likely to make more sense to your audience / collaborators / investors.
When you find an idea or format that works well, be ready to repeat that talk or workshop over and over again. Don't feel like you have to keep coming up with new ideas all the time. To reach a lot of people with your message or skill, you have to be ready to do the same thing over and over again.
Keep up to date with the latest research, news articles or campaigns relevant to your work. People will want to discuss these topics with you and not all people will agree with you. Be prepared for disagreement around the trickier aspects of your specialism and handle it with care. Always be kind and open to others' opinions. You won't always change minds, but be prepared to do so if the opportunity arises.
What was your personal motivation behind starting up Thread Republic?
To join with others who are passionate about textiles. Together we are building a platform that will showcase, teach, inspire and connect others across our community of Kirklees with how they can interact with textiles and clothing in better ways for ourselves and better for the planet. Our values of creativity, sustainability and wellbeing are at the core of our work and the only way we can scale the change we urgently need is to make spaces for people to learn together and change together.
"To change everything, we need everyone" - Greta Thunberg