April's sustainably stylish person is the ethically minded and passionate social entrepreneur Stephanie Jackman. I first met Stephanie when we worked in advertising together. In our first meeting, the two of us had a lengthy discussion about our passion for social issues and causes, as well as our burning desire to make a difference in the world we live in. I'm so honored to have stayed in touch with Stephanie and watch her build the organization REAP Calgary, which stands for Respect for the Earth and All People. REAP is a not-for-profit association for locally owned and sustainably operated businesses in Calgary whose members are at the forefront of a new economy: demonstrating that business can make a fair profit while contributing to healthy and prosperous communities. As part of the many events REAP hosts, one of them is Sustainable Style YYC. Sustainable Style YYC is a yearly event in Calgary with leaders in sustainable fashion and cosmetics. It is designed to educate Calgarians about the beautiful, ethical fashion and personal care products available in Calgary. This month with the event kicking off April 12, I knew Stephanie was the perfect person to feature in our blog for April!
Tell me a little bit about yourself? I'm a Calgarian, a wife and mom, and I run REAP Business Association which is a network of locally owned businesses that care about the community and the planet. I believe that each of us has enormous power to create the kind of world we want to live in simply by expressing and living our values.
How do you define style for yourself? Since becoming a mom, my style is pragmatic. I want to look and feel great by choosing fashionable clothing that reflects my commitment to local and sustainable businesses, but I have to be able to play and work in it. I like to wear unique pieces that tell a story. My style connects me to my place and the experiences that are important to me.
What’s your must have style accessory? In 2014, the first year REAP hosted Sustainable Style YYC, I looked around at all of the fashionistas and pondered why they looked so much more put together than I felt. I decided it was because of their accessories. (I hadn't accessorized since becoming a mom because jewelry seemed like an accident waiting to happen with a small child in tow.) I started buying locally made jewelry when I travelled and quickly fell in love with the stories and the charm of each individual piece of wearable art. Now I'm never without a bracelet or a necklace.
If there was one piece of style advice you would give to others what would be it be? Don't worry about the latest fashion trend. Wear clothing that makes you feel beautiful and special. There is nothing more attractive and powerful than a woman grounded in self confidence.
What sparked your interest in sustainable style? I have always loved clothes as a means of self expression. What got me interested in the backstory of those clothes was the realization of just how many clothes we all buy every year. If even a fraction of our collective purchases were made with intention and care for what we were supporting - healthier communities, meaningful work, a greener planet - we could create a fashion revolution. We could create a world where clothing expressed our internal beauty and care for others as much as our outward appearance.
What’s your favourite vintage, sustainable, or eco fashion stores? Why? I'm currently crushing on Tapestry on 19 Street NW. They have a fantastic consignment section as well as new items from sustainable Canadian designers.
Currently wearing? As much local clothing as I can. My latest faves are my Bano eeMee leather jacket, my Alberta Apparel t-shirts, and mySeed Yoga pants. Come to think of it, I've collected all of these pieces through Sustainable Style YYC. To find your own inspiration, join me on April 12.