Sophie Longmire Interview: Sustainable Superwomen Series
This week for the Sustainable Superwomen Series, we speak to Sophie Longmire, a sustainable fashion and charity shop lover from York. She tells us where her love for sustainability came from and shares her tips of snapping up second hand designer on a student budget.
Tell us about your relationship with fashion
Well I’ve always been interested in fashion and my mam always tells me that I’ve always had my own ‘individual’ style, which means I have so many photos of me in ugly outfits clearly inspired by 2000s Disney and their colourful layering! But it’s always been a way to express myself and as I got older and had issues with body confidence, it’s been a great way for me to make myself feel better in myself and be creative!
What first sparked your interest in sustainability?
I'm a big charity shopper, even when I was young and people thought it was weird! So I think that helped but my interest sparked more in my third year of uni. Like I said, body image has always been my issue and clothes helped me feel better but I got into a cycle of buying soooo much! Thinking about all the clothes I wouldn’t wear, the travelling they’ve done to get to me, the person making them, the packaging, it was like it clicked in my brain. Then I found an amazing community on instagram and it’s really opened my eyes on ways I can cut back.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to learn more about sustainable fashion?
Instagram! There’s so many people willing to help and give information, so many people that are doing amazing things and small, sustainable businesses. Also start small! I think sometimes there's pressure to be perfect, like being interested in sustainability means you can never shop again but it’s not the case. I feel like taking small steps and just being interested and inspired helps!
Whats the best advice you’ve ever been given?
‘Don’t let other people’s eyes be your cage’ is something my mam always tells me! I think it’s a really nice way of looking at it.
What sustainable trends have you seen coming through?
I think there’s been a big trend in personal sustainable products, like sustainable face pads and period supplies which is amazing. It’s often something forgotten so it’s great to see!
What do you think is currently missing in the world of sustainable fashion?
More affordable places to shop, other than second hand! I think that can really put people off and obviously it creates a divide between those that can afford the more expensive things. I do think it’s difficult though because you want to ensure, especially the workers, are paid fair and the quality is good. But maybe if more people bought sustainably there would be more money to reinvest and bring prices down. Who knows, one day I think we’ll see more affordability and it will become more accessible.
Where do you see the future of fashion going?
I’d love to say I can see it becoming sustainable but at the moment it’s so trend based meaning brands push out so many collections. However you do have brands like Nobody’s Child who are on trend but still sustainable and bring out small collections.
I definitely think that brands will head to more recycled fabrics or sustainably sources fabrics and hopefully we’ll start to see a change.
What tips do you have for someone looking to shop sustainably?
Depop is great! If you’re looking for something specific or you want say a pair of your fave high street jeans without shopping fast fashion.
Also start to think more about the things you already have. Do you really need the thing you’re looking for? Could you find that at a charity shop or depop? I think just being more thoughtful helps you firstly cut back and then think more about where you’re buying!!
Tell us the story behind your favourite item of clothing
My Shrimps face jumper!!I’ve been in love with Shrimps for so long but as a uni student I definitely can't afford the designer life. So I’m a complete stalker on depop for Shrimps. I’d saw someone selling this jumper, basically new, my size and at over half the price! Fate.
Anyway, my mam and dad bought me it as a surprise on my birthday and I could’ve cried. It’s so special because it’s from my parents and knowing that I finally own something from a designer I thought I’d never be able to get anything from. And the faces I mean come on, amazing.
Find Sophie on instagram @sophiswearing