Jessica Perkins wearing a necklace she got from Swap Society.
We’re pleased to feature Jessica Perkins as part of our series Swappers We Love! Her blog, English Lass in LA, started as a way for Jessica to make sense of her transition to the states and has blossomed into a go-to online space for sustainable fashion, zero waste, and conscious living guidance. Jessica always had a love for fashion and worked her way through the corporate sector of the industry. Through her various jobs in the UK fashion world, Jessica became privy to the horrors of the industry at large. Jessica committed to making a change is and avid supporter of Swap Society! We’re so pleased to share more of her story below.
‘My Grandpa was a Savile Row Tailor and taught my Dad the importance of investing in high quality fabrics and timeless pieces.’
What was your style like growing up?
I went through a lot of different phases growing up. For a few years I dressed in a way I hoped would help me fit in. This was followed by a hippie phase that came with copious amounts of love beads and bell bottoms so long they cleaned the floor. I tried the skater scene, but found skate shoes cumbersome to walk in and so that that was swiftly followed by an emo/pop punk phase that required a ton of black eyeliner and drainpipes. After the emo phase, I started to acquire an assortment of different pieces I liked and now if someone asks me what my style is, I usually reply that it’s a bit of a mish mash.
Who influenced your relationship with fashion the most?
That would have to be my Dad. My Grandpa was a Savile Row Tailor and taught my Dad the importance of investing in high quality fabrics and timeless pieces. My Dad passed this knowledge onto his children and he’d take my whole family to Boot Fairs (AKA Swap Meets), thrift stores, and designer resale stores. We would scour these places for treasures and my Dad would often encourage me to customise things we found.
Do you have an early memory of shopping?
I think my earliest memory linked to shopping would be sitting on the lounge floor looking at my Mums mail order catalogues. She’d usually have four or five stacked on the top shelf in the Larder and I’d have to ask someone to reach them for me. I loved looking at all the different clothing. If the catalogue was an old one, I’d cut out pictures of pieces I really liked.
‘I love the idiom “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and have found some real gems from swapping.’
How did you get involved with Swap Society?
I heard about Swap Society through a friend of mine, Karen. Karen is a fellow eco blogger and very wisely recommended SS to me.
What is your favorite thing about swapping instead of shopping?
Aside from the fact that it’s really fun, I love the idiom “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and have found some real gems from swapping.
How has your style changed since you started swapping?
I think I’m more open minded, but I also shop with more purpose. I remember feeling overwhelmed walking into somewhere like H&M because there was SO much stock to take in. I’d often gravitate towards one thing such as white tops, or the sale rack. That way I could look at every item on the sale rack or each type of white top and I’d usually find something I liked. You can find a lot of different items when swapping, but the selection is obviously smaller than a department store. This has led me to really think about what I’m missing in my wardrobe and has also resulted in fewer impulse buys!
Audrey Stanton was born and raised in the Bay Area and is currently based in Los Angeles. She has attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, London College of Fashion, and received a BFA in costume design from the California Institute of the Arts. Audrey is deeply passionate about conscious fashion and hopes to continue to spread awareness and love for ethical consumption. Visit her blog audstant.com and follow her on Instagram for lots of #slowfashion inspiration!