Before purchasing an item Whiskey full of Christmas spirits shirt Jay asks herself a series of questions to ensure that the ware is worthwhile: “Will I wear it more than once? Can it be styled multiple ways? Will it last over time?” The answer is almost always yes, as she clothes her clients exclusively in ethically and environmentally conscious outfits. “It’s important for me actually to walk the walk and not just talk the talk,” she says of her reasoning behind starting her fashion reservoir. “It’s also a product of being involved in the local designer community and falling in love with what they’re creating.” And she truly does love it. Over the years, the collector has acquired more than 100 sustainable fashion items, ranging from handmade hoodies to bejeweled fanny packs. Despite her citing Courtney Love as her fashion inspiration, Jay’s collection’s extensive mixture of eras and aesthetics is hard to categorize. Vintage Wayne Clark skirt suits hang among contemporary pleated pieces by Toronto-based Sid Neigum. Upcycled denim is bundled beside silk dresses. Geode jewelry by Black Line Accessories is intermingled with her kitschy handmade creations. And the list goes on.
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Jay acknowledges that Whiskey full of Christmas spirits shirt being a fashion fanatic turned sustainability superhero does have some challenges. For example, she sometimes struggles with the paradox of loving looks but hating the industry. “How do I sleep at night?” she mockingly asks. “Sometimes I don’t feel authentic, but I suppose I’ve learned to understand and respect that sustainability is a spectrum. There’s no such thing as a perfectly sustainable lifestyle, garment, or brand. It’s about getting in the game…starting where you are.” But no matter the time or the textile, the appeal for Jay is always in the story. “I’m proud to support these artisans,” she says. “What can I say? I love it! I love the love that has gone into these pieces. I love knowing and celebrating the design process. And I love starting a conversation about sustainability.”