Style Awards: Meet our sustainable style judge
When the Style Awards best-dressed contest returns to Newmarket’s July Festival next month, judges want to see looks which are planet-friendly as well as polished. New judge and sustainable style influencer Beatrice Turner, founder of The Fair Edit, shares her fashion story - and some top race-day dressing tips
To begin at the beginning: what first sparked your interest in fashion? Tell us a little bit about your style influences growing up in Brazil?
I’m not sure I can pinpoint when I started loving fashion, but I think it was a mix of always wanting to be different whilst also living in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere in Brazil, which made me resourceful and creative. I learned to make my own clothes when I was 13 and the interest only grew from there.
What brought you to the UK? Did your fashion influences change at that point?
I came to the UK to study fashion business but ended up meeting my husband and having kids, and never really used my post-grad degree, which I don’t regret in the slightest. My idea about fashion has changed so much in the last few years that I would’ve hated having a “traditional” fashion job, pushing overconsumption and trying to keep up with trends.
Has it always been important to you to tread lightly on the earth? How and when did your drive to live as sustainably as possible develop? And did having your beautiful babies increase that drive?
It was something my parents always taught us, especially when it came to creating less waste and being mindful of how much we consumed. However I didn’t put much thought into it until moving to the UK and having children. The amount of waste babies create is insane! I quickly figured out that I needed to find a more sustainable way of living that was less impactful.
When did your combined passions for style and sustainability lead you to Instagram and creating The Fair Edit?
Coming from the fashion industry, I knew exactly how the behind-the-scenes worked and how exploitative it can be. But it wasn’t until the Rana Plaza collapse happened, leading to the death of more than a thousand garment workers, that I realised I needed to be a voice for change and I shifted my social media - where I gave styling tips - to speak out against fast fashion and show more ethical ways to consume fashion.
You have amassed a huge following: 36,000 followers on Instagram and counting! What's the reward of talking to that audience, on a personal level?
I love how much people want to learn and change. I don’t like preaching and don’t think anyone can be 100% sustainable, and my audience feels this. We have great conversations and give each other tips. I also get to meet some wonderful people that are doing great things for the planet.
Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that the fashion industry now accounts for up to 10% of global carbon dioxide output - more than international flights and shipping combined. In the face of such an enormous problem, as individuals we can feel powerless. But we can effect real change as individuals, can't we?
Absolutely! Every purchase we make is a choice, demonstrating where you want the fashion industry to head to. If we show the big companies, who are responsible for this pollution, that we are not buying into their business model anymore, they’ll be forced to change.
You manage to balance shopping sustainably with having fun with fashion and expressing a personal style, too. Any top tips to help our readers do the same?
Shop secondhand first! I think a lot of people would be surprised by how easy it is to shop secondhand, either from charity shops, vintage shops or online; there’s so much great stuff out there, barely worn and stylish. If you can’t find what you need secondhand, shop from the vast number of amazing sustainable brands available now.
The real motto here though, is to shop less and be more mindful - think about how much wear you’ll get from that piece, what it’s made of (favour natural materials), and if you really want it or you’re just falling for a marketing trick. If you love your clothes you’ll cherish them and they’ll last longer, resulting in a much more sustainable way to consume fashion.
You are joining the Newmarket Racecourses Style Awards team as a judge and sustainable style expert. What will you be looking for, outfits-wise, come July 7?
I’d love to see more people rewearing what they already own, something secondhand or rented. Other than being appropriate for race day, I’d love to see their personality come through what they’re wearing. Let’s hope as many people as possible won’t buy a brand new outfit to wear for just one day.
Wear it Well
Want to be a Style Awards winner? Put together a race-day outfit that works head to toe, nods to current trends, expresses your personal style and is kind to the planet, too. . . Here, Beatrice shares five top tips for eco-friendly occasion dressing
01. Shop your closet: Shopping your closet means creating outfits from clothing and accessories that you already own. It can be a helpful way to make the most of your existing wardrobe without spending money on more stuff.
02. Rent: Carrie Symonds married Boris Johnson in a rented dress, showing everyone that you can look incredible and be sustainable at the same time. Clothes rental services are not only Earth-friendly, but offer you a way to access designer pieces that you couldn’t ordinarily afford.
03. Shop preloved: the secondhand and vintage market is full of amazing gems that usually feel like they have never been worn. It’s a great way to find something unique and stand out from the crowd.
04. Shop sustainably made: typically companies who put the environment and their garment workers first also create high quality pieces that will last you a really long time and resist the quick trend cycle. These are the ideal option to go to if you’re buying a new outfit for the races.
05. Do the 30-wear test: if you buy new, think to yourself: how many times will I wear this piece again? If you say more than 30 times then it’s okay to not buy the most sustainable outfit available, as you know it is an outfit you can wear for multiple occasions, therefore reducing its impact on the environment.
Find Beatrice’s blog at thefairedit.com and follow her on Instagram @beatriceturner
Tickets for Newmarket's July Festival, home of the summer Style Awards, are booking now at thejockeyclub.co.uk/newmarket/events-tickets/
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More by this authorAlice Ryan