This is the first instalment in our Fashion Diary series, where vegan and ethical style influencers let us peek into their wardrobes for a week.
As a former fashion journalist, I remember the days when having ethical objections to anything at all, or simply preferring ethical fashion, was unheard of – and highly inappropriate – in a professional setting. If your editor gave you fur to write about, you wrote about fur. If the client sent you a leather shoe, you shot it. If you were a model, you were basically forced into clothes without anyone asking your opinion at all. If only I had a pound for every time I had to sit through a job interview and assure the hiring manager that “my ethics” would not get in the way of the selling of their product, I would be so rich that those interviews would have been a waste. This is why coming across a fashion industry insider – a celeb stylist, no less – who openly champions vegan and ethical fashion is so refreshing to me.
Holly Ounstead is something so rare as a celebrity stylist with a preference for vegan and ethical fashion. Working with British A-listers such as Leona Lewis, Joss Stone and Anais Gallagher, Holly is a pioneer among stylists – she is dedicated to promoting ethically sustainable and animal-friendly fashion whenever she can.
“I try to work with ethical brands as much as I can when I am dressing my clients, but it’s tricky because we loan everything out on press,” explains Holly. “Mainly I’m using my platform as a stylist to promote an awareness of ethical fashion and how important it is to incorporate sustainable brands into our everyday lives and wardrobes. I guess my main ethos is to help women find a personal style that doesn’t include fast fashion, to just slow the consumerism down and build a conscious, thoughtful wardrobe.”
What does her typical workday outfit look like? “Really casual as I spend most of my time running around town juggling projects! My current go-to is simply my Veja trainers with cuff-off mum jeans and a People Tree knit.” And when it comes to favourite brands, Holly is pretty much on the same page as all of us on Team Vilda: “It completely depends on the event or project as there are so many brands doing good things! But my personal go-tos would be The Acey, Veja, Stella McCartney, Wild Fawn, Matt and Nat, Amur and The Reformation.”
We took a peek into Holly’s Monday to Friday diary to steal some style inspiration, but also to find out more about what goes on behind the scenes of a celeb stylist’s nine to five.
“I am rather obsessed when it comes to putting together style-boards for my clients, I absolutely love researching. The whole process helps me visually confirm exactly what kind of look I want to prep for each event and so my desk is always surrounded by a ton of moodboards I’m working on. This week I’ve got fittings for the Empire Awards and a photoshoot with (British actress) Ciara Charteris.
I also like to keep a few quotes pinned, my favourite being “If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.”
Jumper, People Tree x Peter Jensen
Tuesday is always a good day for meetings if the diary allows. Today I’m off to meet the team over at Thought to do an online edit and video of their SS18 collection. I really admire the brand’s ethics, so I’m really looking forward to having a good old chat with founder Hannah, as well as browsing through their latest designs.
Top, Annabel Girald-Telme
Bag, Wilby (PETA-Approved Vegan)
Jewellery, Wild Fawn Jewellery
With the Empire Awards fast approaching, it’s about time that I start pulling in all the accessories. I really do love introducing clients to new brands, especially my favourite cruelty-free vegan bags. Here, I’ve got some from the amazing Rosie J Gibson, LaBante London, Wilby and a non-leather Edie Parker.
Fittings day today! And I’ve dressed up for the occasion in one of my absolute favourite London sustainable designers, Justine Tabak. This dress strikes the perfect balance between smart and casual, giving me that extra bit of style confidence for the day ahead.
Dress, Justine Tabak
Comfort always comes first on a Friday, especially when I am running around town. I am currently living in this gorgeous People Tree jumper – it’s the perfect time of year for a cosy, yet bulk-free, knit. I’m off to do a few errands ahead of the awards on Sunday, including collecting alterations from the tailors, purchasing Party Feet and fashion tape, and finalising jewellery appointments. I do love days like today – I just have to remember to keep a reminders list on my phone so I don’t forget anything crucial!
Jumper, People Tree
Bag, The Noces
Don’t miss Holly’s video with PETA, where she introduces her followers to some of the most exciting vegan fashion brands on the market:
For more from Holly, check out her ethical fashion blog at HollyOunstead.com