Interview with our TikTok Contributor: Tara Roberts on sustainable fashion

Meet Tara Roberts from TikTok!

Interview with our TikTok Contributor: Tara Roberts on sustainable fashion

18th November 2020

 

This month, we sat down with 23-year-old Tara Roberts; a UK-based sustainable fashion advocate and contributor to the Real Leather. Stay Different. TikTok channel. A girl after our own hearts, Tara has shunned fast fashion and even did a whole year without it! We discussed her take on building an affordable and sustainable wardrobe – and the role that real leather plays as part of this. 

Scroll down for our full conversation and check out some of her videos on the Real Leather. Stay Different. TikTok.

Hi Tara! Tell us about yourself and your background

I studied Marine Biology when I was at university, and I think that really instilled in me how we all need to be careful when it comes to our choices, to help support and promote our environment – and make sure that we have it sustained for years to come. That’s why I decided to create my Instagram account, which focuses on how you can still shop while being sustainable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does sustainable fashion mean to you?

Sustainable fashion to me is all about circular use and a circular economy. In a nutshell, it’s about really wearing what you have, loving what you have and getting lots of wear out of it!

When and why did you become interested in sustainable fashion?

I used to want to make my money stretch, and so that’s why I hit the charity shops rather than the high street. That’s kind of how I got into sustainable fashion, but also from the environmental

point of view – making sure that in ways that I could, I was supporting the

lessening of plastic in the environment and always being aware of my environmental impact.

What are your thoughts on real leather?

So, I really like real leather because it’s a very durable fabric. The leather items I’ve got, I’ve been able to wear for years, and they haven’t lost shape. Also, just from an environmental take, I think if something’s in circulation anyway then the by-product of that should be used as much as possible… If hides are just going to a landfill, it’s a waste – and I don’t believe in wasting things that can be used for good! I also believe in making things as natural as they can be.

How can we shop more sustainably – do you have any tips for us?

I’d say the main thing is to buy less, but buy good. Don’t just buy ten tops because they are in the sale! If you’re not going to really wear those ten tops, then don’t buy them. Buy good, as in the quality of your fabrics; I like natural materials as they tend to be the ones that last longer – like leather. The pieces that are high quality are the pieces I wear the most – and I can find these items in charity shops.

So, what do you do once you’re done with a piece of clothing? 

I would never just throw clothing away. If there’s something that I don’t think I am going to wear again (or it no longer fits), I tend to sell it… There are so many platforms, like Depop, Vinted, Ebay. It leads to the circular economy – continually giving back and still receiving new clothes!

sustainable fashion

Are there any designers you are loving at the moment?

Versace just did a collection where they used prints and items from previous runways and created beautiful pieces made from them…and I just thought that was really inspiring to people out there, showing we need to change with the times and start reengineering and upcycling.

Moving on to your Instagram account ‘This Outfit Cost,’ how did you come up with the idea and what is the ethos behind it?

So, it came about in January 2020. I set myself a New Year’s resolution to hold myself accountable and I had already done a fast-fashion free year in 2018. For the whole year, I didn’t buy anything fast-fashion from the high street – I only bought from charity shops! I just wanted to show that anyone can be sustainable and do so on a budget.

And what can we expect to see from you in the future on the Real Leather. Stay Different. TikTok?

I love joining in with challenges! There are a lot of fun fashion challenges to get involved with. You can also expect a lot of outfit styling inspiration because a lot of leather items can be worn multiple ways – oh, and of course some tips on sustainable shopping too.

Keep up with Tara via her Instagram account @thisoutfitcost and the Real Leather. Stay Different. TikTok @chooserealleather