I had the pleasure to be introduced to Elim just before Harly Jae launched last year. It was during an event about conscious fashion in which she was speaking about her work. I was drawn to her energy right away. She has since become one of Harly Jae’s supporter, and I couldn’t be more proud to have someone like her endorsing my brand.
I am a fan of her work and mission and thought you may be too. So in honor of Fashion Revolution Week, here is a little glimpse into Elim’s world, another wonderful human working at making fashion a better place.
HJ: Can you describe your work and areas of expertise?
EC: I'm a creative with a career in fashion styling and consulting. Fashion styling takes me to some pretty typical jobs on photo and video sets whereas consulting has allowed me to stretch into creative direction, personal styling, brand strategy, brand development, and advocacy.
Was there a triggering event that made you realize that fashion could be done a different way?
About 5 years ago I had to downsize my closets to move into a 500 sq. ft apartment. While I was consolidating all my stuff, I discovered I owned over 100 pairs of shoes. The realization caused the shift in how I shop and think about clothes: how to optimize what I already own, trusting my own style opinions instead of trends, asking questions of where and who makes my clothes. These actions and observations now play a factor outside of my wardrobe and into all areas of my role as a consumer. Food, household goods, gifts...it's opened my eyes to how much I choose and buy not with intent but out of habit or conditioning.
How does your work contribute to the betterment of the fashion industry?
There was a lot of soul-searching and dark times for me last year. It felt like there was no way to "better" the fashion industry. Articles were pouring out about greenwashing, modern-day slavery, and a seemingly industry wide tolerance of racism and abuse. It made me question my work and passion. But I truly love what I do...and hope that by choosing to speak up for conscious consumerism, for inclusion and representation, for abuse and harassment - I am apart of the small waves that contribute to the tsunami of change sitting on the horizon.
What is a wardrobe edit?
I LOVE THIS QUESTION. I believe that our wardrobes hold more answers than questions and there's no need to start from a "blank slate" - it's about uncovering a foundation to build on that thoughtfully maximizes wear and minimizes clutter/waste. My version of a wardrobe edit helps my client's identify what they need and want through a filter of choosing pieces that they feel their best in, will understand for their lifestyle and is a fit for their ethics and values. I also teach during the edit how to optimize what you already own, what can be up-cycled or tailored for your style/aesthetic as well as maintenance and consignment/donation best practices.
How do your wardrobe edits benefit your clients' life?
The feedback I've received thus far (I've worked with 30+ closets and counting) is that this edit results in less time "finding something to wear" and more time enjoying the art of dressing. It also helps clarify when, where and how to shop along with the knowledge of feeling empowered to style themselves.
Are you hopeful for the future of fashion? Why or why not?
When our niece entered my life, she blew my world wide open and caused me to see with clarity how my actions have an effect on the future and that the future is a lot closer than I have led myself to believe. I also feel like we are witnessing a rising to consciousness in the general public which has been so exciting. So yes, I am hopeful because I want so much for her and will do all that I can to try and leave this world better than when she found it.
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I hope you enjoyed discovering Elim's way of positively impacting the fashion industry.
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