Please share a little bit about who you are and what you do in your regular life?
I am a freelance writer, published author and speaker from Vancouver, BC, Canada. When I began writing ten years ago, the door that opened was interviewing professionals working in the fashion industry - designers, students, models, hair/makeup artist, stylists, etc. I also co-owned a local fashion magazine that highlighted the artists working in our city.
In 2014 I turned from working for magazine to writing my first book. I released Life Outside the Box: The Extraordinary Journeys of 10 Unique Individuals in February 2015. It features ten chapters, each containing a mini bio of an interesting person whose journey inspired me. What is surprising is that only 4 are from the world of fashion and beauty. In June 2018, I released my second book - The Wisdom of Listening: Pieces of Gold From a Decade of Interviewing. This one is personal. It shares my journey to embrace my new career along with many of the bits of wisdom shared with me during these interviews that changed my life.
Hard to believe I started this new career at the age of 50. It's been an amazing journey.
At what point did you begin to learn about the issue of sustainability in every area of daily life?
I was lucky that the issue of sustainability in the fashion industry was brought up right at the start of my career. That said, it has taken many years for me to truly understand the depth of the problem. During interviews, many of the fashion professionals I interviewed were very candid about their concerns surrounding toxic dyes, unsafe working conditions including the building as well as what the workers were exposed to, fabric production that consumes too many resources and the amount of clothing going into landfills each and every year.
In the last year, this awareness has now turned to the publishing industry. Did you know publishers quietly destroy 77million unsold books a year? And it is estimated 30 million trees are cut down annually in the U.S. alone to create all those print books of which only a fraction sell. Now is the time to start thinking about the purchase of an eBook for your general reading. Print purchases should be saved for those you want to keep a long time as a cherished part of your wardrobe.
Have you embraced any changes that help you personally leave a smaller ecological footprint?
Some, but more are needed. The biggest change I have made was a commitment to drive less and ride transit more. I also go out less often. When I do drive, I fill one day with errands instead of going out day after day. I also try to cook more with fresh ingredients instead of using convenience foods and am incorporating more produce and vegetarian meals into my menus. When it comes to fashion, I have been learning to buy less and make those purchases quality garments that I cherish. They are maintained carefully and with love. Suddenly I don't need to buy many things as my wardrobe has few throwaways.
How did you meet Zuhal and what led you to become involved with EFWA 2018?
One of the major events I covered throughout my career is Vancouver Fashion Week. Zuhal has shown collections at this event 4 times now - each amazing. Over the years we have connected through Social Media and made an effort to get together while she is in town. Despite the time differences, we even manage a few phone conversations here. On her last visit in March, I was privileged to have her stay with me for a few days. When she decided to launch an Eco event in Australia, I was delighted to be asked to join the team.
What was it about EFWA that drew you to offer your talents in support of this international event?
I felt what Zuhal was trying to achieve by creating this event was very important. EFWA 2018 will be showcasing how amazing eco/sustainable fashion are. No longer are garments just casual bamboo knits or upcycled creations. Sustainable garments have become mainstream and include everything from daily wear to red carpet gowns. The second and perhaps more important focus is on education. What is sustainable living on a broader scale and why is it important that everyone step up and make changes? The stakes are high!
As a part of the EFWA 2018 team, what role or roles will you be filling?
This is my second year being a part of the EFWA team. In 2017 I was able to take on a much larger role. This year scheduling conflicts have meant I am embracing a slightly smaller part. My official title is International PR/Editor. I am also a sponsoring Canadian Media. I have two main roles. My first is handling all the designer and team member Q and A's, from interview, to formatting the articles on the website, to sharing on Facebook.
My second role is helping with the EFWA 2018 Upcycling Challenge. This year the show is a team effort being run in partnership with EFWA Stylist Dalija Vlahov. I will be handling the promotion and marketing, while Dalija will be handling all aspects of running the show.
Any last words or a favourite quote on sustainability?
I always love to share this question that designer Katherine Soucie asked me, "What relationship do you want with your clothing?" It pushed me to really think about the choices I made as a consumer and what I wanted to put in my closet. For me, my cherished clothes all have a story. I might have interviewed that designer, admired what they were doing, loved the construction, saw it on the runway, or ............... The list goes on. I choose as much as possible to purchase quality pieces that will stand the test of time and become sought after vintage garments. I hand wash or dry clean them at shop committed to Eco practices. Suddenly everything is lasting longer and when I wear them, many spark fabulous conversations.
- Website - www.marilynrwilson.com
- Link'd - http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/marilyn-wilson/10/b62/117/
- Blog - www.oliobymarilyn.com
- Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZx-WR1Qzs7MUkXQ1HgipLg
- Instagram - @marilynrwilson
- Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MarilynRWilsonWriter/
- Twitter - @oilobymarilyn