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MOM! Q&A with Kathryn Coyle from THE STYLE CYCLE

- 6 min read 

In this Q&A we are delighted to be chatting with Kathryn Coyle, founder of The Style Cycle.

We had the pleasure of doing our very first pop-up with Kat in 2021 and since then it's been great to watch her business develop and grow, and be able to support each other in what we are doing.

Sustainability is at the core of everything we do at MOM!, so collaborating with Kat was a no brainer. Keep reading below to find out more...

How did the Style Cycle come about?

    The Style Cycle came about during a transformative part of my life. I was struggling with my mental health at the time and found myself seeking a new focus.

    I was on maternity leave during lockdown and I found myself surrounded by unused children’s clothes which highlighted the amount of waste there is in the fashion industry.

    This sparked an idea and after a lot of research I started a secondhand children’s clothes shop online.

    As I navigated the world of reselling, I became increasingly aware of the environmental and social implications our consumer habits have. After seeing the abundance of unused clothing, it prompted me to question the cycle of overconsumption and disposability that dominates the fashion industry.

    I realised that true change required more than just selling secondhand clothes, it needed education and inspiration which is why I pivoted towards a blog about sustainable fashion.

    I still sell secondhand clothes on Vinted but my passion is writing content to inspire others to become conscious consumers whilst learning to sew my own wardrobe.

    What advice do you have for shopping vintage/second hand?

      Shopping secondhand is so much fun and there are loads of places to shop vintage and secondhand so I would suggest looking at all the options.

      Try online platforms such as Vinted, Depop, eBay, Vestiaire Collective.

      Or some of my instagram favourites like ThreadsbyJade, MillerandMoore or Threadsandfibre.

      Charity shopping is another great option but can require regular visits to find the best items!

      I also love the vintage boutique stores and the kilo sales which usually pop up around the country!

      When shopping secondhand I would suggest to:

      • Look for good quality fabrics, checking the seams and construction to make sure the item will last.
      • Make sure you inspect for any damage or stains etc. You may be able to remove stains and have the item repaired if you really love it but there is nothing worse than getting home and finding a fault you didn’t see or get a discount on.
      • Have an open mind! If you go secondhand shopping with a fixed outfit in mind, you may leave disappointed.
      • A good quality staple is hard to find so if you find one, keep it.
      • Don’t be afraid to try new looks or colours. Fashion is about expressing yourself and having fun, you don’t have to stick to trends.

      I have a great blog post about tips for charity shopping specifically here 

      What should we be looking for in a good charity shop?

        When I go charity shopping, there are a few things I look for:

        • The location isn’t always important but I like to drive to charity shops in more affluent areas as I have found they have more designer or vintage items which I love.
        • Fair pricing is something I look for too, you might pay a bit extra for designer items but at the same time, you don’t want to overpay for a fast fashion item you would get cheaper if you bought it new.
        • I like charity shops that are clean and well organised. If the items and different sizes are all jumbled up, I can’t even look. Most of the charity shops I have visited are so well organised making it easier to browse which is great!
        • Friendly and supportive staff are always a winner!

        What are your Top 5 tips for going plastic free this July?

        I always get involved with plastic free July but try not to get too hung up about it. With the lifestyles most people live today it is really hard to live completely plastic free and the fact you are making the effort is a really positive step.

         A few tips to help are:

        • Carry reusable bags and take your own to the shops to avoid single use plastic bags.
        • Use refillable containers or refillable options to reduce plastic waste.
        • Opt for products with minimal packaging, eg. loose vegetables whilst food shopping. Or, if you’re like me and like cooking, make food items like hummus from scratch. It is so quick and easy once you know how and the amount of plastic you avoid is crazy!
        • Say no to single-use plastics like straws, water bottles and utensils.
        • Share your journey with friends and family and you might just inspire them to join you. 

        With parents being so busy, what advice do you have for our followers to help them start living a more sustainable lifestyle? 

        Parenting is hard, so trying to live a sustainable lifestyle on top is tricky but it is all about doing what you can.

        Don’t put too much pressure on yourself either but I have a few tips that I think you’ll find helpful:

        • Plan your meals! Meal planning can actually help save food waste and money which is always a bonus.
        • Try to choose sustainable products where you can. Opt for eco friendly alternatives like reusable nappies and cloth wipes for babies.
        • Try making your own snacks for the kids to avoid packaging waste.
        • Support local businesses and avoid impulse buying off amazon (I know this one can be hard).
        • Shop secondhand for toys etc that kids only play with for a short amount of time.
        • Incorporate green daily habits into your day and teach your children about the importance of recycling, turning off taps and lights to conserve water and energy.
        • Lead by example, show your children the importance of living more slowly and sustainably by involving them with green activities.
        Do you have any favourite sustainable fashion brands and who do you think is doing a good job?

          There are so many brands out there trying to do what is best for people and planet which is great. But it is important to do some research before you shop as there are lots of brands telling you they are sustainable when they aren’t.

          A quick tell is when a high street store claims to be sustainable but the majority of their clothing is made from polyester.

          I don’t tend to shop at your standard high street stores anymore because of this but I have a few sustainable brands that I love and wear often.

           Here are a few of my favourites:

          • Monica Vinader (jewellery)
          • Lucy & Yak
          • This is Unfolded
          • Molby The Label
          • Patagonia

          I have a full list of different sustainable clothing brands you can checkout on my website too if you want to know a bit more!

          To find out more about Kat & The Style Cycle visit her website here.

          You can also follow her on Instagram here.

          Helen & Alex X 

          Martha Oh My!
          Practical | Modern | Sustainable | Safe