Zoe Robinson, the mastermind behind Think Style, an award- winning consultancy which assists clients on dressing more sustainably joins MSL for a Q&A, as we delve into her story behind the treasured 1980s grey wool coat Zoe could never bare to be without.

Full name?
Zoe Robinson

Where are you based?
Streatham, South London

Tell us a bit about yourself ?
I love mending things – this comes in handy as my delicate vintage frocks often need a little TLC. I share my love of dresses with my two beautiful five year old god-daughters, but they can definitely work the pink tutu look better than me. I cannot walk past a charity shop without going in – a compulsion which has resulted in my collection of old sewing machines and knitting patterns. I haven’t yet learnt to knit.

And your career?
Having trained and worked as an actress for 10 years, I changed direction and launched my own business in 2009. Think Style is an innovative, award-winning style consultancy that assists clients in dressing more sustainably without compromising on style. As well as working with private clients, I act as a writer and consultant to charities and business, advising on anything from uniform, to fashion shows, to lifestyle events and campaigns. Community projects are important to me – I’m currently a consultant for Streatham Food Festival and co-programming The Little Big Peace Event 2012, a South London Festival inspired by Peace One Day.

I’m a freelance writer and blogger and the Fashion Editor for EggMag, the online magazine for ‘culture with conscience’. I am also very excited to be developing a new web project which aims to make it easier to be ethical in the capital.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced professionally?
The career change – deciding to move on from a career that I’d pursued for as long as I can remember was tough, I definitely went through a kind of grieving process. It was the right decision and I feel proud I had the courage to do it.

Do you have a treasured piece of clothing that you have kept hold of?
A 1980s grey wool coat

what is the story behind the item? And why is it special to you?
My Grandmother gave it me a few years ago. It was in perfect condition but not at all my shape – I am curvy and the coat was boxy, not a good combination. I had it re-worked by up-cycling pioneers Junky Styling at their Wardrobe Surgery. The process is really bespoke so I felt even more connected as I had a creative input. Co-founder Annika took on board my suggestions, got a sense of my own style, and re-created this wonderful garment. This is the third winter I’ve worn it – I still love it and it always gets admiring comments.

What woman inspires you most?
My best friend Karen – her smile, sense of humour, laughter and warmth is infectious. She would do anything for a friend.
What was the last book you read/exhibition you saw?
Currently reading ‘What’s mine is yours: How collaborative consumption is changing the way we live’ by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice what would it be?
Trust yourself

What is your greatest love?
My boyfriend; like my coat he is one-of-a-kind.
Oh and thinking creatively – it’s what gets me up in the morning…and keeps my mind busy and awake at night when I should be sleeping! (I’m a bit like an excitable child at times).

And lastly tell us an interesting fact or tip?
Vinegar is a great alternative to fabric softener – roughly a couple of table spoons per wash will leave laundry fresh, is kinder to your skin and reduces static. Use white distilled or malt vinegar rather than wine, cider or balsamic.

For more from Zoe check out her blog at http://think-style.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @zoerobinson1
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Think-Style/76334401093
EggMag blog: http://www.eggmag.co.uk/?author=9

Sophie Maguire



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