OWF's Inspiring Women of March
Written by Katie Elizabeth Robinson
On March 8th, International Women’s Day, we Chose to Challenge: challenge gender stereotypes, misogyny, sexism and violence, amongst many other inequalities. It was a chance to champion the achievements of women and it felt like a truly empowering day. It arrived in the heartbreaking wake of the search for Sarah Everard which has sparked a global conversation over the ingrained fear shared by all women as we are taught from a young age to be “prepared” for that which stole Sarah from her family and friends.
We are still challenging: challenging that it is us that have to change. Throughout March we were lucky enough to speak to and work with some incredible women who inspire us and give us the strength to keep challenging.
Opening up our series of inspiring women was our very own fearless founder, Jordache who shared her incredible journey to launching One Wear Freedom. As Carmella Sternberg (we’ll introduce her shortly too!) said, Jordache is on her heart mission.
- Stay true to yourself and don’t let people’s expectations of you affect you, whether they’re based on race, gender, or any other bias.
- Always listen to your gut, research and talk to others in a similar position before making a big life change.
- Persevere! You’re your own biggest advocate (and enemy sometimes), but trust in yourself because you’ve got this!
One Wear Freedom was born to provide a resource for women who, like Jordache, enjoy clothes and dressing up but don’t want to cause further harm to our planet. Check out our IG Live to hear even more advice and for the secrets of restyling a look so no one ever knows you’re rocking the same garment twice, or even thrice!
Alongside our series of fabulous women, we were honoured to take part in Reclaiming Our Time, a collaboration between Black Girl Environmentalist, Generation Green and Pass the Mic Climate:
‘We must listen to and highlight Black environmental activists that know the issues firsthand and have the knowledge to help create more just solutions.’
Wawa Gatheru, Founder of Black Girl Environmentalist.
We passed the mic to the amazing Wangui Karanja, commonly known as Khui Karanja, founder of the sustainable fashion brand Stylish With Adira through which she empowers and educates consumers to think consciously about their fashion habits. She took over our Instagram for the day and shared some incredible knowledge about the Fashion Industry and advice for Fashion Consumers.
So long as the fashion consumer’s demand is insatiable, Fast Fashion will reign and the environmentalist’s battle against the impacts of the Fashion Industry cannot be won. As a writer, fashion designer and content creator, she seeks to tackle this by sharing information to help consumers understand the role they play in the climate crisis.
Here are Khui’s tips to becoming a conscious consumer:
- Just because something is cute, or on sale, is not a reason to buy it. If you can’t see yourself wearing an item with at least 3 of the outfits you already own, don’t buy it as you probably won’t wear it.
- Control your fashion waste: look for charity shops or reuse and recycling centres in your local area. There will be a resource nearby where you can channel your unwanted clothes.
- Having a capsule wardrobe is life! If you’ve not heard the buzz over capsule wardrobes just yet, it means refining your wardrobe to staple items that can be mixed and matched to create a range of looks. Less to choose from also saves so much time in the morning which means extra time in bed!
Simple right?! Catch up with Khui’s takeover for more and to see the stunning Infinity Dress she has now found 15 different ways to wear!
Presenting Her Royal Thighness!
A woman of many accolades, entrepreneur, producer, fitness influencer and sexual empowerment expert being just a few:
She has used her many talents to create a safe space for women to talk openly, through anonymity, about sexuality. This is a particularly taboo subject for so many people but particularly for women who are taught to act and present themselves in a certain way as if this might protect us from unwanted attention and advances. Bottling stuff up isn’t healthy though and can even be toxic to our mental and ultimately physical health so Mel, a.k.a. Her Royal Thighness, offers a non-judgemental ear and advice to anyone who wants to get something off their chest, without having to expose themselves.
She’s driven to free the realness in all of us, whatever that may be and however often it may evolve. We are never just one thing so find what you are passionate about wherever you are and whatever else you might be doing and exhaust all the opportunities and possibilities it has to offer. In these moments we may battle impostor syndrome but confidence isn’t a switch we can just decide to turn on, we have to work at it and push ourselves to do the things that scare us. Our comfort zones are all in our mind and we have the ability to thrive outside of the limitations we and others set for us.
Watch her over on our IGTV to hear how else Her Royal Thighness is demolishing stigmas and empowering women.
As promised, here’s introducing Carmella Sternberg who next dropped in from the beautiful mountains of Mexico to catch up with Jordache.
Carmella was a huge inspiration in Jordache’s journey to creating One Wear Freedom after her own discovery of self-love whilst travelling through Asia and immersing herself in practices designed to bring holistic wellbeing. It was on these travels that she met Annabel James and together they set up Mamma Wellbeing. Initially designed to support women in their wellness journeys, Mamma has since evolved, particularly throughout the pandemic as virtual experiences are second-nature to us now and so the global platform is there to support everyone:
This practice isn’t a one-size fits all solution to wellbeing either. Just a quick glance at the Mamma list of practices for mind, body and spirit reveals how many different methods there are. Some will work for you and some won’t. Carmella suggests trying out as many as you can until you find those ones that do and keep doing them! Whilst a healthy, personal practice is the longevity of happiness, self-love is the foundation of our wellbeing but this can be a tricky beast to master. As Her Royal Thighness said of gaining confidence though, it isn’t something we just decide to do, to love ourselves. We have to work on it and Carmella is dedicated to providing the tools and support to help us achieve this.
We don’t know about you but we could definitely do with some Holotropic breathwork on a Monday morning when we realise it’s the week of ‘I’ll do that next week’ tasks! Head over to watch her IG Live to hear more about the practices she preaches and the promising ways the corporate world is finally embracing and supporting a healthy team/workforce as a productive and motivated one. (Just a little heads up, there were some initial sound issues but if you power through, we promise it’s worth it).
Last, but by no means least, we spoke to Penny Belle who helped us beautifully round off our Women’s Month Campaign.
Penny uses her platform to help others navigate their mental health after her own struggles and revelations. At 30, she was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) and realised that her previous ideas about these labels were misconceived and wanted to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health.
Whilst her diagnosis later in life initially shocked her, she also felt liberated from the confusion, frustration and self-doubt that came with thinking there was something wrong and not knowing what or how to tackle it. One of the greatest revelations she has had in recent years is that she doesn’t have to hide her femininity to prove her strength and resilience or to protect herself from attack or abuse. She realised that suppressing part of herself to protect herself was unhealthy and embracing who she is has come to epitomise what women empowerment is all about for Penny.
This past month has been particularly triggering and traumatic for many if not most and Penny reminded us that it’s okay to feel affected by it, even if you haven’t been personally or directly impacted by it. Everything feels like a lot right now and it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what might be making us anxious, getting us down, or playing on our minds even a little. For this, Penny suggests journaling. This is a tried-and-tested method that she uses and teaches in The Orange Room on Kaigo, an online wellness platform which you can find in her bio. It is a way to check in and spend time on ourselves to healthily process our thoughts, emotions and feelings.
Catch up with Penny on our IGTV for even more advice and support with any mental health and wellbeing challenges you may be facing.If we could share just one message with you from this past month it is that women are strong, vulnerable, resilient, compassionate, multi-faceted, bias-challenging champions and we are even stronger together. Catch up and keep an eye on our IGTV to listen to women supporting women as part of One Wear Freedom’s commitment to empowering others to reach their full potential and as Penny said, thanks to our fearless founder Jordache for holding space for women to talk about and share their experiences.