MEET R PEOPLE: ART DIRECTOR KATE JONES
Kate Jones is an entrepreneur with a difference. Her production company and consultancy At Liberty, which she founded in 2009, also functions as a space for like-minded brands and creatives to come together. She also organises thought-provoking seminars in China and travels extensively to find stylish and scalable crafts to bring to the market, all the while maintaining an impeccably conscious wardrobe and the lightest eco footprint possible.
What made you become more interested in sustainable fashion?
It just makes sense and honestly it's the only way forward. When I go on holiday and I'm walking along a gorgeous beach avoiding clothing that's washed ashore - it really makes me wonder, what the hell are we doing! We have no choice but to be interested in sustainable options and to address our purchasing habits. Buy less and with thought.
What lifestyle and fashion changes have you made on a personal level to become more sustainable?
It really starts when I'm purchasing - I'm more considerate about what I buy and why. I need to know I'll wear a piece regularly, that it's comfortable, will wash well and that I'm not buying for purely emotional reasons. Then my focus shifts to care. Once I've invested in a piece I make sure I care for it well so it lasts and has a low impact on the environment. There’s no point in buying an eco-conscious garment and then over-washing it with a cleaner that's going to pollute our oceans and waterways.
What suggestions do you have for how people can get involved, which online resources to use, who to follow on social media, books to read to help take steps towards a more sustainable way of life?
I'm taking steps to live a more minimalist lifestyle. I recommend listening to The Minimalist's podcast and also checking out their documentary on Netflix. Ryan Nicodemus is mentoring me on how to bring a minimalist philosophy to all parts of my life - it's a process, but a very satisfying one. Above all, everything I have needs to bring a smile to my face.
You’re an entrepreneur with many talents and you have a passion for enabling craft. Why?
The story behind a product is important to me and knowing that someone has made an item with real passion and skill automatically gives it character.
Why are you such a sustainable stain-removal pro?
Quite honestly it's because I'm a pretty messy person. I just got sick of not being able to wear clothing I loved because of stains - I’m a stain magnet. I started to work with Miele and Redress and I was given the opportunity to test eco-care methods on a variety of garments that people had given up on. The satisfaction of bringing a piece of clothing back to life is rather addictive.
Have you managed to get your beautifully curated closet completely out of the dry cleaners?
Not 100% but 98%. I only dry clean coats and detailed items once a year at the end of the season before they go into storage. It's important to clean pieces before storing them - hidden stain makers like perfume settle in while they're stored and it's nearly impossible to get them out.
Another thing I find is that people will dry clean items that really they only need to have professional pressed. For pleated items I'll usually give them a light hand wash and then send them off to be pressed by a pro.
Show us how you spot clean your The R Collective jacket?