Lydia Okello standing outside. They're wearing sunglasses and laughing.
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An interview with Lydia Okello

by Ariane Bell Vila
An interview with Lydia Okello

Last week we had the pleasure of interviewing the amazing Lydia Okello on our Instagram stories! We thought we'd share it here, just in case you missed it.

First things first, introductions! Could you tell us a little bit about who you are, and what you do?

Hi! It’s nice to meet you. I’m Lydia Okello, my pronouns are they/them, and I’m a model, writer, and general fashion person. You may know me from styleisstyle, which is my blog/social media handle. I love to talk about plus-size fashion, and personal style, and sustainability, and ethical production in fashion. Those are like, my zones.

What are some of the problems you’ve noticed within the ethical fashion industry?

Something I’ve noticed in ethical fashion is there’s just a great lack of representation. Whether that’s people of colour, whether that’s queer folks, folks with different abilities, and even plus-size folks. There is a lot of elitism and gatekeeping within ethical fashion, and that’s something that’s really important to me to dismantle.

What are some things that individuals can do to encourage brands to be more inclusive?

Something I think that people can do is reach out to their favourite brands and favourite makers and let them know that they want to see more representation, and more people in their goods. So, whether it’s a lack of size range, or a lack of racial diversity or gender diversity, or even like, ability diversity. Let those folks know that that’s something that’s important to you, and that you want to see, because customer feedback is one of the greatest drivers of change for - especially smaller brands, which a lot of ethical companies are, and your voice means something to them as, as a customer.

If people want to learn more about the need for inclusive ethical fashion and also diversify their feeds, who would you suggest they follow?

There’s a multitude of folks doing this work, but, if I had to recommend one person it would be @ajabarber. She - she’s a wealth of knowledge and she’s just a great, great person to follow. Support her on Patreon, send her those dollars, follow her on Instagram and Twitter. She’s just really really smart, and really observant and knows a lot about the industry.

What's your favourite article of clothing in your closet at the moment? How do you style it?

I’d say probably the tie-dye shirt that I’m wearing right now. I’ve been wearing it with lots of like, light colours, so: white pants, white shorts, that sort of thing. I think it really shows off the dye of the shirt.

 

Why is it important to use gender inclusive language when discussing periods?

Not all people who menstruate are women, and not all women menstruate, so, language is super important when we’re talking about menstruation products because it’s just the reality of who is going to use them.

What piece of advice/wisdom would you offer to your 16-year-old self?

If I could talk to 16-year-old me, I would say that you are exactly who you should be. And that your life will bring you so much that you cannot imagine.

 What's been bringing you joy recently?

I’ve been getting joy from eating Dilly Bars. Cuz it’s been super hot out and they’re just like, a nostalgic treat, and that’s what’s been bringing me joy lately. 

 

Thanks so much for joining us Lydia!

It’s been great to meet all of you, follow me @styleisstyle on all platforms, and hopefully I’ll be talking to a lot of you soon! Have a great day.

 

(By the way, we're hoping to start interviewing more guests over on our Instagram, so be sure to give us a follow so you don't miss them!)

 Photo by: Hannah Rebecca Ackeral.

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