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Girls of IG • Stephanie Broek

by Alyssa Lau
Meet Stephanie Broek, an Amsterdam-based no fur, pro-sustainability and vegan fashion writer and consultant (a la her Instagram bio) with a radiating and effortlessly cool sense of style (which she thankfully shares with us on her Instagram feed). As sustainable fashion becomes a bigger topic of discussion amongst consumers, we are so grateful for creators like Stephanie who understand that sustainable fashion isn't just a trend that companies can use to greenwash themselves, but a solution to a very un-sustainable fashion industry. Keep on scrolling to discover how she first became a sustainable fashion enthusiast, what advice she has to aspiring fashion writers, what excites and daunts her about the fashion industry, and what her favourite Instagram accounts to follow are.
Who is Stephanie Broek?
I'm a fashion journalist, consultant and content creator from Amsterdam.

Can you describe your personal style for us?
My style is colorful and a mix of masculine and feminine elements. I love to play with that contrast. My clear pink glasses give my looks a quirky edge, I guess.

What are the first five things you do when you wake up?
I check Instagram, WhatsApp and the news. I taught myself to do so because otherwise I'd fall asleep immediately after snoozing my alarm. After that I jump into the shower, brush my teeth and get dressed. If I'm lucky (ergo: on time) I have breakfast, otherwise I rush downstairs and jump on my bike to get to my first appointment.
When did you first become interested in sustainable fashion? Why is it important to you?
When I was studying Journalism, I started writing freelance for a fashion trade publication. Before that I was mainly focused on the design part of fashion: the shows, the designers. For the fashion trade publication, I wrote articles about all different kinds of aspects about the fashion industry. From annual reports and IPOs to manufacturing and production. I was on news duty for the website when Rana Plaza collapsed. A horrible accident caused by structural failure that caused the deaths of 1 134 textile workers. I started reading more about the situation of garments workers in countries like China, Bangladesh, Cambodia and watched documentaries that covered this topic. That's when I found out that the fashion industry is the second most polluted industry, just behind oil. Sustainable fashion is important to me on so many levels. It breaks my heart knowing that so many textile workers still don't earn a living wage and work under dangerous and inhumane circumstances. The chemicals and pesticides which are used for clothing production harm people, the planet and animals. I could go on forever, but what it comes down to is that the fashion industry as it is now is unethical and harmful for people, our planet and animals.  

How would you describe your own relationship with clothing and how has it evolved over the years?
I think I have become more mature. I used to fall helplessly in love with pieces that I needed to have in my life. Now I think before I buy. Do I really need this? Can I at least make 5 different outfits with this? Does it look good on my body? Is it practical (can I bike in it?)? These questions help me make better decisions and build a long-lasting wardrobe.

When did you know that you wanted to be a fashion writer? Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
In high school I was deciding between styling and writing. I don't remember why I chose writing, but I'm glad I did. If I ever get fed up with fashion, I can always start writing about art or culture. My advice for aspiring writers would be: start volunteering. In college I wrote for various fashion publications and it helped me build my portfolio. It helped me get an internship at ELLE magazine and in my third year I got my first paid writing job.
What excites and/or daunts you about the future about the fashion industry?
Excites: Big fashion houses like Gucci, Tom Ford and Versace banning fur. Collective awareness on the need to make the fashion industry more sustainable and more animal-, planet- and people-friendly. Daunts: The Victoria's Secret show and Edward Razek. How fast trends are expiring. Companies like Zara that ignore sustainability and systematically say 'no comment' to interviews about this topic. Climate change and politicians that deny it's existence.

Pet peeve?
Cutting in line and rudeness.

How are you sustainable in your day to day life? Do you have any sustainable goals you’re working towards?
I use green energy for my apartment, eat vegan and recycle paper, plastic and textiles. My wardrobe is still not sustainable enough. I need to buy less and better.

If you could tell everyone in the world just one thing, what would it be?
Treat others people and animals the way you would want to be treated yourself.

What are you currently listening to?
Sufjan Stevens 'Mystery of Love' and 'Visions of Gideon', the soundtracks of Call Me By Your Name. Best film I've seen this year.

Favourite show to binge on Netflix at the moment?
The Sinner, Maniac and I cannot wait for Stranger Things to come back in two weeks

Favourite city to travel to and why?
Paris. The architecture, the romance, the museums, the people. I've been there maybe over 20 times but I still can't get enough.

What is a typical day in the life look like for you?
A meeting at my agency, coffee/lunch dates with clients, a presentation or event, shooting my outfit, working on e-mails. But some days I'm on set all day or behind my laptop. Every day is different and I love that.

What makes you most excited about your work?
Wether I am writing, consulting or shooting new photos or videos, my goal and message are always positive and hopeful. Even when I write about sad topics, it feels good because you educate someone or create awareness. I love that that's my job: inspiring and educating others and creating something good/positive.

What are your favourite Instagram accounts to follow?
My mom, she makes the cutest photos of my little nephew Mika. I recently discovered @sylviemus_ and love her minimal, clean looks. @majahwyh, her style, her eye, her photography.

What do you love or hate about Instagram?
I love that Instagram made the fashion industry way more democratic and diverse. I hate that it sometimes makes me insecure about my imperfections and that it creates an urge for new clothes.

What’s your horoscope?


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