Meet Shakirra Rees
, a creative jack of all trades based out of Melbourne, Australia and a new voice in the world of sustainable fashion. She's a photographer, videographer, creative director, illustrator and mixed media artist who has been inspiring us with her work ever since we first hit "Follow".
With a love for muted palettes, clean shapes and a strong focus on sustainable fashion, we were so excited to chat with Shakirra about the visual references that inspire her work, how sustainable and ethical fashion has changed her life, what her dream project is to work on, and what are her favourite photos on her camera roll at the moment.
When you first meet someone, what is it that you would want them to know about yourself?
Hmmm this is a hard one. I think I would like them to know that I always have the best intentions in mind for people.
How did you first get interested in sustainable and ethical fashion, and how has it affected your relationship with your clothing? How has it changed your life altogether?
I have always been a crafty person – I got into hand embroidery when I left high school so I have always been for supporting small businesses and sustainable fashion was always at the back of my mind. I just didn't know enough about it! It wasn't until I became vegan that I started realizing that I should start doing something about it. Veganism really helped me become aware in all aspects of sustainability, such as avoiding single use plastics and boycotting all fast fashion stores. Also, being a sustainable fashion advocate has affected my relationship with clothing a lot! Financially, I haven't always been able to invest in SF (sustainable fashion) often, so sometimes I feel a bit bummed I can't always have a new outfit. But I have learned to accept that what I have is good enough, and I am always on the hunt for a good vintage steal. Overall I feel a great sense of purpose, and I am very proud to be stylish without as big of an impact on the world.
How are you sustainable in your day to day life? Do you have any sustainable goals you’re working towards?
Eating plant-based is my number one for lowering my footprint! Plant proof is a great podcast to listen to. Plus, it's very scientific. But my other goals are to avoid as much single-use plastics in the shopping centre as possible, and also to lower the impact of my bathroom situation such as makeup, skincare and hair care.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about sustainable fashion? And how can we correct it?
I think the biggest misconception is the definition of 'Sustainable Fashion.' People are using this word and other similar terms without actually doing the research. For example some people think that because cotton is a natural fibre, it is sustainable but it is actually one of the dirtiest crops in the world. Instead, we should be purchasing organic cotton. Personally, I think we should all do our research before we purchase from somewhere, and look out for green washing. Be skeptical of fast fashion companies pushing the 'sustainable fashion movement'.
If you could come into possession of one piece of art, what would it be, who is it by and why?
I would love a ceramic lamp from Carmen D'apollonio. Carmen's work is so beautiful and unique, it would be a great addition to any home.
What is your dream project to work on? If you could work with anyone on it, who would it be?
I think my dream project would be designing a collection with my favourite sustainable brand ELISS or creating a fashion illustration spread for Vogue (or maybe my own cute paper magazine)
What are some visual references that influence both your art and style?
Mid century furniture design inspires me! I love the feel to it. Old books also inspire me too – I have alot of vintage art books that my mum gave to me.
How has your creative process evolved over time?
I think over time my style has developed the most, and I think I am still figuring out my process. But just dabbling in different things allowed me to learn new skills.
Who are the artists you are watching right now?
Rosie Mcguinness and Stanislas Piechaczek.
What fabrics do you find yourself most attracted to when adding to your wardrobe?
I mostly purchase vintage so I have a lot of different fabrics in my wardrobe. I gravitate towards natural fibres the most and I love a good sturdy cotton denim.
What is your favourite fashion memory, and what were you wearing?
It hasn't happened yet. I think my favourite fashion memory is in my near future!
What song would be the soundtrack to your life right now?
Delete forever by Grimes.
What are your go-to pieces to grab when getting ready in the morning?
My go-to pieces for every day are some straight pants, belt and a singlet top. Other items include my YETI drink bottle, lip balm, and keep cup! (Always bring your reusables!)
What are you working on right now & what are you looking forward to in the near future? I am about to start illustrating again (I have been in a creative rut for a while) so at the moment, I am just sourcing inspiration and playing around at home. Hopefully I can pull together a series soon. I'm excited to work and meet new people that are involved in sustainable fashion in my new city, Melbourne. What are some of your favourite photos on your camera roll right now? (Please feel free to send our way if you’re okay with us posting!) I have so many photos on my phone, but if i had to choose these would be it: a recent film photo i took, vintage matisse prints I purchased off marketplace, a very old photo of my little sister and I dressing the same, a pig that was able to grow old and a Toowoon Bay Sunrise.