Bridget Hollitt is the girl you want to spend the day with. Joyful and thoughtful, the model, student and sustainability advocate is always looking to do better - be better. This is one of the reasons she is the girl you want to spend the day with. Unafraid to grow, expand, "transform". Such notions are important to Hollitt, and she chooses to spend her days surrounded by people who agree with the sentiment.
An advocate for sustainability and a model who works in the very industry responsible for roughly 10% of global carbon emissions - Hollitt knows how nuanced the conversation can be. Her philosophy? Pieces that are made ethically and made to last, and shopping vintage with friends - who serve as constant inspiration - in tow.
Along with Afterpay, Hollitt takes us with her on a day out in Sydney with friends, model Bella Bray and stylist Evan Betts, and speaks with us on her sustainable practices, what sustainable fashion actually means to her, and the importance of having friends with shared values.
Bella wears Bassike Splatter Dye Oversized Heritage Short Sleeve T.shirt ($150 or 4x $37.5 on Afterpay), Nagnata Yoni Short, Lilac ($200 or 4x $50 on Afterpay)
Bridget wears Nagnata Houndstooth Longline Crop ($180 or 4x $45 on Afterpay), Suki Houndstooth Biker Short ($170 or 4x $42.5 on Afterpay)
You took us along on a day out with your friends, who did you take along with you?
Beautiful beans Bella Bray and Evan Betts.
Can you take us through what your day together looked like?
Bells flew in from Melbourne that morning - we made reishi hot chocolates and ate toast while we got ready, took some pictures in the morning light, got coffee at my favourite cafe, went thrifting in Newtown, then to the White Rabbit Gallery and finished up at Dimitri’s for pizza.
Bridget wears Nagnata Houndstooth Longline Crop ($180 or 4x $45 on Afterpay), Suki Houndstooth Biker Short ($170), Bella wears Bassike Splatter Dye Oversized Heritage Short Sleeve T.shirt ($150 or 4x $37.5 on Afterpay), Nagnata Yoni Short, Lilac ($200 or 4x $50 on Afterpay)
What was the highlight?
Having Bells up from Melbourne was pretty special. I love having the time to just sit and talk shit - the gallery has a tea room that’s built perfectly for that. I love chats that I walk away from feeling somehow improved, and there was a lot of that on this day.
You’ve recently moved to Sydney, are days like this - hanging out with your friends in the city, important to you?
They’re the most important thing! These little grounding moments with nourishing people are my anchors. I’ve definitely noticed a big shift away from individualism after coming back from New York; Right now I’m making days like this my priority.
Evan wears Storeroom Vintage Top, Levis 551™ Z Authentic Straight Jeans (149.95 or 4x $37.5 on Afterpay), Bridget wears Arnsdorf Roberta Tank ($149 or 4x $37.5 on Afterpay), Arnsdorf Wide Jean - Pale Denim ($340 or 4x $85 on Afterpay), Bella Wears Arnsdorf Sadie Tee ($159 or 4x $39.75 on Afterpay), Levi’s® Made & Crafted The Column Jeans ($229.95 4x $57.5 on Afterpay)
Can you talk a little about your style?
Something always needs to be just a bit wonky or broken or confusing. There’s a certain degree of order I can’t tolerate in the world, so I need my clothes or anything I do to carry a teensy bit of chaos or confusion. It’s subtle, but it’s always there - like a tear or a rip or just something incongruous about my choices.
I outfit repeat a lot, because ~sustainability~ so I tend to try and make each of those repetitions a bit of a statement so I don’t get bored. I don’t mind wearing the same thing over and over again if it’s something a bit funky.
Bridget wears Arnsdorf Roberta Tank ($149 4x $37 on Afterpay), Levi’s Yesterdays Sweatshirt ($119.95 4x $30 on Afterpay)
I know shopping vintage is quite important to you, what about choosing vintage clothing feels right for your wardrobe journey?
Vintage really helped me get interested in fashion in the first place - for a long time I didn’t really see the purpose of clothing except to conform, and I reviled that. But when I started seeing people wearing really awesome one-of-a-kind things I got very interested in it as a form of self-expression. I think clothes should correlate to our uniqueness, not strip us of it. Vintage clothes were designed without any knowledge of the current “trends” so it’s completely free of the rules of today. That freedom is important to me.
I want vintage to be the backbone of my wardrobe - and it slowly is becoming that way. Just in the same way we rescue puppies, there are so many lonely, fabulous pieces out there just begging for a new home, and so much destruction as a result of manufacturing new clothes. Buying vintage feels like the right choice in this way as well. The idea of a carbon-neutral wardrobe gets me hot.
How much of the way you dress lends a focus on sustainability?
I go vintage shopping before considering buying new, and if I’m buying new it’s something that’s good enough quality for me to keep forever.
Bella wears Arnsdorf Sadie Tee ($159 4x $39.75 on Afterpay), Evan wears Storeroom Vintage
Bridget wears Levi’s Yesterdays Sweatshirt ($119,95 4x $30 on Afterpay)
Do you have any tips for people wanting to shop more sustainably but don’t have the cash to invest in super thoughtfully made pieces?
Well, *cough*, Afterpay is actually an incredible resource for this. When you think about the fact that shopping this way makes clothes a true investment over time, it makes them mean more and therefore be much less likely to be discarded or mistreated. I think it’s all about our attitude to clothing and if we can see it for the energetic investment it really is, that serves sustainability goals.
How do you go about finding sustainable brands?
The rating app Good on You is a fairly good indicator of whether a brand has transparency on labour and environmental impacts, and I know the Afterpay app has partnered with them to make this process easier.
Having friends who are also interested in shopping consciously helps me heaps because then we’re just swapping recommendations and being inspired by each other.
What does sustainable fashion mean to you?
For me, dressing sustainably is about communicating what I want to communicate through my clothing, within the bounds of what is fair on our planet. I think fashion is a truly valuable form of self expression and does help us speak to each other and connect - even in the most subtle subconscious layers. But there are ways we can creatively do that within a framework of what is good and pure and right.
At the end of the day for me, that means being willing to be the same time and time again, and not expect that I will always “fit in”. Sustainable fashion challenges us to be individuals, and make commitments to our individualism.
Do you feel like having friends with similar value sets is important when you’re on the journey of reducing your footprint?
Yes, 100%. I find people who are further along their sustainability journey than me endlessly inspiring and enticing. It’s just so hot when someone whips out a beeswax wrap or bulk food shops. That’s a sign of someone who has their shit together.
We create mini cultures in our communities, and a culture is what defines our values. I want to be involved in a mini culture that has consciousness as a core tenet, asks questions about the impact of their choices, and is always looking for ways to be better. It’s just less boring.